Law of Cosines

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This is an AoPSWiki Word of the Week for Oct 4-Oct 10

The Law of Cosines is a theorem which relates the side-lengths and angles of a triangle. For a triangle with edges of length $a$, $b$ and $c$ opposite angles of measure $A$, $B$ and $C$, respectively, the Law of Cosines states:

$c^2 = a^2 + b^2 - 2ab\cos C$

$b^2 = a^2 + c^2 - 2ac\cos B$

$a^2 = b^2 + c^2 - 2bc\cos A$

In the case that one of the angles has measure $90^\circ$ (is a right angle), the corresponding statement reduces to the Pythagorean Theorem.

See also

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