Trigonometric Identities

Derivation of the Half Angle Formulas

Half angle formulas can be derived from the double angle formulas, particularly, the cosine of double angle. For easy reference, the cosines of double angle are listed below:

cos 2θ = 1 - 2sin2 θ   →   Equation (1)
cos 2θ = 2cos2 θ - 1   →   Equation (2)


Note that the equations above are identities, meaning, the equations are true for any value of the variable θ. The key on the derivation is to substitute θ with ½ θ.

Derivation of Basic Identities

The derivation of basic identities can be done easily by using the functions of a right triangle. For easy reference, these trigonometric functions are listed below.

Right triangle with sides a, b, and c and angle thetaa/c = sin θ
b/c = cos θ
a/b = tan θ
c/a = csc θ
c/b = sec θ
b/a = cot θ


Summary of Trigonometric Identities

Derivation of Trigonometric Identities | Trigonometry

Basic Identities
Click here for the derivation of basic identities.

1. $\sin \theta = \dfrac{1}{\csc \theta}; \,\, \csc \theta = \dfrac{1}{\sin \theta}$
2. $\cos \theta = \dfrac{1}{\sec \theta}; \,\, \sec \theta = \dfrac{1}{\cos \theta}$
3. $\tan \theta = \dfrac{\sin \theta}{\cos \theta} = \dfrac{1}{\cot \theta}$
4. $\cot \theta = \dfrac{\cos \theta}{\sin \theta} = \dfrac{1}{\tan \theta}$

Derivation of Sum and Difference of Two Angles

Triangle used in sum and difference of two anglesThe sum and difference of two angles can be derived from the figure shown below.

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