We know how A’levels like to combine a few topics across. We also know how bad trigonometry can be. I was coaching my International Bachelorette (IB) class last week and came across a fairly interesting question. It tests students on their abilities to manage double angle identities. Not a tough question, but definitely good practice 🙂
FYI: All double angle identities are found in MF26.
Here it is…

(a) Show that $(1 + i \text{tan} \theta)^n + (1 - i \text{tan} \theta)^n = \frac{2 \text{cos} n \theta}{ \text{cos}^n \theta}$, $\text{cos} \theta \neq 0$.

(b)
(i) Use the double angle identity $\text{tan} 2 \theta = \frac{2 \text{tan} \theta}{1 - \text{tan}^2 \theta}$ to show that $\text{tan} \frac{\pi}{8} = \sqrt{2} - 1$.

(ii) Show that $\text{cos} 4x = 8 \text{cos}^4 x - 8 \text{cos}^2 x + 1$.

(iii) Hence find the value of $\int^{\frac{\pi}{8}}_0 {\frac{2 \text{cos} 4x}{ \text{cos}^2 x}}~dx$ exactly.