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When I first took a trigonometry class in high school, I already had some significant experience in the subject in a physics class. For me, that helped enhance my understanding of the topics involved, and gave me a different perspective of the subject that it seemed that many of my classmates lacked. One of the things I found most frustrating with regard to the instruction was the manner in which sine and cosine graphs were explained. The equations of such graphs are in the form: Asin(wt - k) and Acos(wt - k) where A is the amplitude (or height) of the wave, w is the frequency, and k is the horizontal displacement of the wave. Yet the books didn't teach it this way, and the teacher didn't make the crucial connection between frequency and period. The frequency of a wave is 2*pi divided by the period, just as the period is 2*pi divided by the frequency. What is important to realize here is that regardless of the sine or cosine wave in question, if you take the... read more

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