Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

The Small Angle Approximation

Sign in to follow this  


At the time of writing Christmas is over, its before the New Year and the impetus to do anything school related has left my body and soul. Nonetheless I have a smithereen within me crying against the apathy that crowded so densely among my brain cells and I have found it and nourished it and it becomes this blogpost. According to the Wikipedia page, the small angle approximation is a convenient and necessary estimation where in some cases you can replace a trigonometric function of theta(Θ) with theta(Θ) itself. This is almost true as the angle in radians approaches zero, tan(Θ) and sin(Θ) will equal zero and cos(Θ) will equal one and this is approximately true for radian value slightly higher than zero. It seemed pertinent because one of the proofs we did in the last packet used this simplification and I'm certain that whosoever figured that one out thought themselves clever and are within their right to think so!

Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Comments

Close, but as the angle in radians approaches zero, cosine of the angle won't approach zero... it should approach 1.

  • Like 1

Share this comment

Link to comment
14 hours ago, FizziksGuy said:

Close, but as the angle in radians approaches zero, cosine of the angle won't approach zero... it should approach 1.

Will this affect my grade??? 

Share this comment

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.