# Definition:Inverse Secant/Real/Arcsecant

## Definition

From Shape of Secant Function, we have that $\sec x$ is continuous and strictly increasing on the intervals $\hointr 0 {\dfrac \pi 2}$ and $\hointl {\dfrac \pi 2} \pi$.

From the same source, we also have that:

- $\sec x \to + \infty$ as $x \to \dfrac \pi 2^-$
- $\sec x \to - \infty$ as $x \to \dfrac \pi 2^+$

Let $g: \hointr 0 {\dfrac \pi 2} \to \hointr 1 \to$ be the restriction of $\sec x$ to $\hointr 0 {\dfrac \pi 2}$.

Let $h: \hointl {\dfrac \pi 2} \pi \to \hointl \gets {-1}$ be the restriction of $\sec x$ to $\hointl {\dfrac \pi 2} \pi$.

Let $f: \closedint 0 \pi \setminus \dfrac \pi 2 \to \R \setminus \openint {-1} 1$:

- $\map f x = \begin{cases} \map g x & : 0 \le x < \dfrac \pi 2 \\ \map h x & : \dfrac \pi 2 < x \le \pi \end{cases}$

From Inverse of Strictly Monotone Function, $\map g x$ admits an inverse function, which will be continuous and strictly increasing on $\hointr 1 \to$.

From Inverse of Strictly Monotone Function, $\map h x$ admits an inverse function, which will be continuous and strictly increasing on $\hointl \gets {-1}$.

As both the domain and range of $g$ and $h$ are disjoint, it follows that:

- $\map {f^{-1} } x = \begin{cases} \map {g^{-1} } x & : x \ge 1 \\ \map {h^{-1} } x & : x \le -1 \end{cases}$

This function $\map {f^{-1} } x$ is called **arcsecant** of $x$ and is written $\arcsec x$.

Thus:

- The domain of $\arcsec x$ is $\R \setminus \openint {-1} 1$
- The image of $\arcsec x$ is $\closedint 0 \pi \setminus \dfrac \pi 2$.

## Terminology

There exists the popular but misleading notation $\sec^{-1} x$, which is supposed to denote the **inverse secant function**.

However, note that as $\sec x$ is not an injection, it does not have a well-defined inverse.

The $\arcsec$ function as defined here has a well-specified image which (to a certain extent) is arbitrarily chosen for convenience.

Therefore it is preferred to the notation $\sec^{-1} x$, which (as pointed out) can be confusing and misleading.

Sometimes, $\operatorname {Sec^{-1} }$ (with a capital $\text S$) is taken to mean the same as $\arcsec$.

However, this can also be confusing due to the visual similarity between that and the lowercase $\text{s}$.

Some sources hyphenate: **arc-secant**.

## Also see

- Results about
**inverse secant**can be found here.

### Other inverse trigonometrical ratios

- Definition:Arcsine
- Definition:Arccosine
- Definition:Arctangent
- Definition:Arccotangent
- Definition:Arccosecant

## Sources

- 1968: Murray R. Spiegel:
*Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables*... (previous) ... (next): $\S 5$: Trigonometric Functions: Principal Values for Inverse Trigonometrical Functions