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DISCOVERING THE SINE LAW

ORIGINALLY ADAPTED FROM NZMATH

1.

Using your current knowledge of trigonometry, how could you find the length of AC in triangle ABC below? Show any attempts and explain any difficulties.

 
 

2.

Did you try using the Cosine Law? Why are you unable to use this method?

 

3.

To help us move towards discovering the Sine Law we will be using another Geogebra worksheet, which you can find in the additional resources section of the class website. Using this worksheet, you can change the value of angle A and help you identify any relationships. Specifically, we want to see what the relationship is between 5 sin65 o and the side length b (or AC). Note - keep Angle B equal to 65 o .

 

Angle A

5 sin65 o

b

sinA

Comments

 

30º

4.53

     

45º

4.53

     

60º

4.53

     

90º

4.53

     

4.

Using the table above, what conjecture can you make? Explain.

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5. To test this conjecture, we need to look at further examples. Table 2 - Set B = 70 o

 

Angle A

b

/ sinB

5

/ sinA

Comments

30º

     

45º

     

60º

     

90º

     

Table 3 - Set B = 55 o

 
 

Angle A

b

/ sinB

5

/ sinA

Comments

30º

     

45º

     

60º

     

90º

     

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6. What is the full conjecture from the evidence that you have gathered in the above tables?

7. Let’s try to prove our conjecture for the Sine Law. Try coming up with a proof on your own using your knowledge of trig ratios and Pythagorean Theorem, and the triangle below.

trig ratios and Pythagorean Theorem, and the triangle below. Hint – first try solving for CE

Hint first try solving for CE in terms of triangle ACE the for CE in terms of triangle BCE.

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Use your newly discovered knowledge of the Law of Cosines to solve the following problems.

of the Law of Cosines to solve the following problems. Find the length of sides a

Find the length of sides a and b.

the Law of Cosines to solve the following problems. Find the length of sides a and

Find the length of sides a and b.

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