Secant

Encyclopedia

**Secant**is a term in mathematics. It comes from the Latin

*secare*(to cut). It can refer to:

- a secant lineSecant lineA secant line of a curve is a line that intersects two points on the curve. The word secant comes from the Latin secare, to cut.It can be used to approximate the tangent to a curve, at some point P...

, in geometry - the secant variety, in algebraic geometryAlgebraic geometryAlgebraic geometry is a branch of mathematics which combines techniques of abstract algebra, especially commutative algebra, with the language and the problems of geometry. It occupies a central place in modern mathematics and has multiple conceptual connections with such diverse fields as complex...
- the secant methodSecant methodIn numerical analysis, the secant method is a root-finding algorithm that uses a succession of roots of secant lines to better approximate a root of a function f. The secant method can be thought of as a finite difference approximation of Newton's method. However, the method was developed...

, a root-finding algorithm in numerical analysis, based on secant lines to graphs of functions - the trigonometric function, reciprocal to the cosine