# The Right Theta

by William Freed and Athanasios (Tom) Tavouktsoglou

This article originally appeared in:
College Mathematics Journal
March, 2008

Subject classification(s): Calculus | Single Variable Calculus | Functions of Single Variable
Applicable Course(s): 2.2 Trigonometry | 3.0 Calculus | 3.2 Mainstream Calculus II | 3.5 Non-mainstream Calc II

The formula $$\theta = \arctan(y/x)$$ gives the angle associated with a point $$(x,y)$$ in the plane, valid for $$\mid \theta \mid < \pi/2$$.  This capsule presents a formula that is valid for $$\mid \theta \mid < \pi$$.

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Capsule Course Topic(s):
One-Variable Calculus | Calculus Functions