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Small Angle Approximation

Small Angle Approximation

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The Small Angle Approximation: How to Estimate Trigonometric Functions

The small angle approximation is a useful technique for estimating the values of trigonometric functions when dealing with small angles measured in radians. This method simplifies the solving and operation process, making it easier to handle complex functions.

Equations for Small Angle Approximation

To utilize the small angle approximation, there are three common equations to remember: one for sine, one for cosine, and one for tangent.

Sine Approximation

Understanding this concept is made easier by examining the graphs of y = x and y = sinx. As shown in the graph below, these two lines are nearly identical around x = 0.

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