Episode 7: Astrophysics and trigonometry

10.10.2014 - By Taking Maths Further Podcast

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This week the topic was trigonometry. We interviewed Stephanie Yardley, who’s a solar physicist. We talked about the research Stephanie does into activity on the surface of the sun, and how she uses trigonometry to analyse data from satellites and telescopes. Interesting links:Space weather information bookletVideos at the Space Weather Prediction Centre websiteSine, cosine and tangent at Maths is FunShape of the sine and cosine graphs, at BBC BitesizeUsing trigonometry to find components of vectorsHow to find vector components, at For Dummies Puzzle:You want to calculate the height of a tall building. You set up a device for measuring angles, on a 1m high tripod, which is 200m away from the building. The angle above horizontal, when looking at the top edge of the building, is 15 degrees. What is the height of the building in metres? Solution: The height of a triangle with base 200m and angle 15 degrees is 53.6m. This, added to the height above the ground you are measuring from, means that the height of the building is approximately 54.6m. Show/Hide

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