Why tan−2(x)=1tan2(x)?

Kristina Mcclain

Kristina Mcclain



Why tan2(x)=1tan2(x)?

Answer & Explanation

Kyler Jacobson

Kyler Jacobson


2022-01-27Added 8 answers

As Arturo Magidin said in the comments, it is a matter of notation. Usually, sinn(x),cosn(x),tann(x) denote (sin(x))n,(cos(x))n,(tan(x))n respectively, when n=1,2,…. Unfortunately, due to various historical reasons, when n=−1, the notation sin1(x),cos1(x),tan1(x) do not at all mean 1 divided by the respective functions, but rather represent the inverse function.
Your confusion probably comes from your teacher/textbook using tan2(x) to mean (tan(x))2 instead of (tan1(x))2 or tan1(tan1(x)). This confusing notation unfortunately rather common. The good news is that there's nothing conceptual you're missing, it's just an instance of particularly confusing notation.

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