Practical Use of Sine Curves


Sine curves can model cyclical patterns or periodic behavior. There are many applications for these curves since statistical models and patterns are used every day for a variety of reasons. Think of the teacher who is determining grades for a semester. The teacher is looking at high points and low points--and don't teachers sometimes even grade on a curve? They might not be using the sine-curve formula they learned in their trigonometry classes, but the principle is still there.


  • Sales-flow charts would be a practical business use of sine curves. Businesses large and small track their sales. They might even track the individual sales of their employees. This allows them to see the patterns in sales across a specific period, or to project sales into the future using past performance.

    Employment figures can also be watched this way. Temporary-employment firms have used sine curves to determine when their peak periods occur, enabling them to employ enough temps to fill the requests they receive. The curves can also be used to determine their greatest areas of need.


  • Sine curves are employed in determining many common economics trends. Among these uses are commodities prices, unemployment figures, stock trends, housing sales, Gross National Product (GNP) overtime and the National debt. Very often, when considering the purchase of a stock or mutual fund, a buyer is shown various graphs of past performance patterns and expected growth patterns. If you're looking, you can see the sine curve in this information.

Everyday Uses

  • Sine curves are used to see patterns. We can find patterns in the temperature of any given place. When deciding on a ski vacation, you might check the available information on patterns of snowfall before choosing the specific ski area to visit. There are patterns to the seasons and the amount of daylight we experience each day of the year.

    Curves are also used to understand fluid flow, wave motion, tides and electrical currents. Marine biologists use sine curves in tracking the behavioral patterns of whales. An EKG machine shows the patient's heart's output using sine curves.

    Sine curves can also be a help in determining energy use in a home over a certain period of time. This would be the guiding principle behind balanced billing.

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