Downloadable simulation: Spinning out sine and cosine (Mathematica)

Posted on August 23, 2010 by


Downloadable simulation of how the sine and cosine functions are made from rotation through a circle. Get a feel for how trig functions relate to coordinates and lengths.

Imagine a point that starts at (1,0) and rotates counterclockwise on the unit circle. If ϴ is angle on the circle between (1, 0) and the point, then as the point moves around the circle its  x and y coordinates are the cosine and sine of ϴ.


Mathematica is a program that let’s computers simulate complex mathematics using files calledMathematica notebooks. To run the simulation you must first download a Mathematica player(free!) and then download any notebooks you want to run.