Trigonometry/Addition Formula for Cosines
We proved the sine addition formula; now we're going to prove the cosine addition formula.
Before we do that we will talk about subtraction formulae.
You do not need to learn or remember special subtraction formulas or 'angle difference' formulas for sine and cosine. You can work them out 'instantly' from the addition formulas for sine and cosine, using and .
Let's put in place of in the two addition formulas:
First the sine addition formula:
If we really want to we can write the four addition and 'angle difference' formulas in a more condensed notation like so:
If you like this style, use them. We'd recommend instead just learning the addition formulas and deriving the difference formulas from them when you need them.
Now to prove:
There are many videos of the proof:
We want to prove:
We will use the trick from the exercise on the previous page of setting and exactly the same diagram as last time.
Because is a right angle triangle with hypotenuse 1 and angle , we have:
And because is a right angle triangle with hypotenuse 1 and angle , we have:
Let's express and in terms of cos and sine of the angles. You'll need to look at the diagram to see which triangles we are using.
An expression for
An expression for
The proof looks mighty similar to the proof for .
We can in fact derive one from the other without using a diagram at all.
We use and and (substituting in several places):
Now we use and
This is true for all so if we put and we get:
Now it is your turn to practice deriving new formulas from old ones:
A somewhat harder exercise:
and the addition formulae for sin and cos, show that
And now it is your turn to do the geometric proof of addition formulas.
You might want to skip this exercise and come back to it later after you have used the cosine addition formula for a bit. It is a good exercise for getting to the stage where you are confident you can write a geometric proof of the formulas yourself.
Start from the diagram below:
Add labels to it, and write out a proof of
based on the diagram and the letters you have chosen. Make sure you explain by chasing angles why the two angles labelled are the same. The labels given to the edge lengths are to help you. Your proof must spell out why those labels are correct, using the trig relations.
Compare the diagram with the one in the proof above. Just how different are they really?