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SIMILAR

RIGHT TRIANGLES AND TRIG RATIOS - PART 2


ORIGINALLY ADAPTED FROM THE BRILLIANT SAM J SHAH

Were going to be thinking backwards. Before we were given angles, and asked to come up with missing sides.
Now were going to flipflop that, and be given sides and look for angles.

1. I want you to use what you know about similar triangles and the Platonic Right Triangles book to come
up with the missing angle. (You dont need a protractor, even, so dont use it!) Explain how you did it, so
that someone who is confused about how to find this missing angle can understand your thought
process.

2. Practice! Find the missing angle (which is marked)!


(a)

(b)








(b)

(d)

(e)

(f)










(g)

(h)


3. In order to find missing angles in a right triangle, we need (circle any of the below that apply)
only one leg only the hypotenuse only one leg and the hypotenuse
only both legs

4. If I had to succinctly write a conclusion from the previous question, I could write:

In order to find the missing angles in a right triangle, we merely need any ________________________
_______________________________.

Lets summarize how we can figure out the missing angles given two sides
Situation A: Given the hypotenuse and the leg opposite to the angle were looking for


leg opposite of angle given triangle

hypotenuse given triangle

leg opposite of angle Platonic right triangle


hypotenuse Platonic right triangle

1.5954 leg opposite of angle Platonic right triangle


=
3.0976
1
0.5150 leg opposite of angle Platonic right triangle

That matches the right triangle with the 31o angle!
Important Idea:

For any right triangle with a 31o angle, no matter how big or small the triangle is, we
always know that:

leg opposite the 31 degree angle


0.5150
hypotenuse

Situation B: Given the hypotenuse and the leg adjacent to the angle were looking for

Given the triangle on the right, we know we can find the appropriate similar triangle
(and hence the missing angle) in the Platonic Right Triangles book by finding the ratio
of the given leg with the hypotenuse:

leg adjacent to angle given triangle leg adjacent to angle Platonic right triangle
=
hypotenuse given triangle
hypotenuse Platonic right triangle

3.4188 leg adjacent to angle Platonic right triangle


=
3.0222
1
0.4695 leg adjacent to angle Platonic right triangle

And then we look for the triangle in the Platonic Right Triangles book which has the leg
next to the angle with length 0.4695.
That matches the right triangle with the 62o angle!

Important Idea:
For any right triangle with a 62o angle, no matter how big or small this triangle is, we
always know that:

leg adjacent to 62 degree angle


0.4695
hypotenuse

Situation C: Given the leg opposite to, and the leg adjacent to, the angle were looking for.

There are a couple of methods that can be used to find the missing angle!



Method 1:
Come up with a method for finding the missing angle that uses the Pythagorean Theorem. Explain and show
your steps clearly below. This method should still use the Platonic Right Triangles book.



































Method 2:
Is there another method that doesnt involve having to use the Pythagorean Theorem?
See if you can come up with the method. Explain your steps clearly below. This method
should still use the Platonic Right Triangles book.




























What was one difficulty with using this method along with the Platonic Triangles Book? Hint does the
hypotenuse being equal to 1 help in this method?


** important detail helper


Tying Together Situation A, B, and C with Geogebra

Its clear that the ratio of sides is central to everything weve been doing with right triangles. Lets remember
our Platonic triangles! All similar triangles look the same. Thus the sides are in proportion to each other.
Open the Geogebra applet titled Ratio of Sides of a Right Triangle (can be found on the class website).
5. Use the slider to pick an angle. Change the size of the triangle big and small and big and small!

Notice all the side lengths change. But what doesnt change? The ratio of the sides. Thats because even
though the triangle is change its size, all these triangles are similar!

6. We saw in Situation A, Situation B, and Situation C, the ratio of sides of a right triangle are important to
determine angles in a right triangle. The ratios we used were:

leg opposite of angle
leg adjacent to the angle
leg opposite of angle





hypotenuse
hypotenuse
leg adjacent to the angle

And in the Geogebra applet you just used, you saw that these ratios were fixed for each Platonic Right
Triangle no matter how big or small the triangles were!

Use the applet to find me the Platonic Right Triangle that has:

leg opposite of angle
leg opposite of angle
(a)

(b)
0.4848
0.8387
hypotenuse
hypotenuse




leg adjacent to the angle
leg adjacent to the angle
(c)

(d)
0.8480
0.9976
hypotenuse
hypotenuse




leg opposite of angle
leg opposite of angle
(e)

(f)
2.0503
0.3249
leg adjacent to the angle
leg adjacent to the angle





Drawing Connections

leg opposite the 45 degree angle


= 1
leg adjacent to the 45 degree angle
(a picture of this triangle will be helpful!)









leg adjacent to 51 degree angle leg opposite the 39 degree angle
8. Explain why in a 39-51-90 triangle,

=
hypotenuse
hypotenuse
(a picture of this triangle will be helpful!)








9. Find the equation of this line which makes a 37 o with the x-axis. Explain your thinking!
(The Platonic Right Triangles will be helpful!)
7. Explain why in a 45-45-90 triangle,

10. Heres the thing: Each of these ratios correspond uniquely to a single angle. You know that this ratio will
be true for all similar right triangles with that angle.

