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ouazaki000's avatar

Help with trig homework?

Asked by ouazaki000 (12points) July 12th, 2013

I really don’t understand what 30° 18’ means. I can look it up on a trig table, but the degrees they gave me to find this don’t match up to 30°. its 36 ° on top and 53 ° on the bottom. I know how to find just 30°, but not with the 18. Is there a way to do it on the calculator? And Ik theres other ways to do it, but my homework packet doesn’t explain it, or rather not yet in the chapter.

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2 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

Perhaps this page will help you in better understanding (and calculating) degrees-minutes-seconds to decimal degrees, and vice versa.

LostInParadise's avatar

This is easy to explain by way of analogy to the way we measure time. We divide a day into hours. Each hour has sixty minutes and each minute has sixty seconds. We do something similar with angles. Each degree is divided into 60 minutes and each minute is divided into 60 seconds. 30° 18’ is 30 degrees and 18 minutes or 30 18/60 degrees. 30° 18’ 20’’ would be 30 degrees 18 minutes and 20 seconds = 30 + 18/60 + 20/3600 degrees.

We got the measurement systems for both time and angles from the Babylonians, who based their number system on 60.

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