Physics is an experimental science that uses precisely defined
units of measurement.
This text emphasizes SI (Systeme International) units, a system that includes the meter
(m), the kilogram (kg), and the second (s) as base units for length, mass, and time,
respectively. Units play an important role in solving problems, because the units on the
left side of an equation must match the units on the right side. If the units on both sides
do not match, either the equation is written incorrectly or the variables and constants in
the equation are not expressed in a consistent set of units.
Trigonometry
is used throughout physics. Particularly important are the sine, cosine,
and tangent functions of an angle
θ
. They are defined in terms of a right triangle that
contains
θ
. The side of the triangle opposite
θ
is
h
o
, the side adjacent to
θ
is
h
a
, and the
hypotenuse is
h
. In terms of these quantities we have
If the value of the sine, cosine, or tangent is known, the angle can be obtained using
inverse trigonometric functions. The Pythagorean theorem also applies to the right
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 Spring '08
 Sharp
 Trigonometry, Addition, Law Of Cosines, Mass, ax, Vector Components

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