Instead of using the Platonic Right Triangles, check out this Table of Right Triangle Ratios.
The entire 89 page book is now encapsulated in this succinct table!
Angle
(degree)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43

leg opposite of angle leg adjacent to the angle




hypotenuse
hypotenuse
0.0175
0.0349
0.0523
0.0698
0.0872
0.1045
0.1219
0.1392
0.1564
0.1736
0.1908
0.2079
0.2250
0.2419
0.2588
0.2756
0.2924
0.3090
0.3256
0.3420
0.3584
0.3746
0.3907
0.4067
0.4226
0.4384
0.4540
0.4695
0.4848
0.5000
0.5150
0.5299
0.5446
0.5592
0.5736
0.5878
0.6018
0.6157
0.6293
0.6428
0.6561
0.6691
0.6820

0.9998
0.9994
0.9986
0.9976
0.9962
0.9945
0.9925
0.9903
0.9877
0.9848
0.9816
0.9781
0.9744
0.9703
0.9659
0.9613
0.9563
0.9511
0.9455
0.9397
0.9336
0.9272
0.9205
0.9135
0.9063
0.8988
0.8910
0.8829
0.8746
0.8660
0.8572
0.8480
0.8387
0.8290
0.8192
0.8090
0.7986
0.7880
0.7771
0.7660
0.7547
0.7431
0.7314

leg opposite of angle



leg adjacent to the angle
0.0175
0.0349
0.0524
0.0699
0.0875
0.1051
0.1228
0.1405
0.1584
0.1763
0.1944
0.2126
0.2309
0.2493
0.2679
0.2867
0.3057
0.3249
0.3443
0.3640
0.3839
0.4040
0.4245
0.4452
0.4663
0.4877
0.5095
0.5317
0.5543
0.5774
0.6009
0.6249
0.6494
0.6745
0.7002
0.7265
0.7536
0.7813
0.8098
0.8391
0.8693
0.9004
0.9325

44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89

0.6947
0.7071
0.7193
0.7314
0.7431
0.7547
0.7660
0.7771
0.7880
0.7986
0.8090
0.8192
0.8290
0.8387
0.8480
0.8572
0.8660
0.8746
0.8829
0.8910
0.8988
0.9063
0.9135
0.9205
0.9272
0.9336
0.9397
0.9455
0.9511
0.9563
0.9613
0.9659
0.9703
0.9744
0.9781
0.9816
0.9848
0.9877
0.9903
0.9925
0.9945
0.9962
0.9976
0.9986
0.9994
0.9998

0.7193
0.7071
0.6947
0.6820
0.6691
0.6561
0.6428
0.6293
0.6157
0.6018
0.5878
0.5736
0.5592
0.5446
0.5299
0.5150
0.5000
0.4848
0.4695
0.4540
0.4384
0.4226
0.4067
0.3907
0.3746
0.3584
0.3420
0.3256
0.3090
0.2924
0.2756
0.2588
0.2419
0.2250
0.2079
0.1908
0.1736
0.1564
0.1392
0.1219
0.1045
0.0872
0.0698
0.0523
0.0349
0.0175

0.9657
1.0000
1.0355
1.0724
1.1106
1.1504
1.1918
1.2349
1.2799
1.3270
1.3764
1.4281
1.4826
1.5399
1.6003
1.6643
1.7321
1.8040
1.8807
1.9626
2.0503
2.1445
2.2460
2.3559
2.4751
2.6051
2.7475
2.9042
3.0777
3.2709
3.4874
3.7321
4.0108
4.3315
4.7046
5.1446
5.6713
6.3138
7.1154
8.1443
9.5144
11.4301
14.3007
19.0811
28.6362
57.2899


Super Duper Important Conclusion: This table of values is simply a different way of writing the information in
the Platonic Right Triangles book.


**Before moving on please complete a some of the questions from Practice Problems for Similar Triangles and
Trig Ratios Part 2.

11. Up until now, we have only considered integer angle measures. But it turns out that we could make a
more detailed Table of Right Triangle Ratios. They exist! An example:
Angle
(degree)
37.0
37.1
37.2
37.3
37.4
37.5
37.6
37.7
37.8
37.9
38.0
38.1
38.2
38.3
38.4
38.5
38.6
38.7
38.8
38.9

leg opposite of angle leg adjacent to the angle




hypotenuse
hypotenuse
0.6018
0.6032
0.6046
0.6060
0.6074
0.6088
0.6101
0.6115
0.6129
0.6143
0.6157
0.6170
0.6184
0.6198
0.6211
0.6225
0.6239
0.6252
0.6266
0.6280

leg opposite of angle



leg adjacent to the angle

0.7986
0.7976
0.7965
0.7955
0.7944
0.7934
0.7923
0.7912
0.7902
0.7891
0.7880
0.7869
0.7859
0.7848
0.7837
0.7826
0.7815
0.7804
0.7793
0.7782

0.7536
0.7563
0.7590
0.7618
0.7646
0.7673
0.7701
0.7729
0.7757
0.7785
0.7813
0.7841
0.7869
0.7898
0.7926
0.7954
0.7983
0.8012
0.8040
0.8069


(a) What is the missing angle in this triangle rounded to the nearest tenth of a degree?


(b) Find the two missing sides (rounded to three decimal places):

(c) Find the two missing sides (rounded to three decimal places)::



12. Write down three pairs of complementary angles (and fill in the ratios from the large Table of Right
Triangle Ratios) to create a Mini-Table of Right Triangle Ratios

Angle
(degree)











leg opposite of angle leg adjacent to the angle




hypotenuse
hypotenuse


Come up with a conjecture based on these observations.


Explain why your conjecture will always be true!