# Compute Derivatives for Trig Functions

While you may know how to take the derivative of a polynomial, what happens when you need to take the derivative of a trig function? As a starting point, what is the derivative of a sine function?

$$ \frac{d}{dx}\sin(x) = ? $$Luckily, the derivatives of trig functions are simple -- they're other trig functions! For example, the derivative of sine is just cosine:

$$ \frac{d}{dx}\sin(x) = \cos(x) $$The chain rule still applies here when working with more complex functions:

$$ \frac{d}{dx}\sin(3x^2) = 6x*\cos(3x^2) $$The rest of the trig functions are also straightforward once you learn them, but they aren't QUITE as easy as the first two.

### Derivatives of Trigonometry Functions

$$ \sin'(x) = \cos(x) $$ $$ \cos'(x) = -\sin(x) $$ $$ \tan'(x) = \sec^2(x) $$ $$ \sec'(x) = \sec(x)\tan(x) $$ $$ \cot'(x) = -\csc^2(x) $$ $$ \csc'(x) = -\csc(x)\cot(x) $$### How did we calculate these functions?

The characteristic trigonometric identity to recall in calculus is this:

It says that the **derivative of sine is cosine**, and the **derivative of cosine is negative sine**.

From these we may derive the rest of the derivatives, via the Quotient and Product rules. See if you can follow along as we derive them!

### Derivative of Secant

Remember that the secant is the inverse of cosine -- it's 1/cos(x). Rewrite it as such, and find the derivative:

All we did was think of 1/cos(x) as cos(x) to the -1 power. Finally we simplified a bit by converting sin/cos to tan and the remaining 1/cos term to sec.

### Derivative of Cosecant

Just like secant, except with sine instead of cosine. That's because cosecant is 1/sin!

### Derivative of Tangent

For tangent, let's rewrite tangent as sin*sec. Remember that tangent is sin/cos, which is the same as sin*sec. It's often easier to differentiate a product, so we'll use that version and substitute the derivative of sec from above.

### Derivative of Cotangent

### To sum up:

So, that's how we mathematically derive the derivative of each trig function. Let's step back though a visually demonstrate the relationship between sine and cosine, and the neat fact that they are each other's derivatives (plus a negative sign when appropriate). Take a look at this graphic for an illustration of what this means. At the first point (around x=2*pi), the cosine isn't changing. You can see that the sine is 0, and since negative sine is the rate of change of cosine, cosine would be changing at a rate of -0.

At the second point I've illustrated (x=3*pi), you can see that the sine is decreasing rapidly. This makes sense because the cosine is negative. Since cosine is the rate of change of sine, a negative cosine means the sine is decreasing.