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The Humongous Book of Trigonometry Problems by W. Michael Kelley

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Trigonometric Tables

When “close enough” is good enough

2.29    Use the trigonometric table in Appendix A to calculate sin 88°, accurate to five decimal places.

Before scientific and graphing calculators were readily available to scientists, engineers, and mathematics students, other tools were necessary to calculate trigonometric values. Greek mathematicians constructed the first trigonometric tables, and they have been used for over two thousand years to assist in the approximation and estimation of trigonometric functions. Although you will use a calculator for the vast majority of this book, this section of problems demonstrates that you can still derive surprisingly accurate estimations using historical methods.

Here’s the real reason ...

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