Monday, March 21, 2011

Using a Scientific Calculator to Compute Chords

One can use a scientific calculator to compute the chords and convert them into sexigesimal notation. I used an old TI-34 Solar Scientific Calculator but an updated version of this is the TI-36X Solar. One needs a scientific calculator which can convert between decimal degrees (DD) and degree-minute-second (DMS).

The image above displays the length of the chord of 90° which is 60 √2. To calculate this one enters 2, performs the √ operation, multiplies by 60 (the radius of the circle), and then converts the DD value to DMS. Similarly, the chord of 72° is 60 √((5-√5)/2) or 70;32,03.

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