This week's book giveaway is in the OCMJEA forum. We're giving away four copies of OCM Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect Exam Guide and have Paul Allen & Joseph Bambara on-line! See this thread for details.

No, it definitely is. toRadians() is giving you an approximation of pi / 2, but with some error in it for the reasons stated in the FAQ, and then Math.cos() is adding more error, for the same reasons.

That's why when doing floating point calculations, we need to take those errors into account. For example when comparing for equality, we don't test if x == y but rather if Math.abs(x - y)< epsilon.

"and other arithmetic inaccuracies"...yes it is. In particular, 90 degrees = PI/2 radians, and Java cannot hold the value exactly in a floating point value. So when you take the cosine you end up with something very close to zero, instead of exactly zero.

You're taking degrees, converting to radians, which is fine, getting the cosine, which is fine, but then doing a radian ⇒ degree conversion on the cosine. That last step is trying to convert a unitless scalar into an angular measure, and that's not valid.

You're going deg ⇒ rad ⇒ scalar ⇒ deg. You'd need to add a call to Math.acos() in there for it to make sense.

Dajka Ferenc
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Joined: Mar 09, 2012
Posts: 6

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yeah really, i didn't see it, looks like i'm tired a bit. thank you very much