On this page you will find some material about Lesson 24. Read through the material below, watch the videos, and follow up with your instructor if you have questions.
Lesson 24: Oblique Triangles and The Law of Sines & The Law of Cosines
Learning Outcomes (from the Coburn and Herdlick’s Trigonometry book)
- Develop the law of sines and use it to solve ASA and AAS triangles.
- Solve SSA triangles (the ambiguous case) using the law of sines.
- Use the law of sines to solve applications.
- Apply the law of cosines when two sides and an included angle are known (SAS).
- Apply the law of cosines when three sides are known (SSS).
Topic. This lesson covers
Section 7.1: Oblique Triangles and the Law of Sines, and
Section 7.2: The Law of Cosines.
WeBWorK. There are two WeBWorK assignments on today’s material:
Video Lesson 24 (based on Lesson 24 Notes)
These are questions on fundamental concepts that you need to know before you can embark on this lesson. Don’t skip them! Take your time to do them, and check your answer by clicking on the “Show Answer” tab.
If you are not comfortable with the Warmup Questions, don’t give up! Click on the indicated lesson for a quick catchup. A brief review will help you boost your confidence to start the new lesson, and that’s perfectly fine.
Need a review? Check Lesson 23.
This is like a mini-lesson with an overview of the main objects of study. It will often contain a list of key words, definitions and properties – all that is new in this lesson. We will use this opportunity to make connections with other concepts. It can be also used as a review of the lesson.
A Quick Intro to Oblique Triangles and The Law of Sines &
The Law of Cosines
Key Words. SSS, SAS, AAS, ASA, Oblique triangle, solving a triangle, law of sines, law of cosines
We denote the sides of a tringle by , and as the sides opposite to the angles , and , respectively.
SSS means that the three sides are known.
SAS means that two sides and the adjacent angle are known.
AAS means that two angles and one side (not between the two angles) are known.
ASA means that two angles and the adjacent side are known.
Solving a triangle means to find the unknown sides and angles.
A triangle that does not have a right angle is called oblique.
In a right triangle, you use the trig ratios to solve it. Otherwise, the triangle is oblique in which case consider:
Law of sines (for ASA/AAS triangles)
Law of cosines (for SAS/SSS triangles)
Many times the mini-lesson will not be enough for you to start working on the problems. You need to see someone explaining the material to you. In the video you will find a variety of examples, solved step-by-step – starting from a simple one to a more complex one. Feel free to play them as many times as you need. Pause, rewind, replay, stop… follow your pace!
A description of the video
In the video you will see the following problems.
- Given a triangle whose angles are , and where the sides opposite to , and measure 5, and , respectively, find and .
- Given a triangle whose angles are and , and the sides opposite to and measure 5 and , respectively, find .
- Given a triangle whose one of the angles is and , the side opposite to measures 3, and the two other sides measure 5 and 6, find .
Now that you have read the material and watched the video, it is your turn to put in practice what you have learned. We encourage you to try the Try Questions on your own. When you are done, click on the “Show answer” tab to see if you got the correct answer.
You should now be ready to start working on the WeBWorK problems. Doing the homework is an essential part of learning. It will help you practice the lesson and reinforce your knowledge.
It is time to do the homework on WeBWork:
When you are done, come back to this page for the Exit Questions.
After doing the WeBWorK problems, come back to this page. The Exit Questions include vocabulary checking and conceptual questions. Knowing the vocabulary accurately is important for us to communicate. You will also find one last problem. All these questions will give you an idea as to whether or not you have mastered the material. Remember: the “Show Answer” tab is there for you to check your work!
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