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2.11. Doing Trigonometry in Degrees, not Radians


You want your trigonometry routines to operate in degrees instead of Perl's native radians.


Convert between radians and degrees (2[pi] radians equals 360 degrees).

    use constant PI => 3.14159265358979;

    sub deg2rad {
        my $degrees = shift;
        return ($degrees / 180) * PI;

    sub rad2deg {
        my $radians = shift;
        return ($radians / PI) * 180;

Alternatively, use the Math::Trig module.

use Math::Trig;

$radians = deg2rad($degrees);
$degrees = rad2deg($radians);


If you're doing a lot of trigonometry, look into using either the standard Math::Trig or POSIX modules. They provide many more trigonometric functions than are defined in the Perl core. Otherwise, the first solution above will define the rad2deg and deg2rad functions. The value of [pi] isn't built directly into Perl, but you can calculate it to as much precision as your floating-point hardware provides. If you put it in a BEGIN block, this is done at compile time. In the solution above, the PI function is a constant created with use constant .

If you're looking for the sine in degrees, use this:

# deg2rad and rad2deg defined either as above or from Math::Trig
sub degree_sine {
    my $degrees = shift;
    my $radians = deg2rad($degrees);
    my $result = sin($radians);

    return $result;

See Also

The sin , cos , and atan2 functions in perlfunc (1) and Chapter 3 of Programming Perl ; the documentation for the standard POSIX and Math::Trig modules (also in Chapter 7 of Programming Perl )

Previous: 2.10. Generating Biased Random Numbers Perl Cookbook Next: 2.12. Calculating More Trigonometric Functions
2.10. Generating Biased Random Numbers Book Index 2.12. Calculating More Trigonometric Functions