# What is the domain in a tikz parametric plot?

I don't understand what's going on here. If the domain of the parametric parameter \t is 0:100, then the function sin(2pi*t) should oscillate about 100 times, but it only oscillates a couple. What am I missing?

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\begin{scope}[x=.6\textwidth,y=.6\textwidth]
\draw[very thin,color=gray, step=.1] (0.0,0.0) grid (1,1);
\draw [ thick,  domain=0:100, samples=40, smooth, variable=\t]
plot ({\t/100}, {sin(2*pi*\t)*.5+.5});
\end{scope}
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document} You got the domain right. The problem is that the trigonometric functions in TikZ are (oddly, in my opinion) in degrees by default. So 2*pi*\t with \t between 0 and 100 will give you the sine function (in degrees) between 0 and 628.3 degrees (which is about 10.96 radians) which almost 1.75 periods of the function. This is exactly what you see there: one full period and 3/4 of another.

You can tell TikZ to use radians by appending an r to the argument or using the rad function (see page 1005 of the TikZ-PGF manual, section 93.3.4 “Trigonometric functions”). I also added the FPU to allow the domain up to 100 and increased the number of samples to 400 following Kpym's suggestion (notice the aliasing): \documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{fpu}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\begin{scope}[x=.6\textwidth,y=.6\textwidth]
\pgfkeys{/pgf/fpu=true,/pgf/fpu/output format=fixed}
\draw[very thin,color=gray, step=.1] (0.0,0.0) grid (1,1);
\draw [ thick,  domain=0:100, samples=400, smooth, variable=\t]
plot ({\t/100}, {sin(2*pi*\t r)*.5+.5});
\end{scope}%                   ^
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}

• with samples=400,smooth it looks better, but this is not the question ;) – Kpym Mar 15 at 22:08
• @Kpym Certainly! I just removed the smooth to show that 100 cycles with 40 samples won't do (unless OP wants to show the aliasing). Thanks anyway :) – Phelype Oleinik Mar 15 at 22:11
• Doh! Degrees... Yeah, don't know why that didn't occur to me. I'm just so used to thinking in radians. Usually trigonometric functions are defined assuming radians, but I guess it makes sense since everywhere else in latex assumes angles are degrees. I actually did try and turn up the samples at first - thought it was just aliasing. – argentum2f Mar 15 at 23:14
• @argentum2f Yes, as I said “oddly”. All programming languages I know (which aren't that many, but...) have a sin function for argument radians and sind function for argument in degrees. Anyhow, Till must have had his reasons :) – Phelype Oleinik Mar 15 at 23:18