Coordinate System, Polar - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics

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Understanding Polar Coordinates

As with the two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system, one can describe the location of points in a polar coordinate system by means of coordinates. Both systems involve an origin point and axis lines. In the polar coordinate system a single axis, or a polar axis, extends indefinitely from the origin, known in the polar coordinate system as the pole. This polar axis is a fixed line and the location of all points and figures is based on this fixed, polar axis. Every point in the polar coordinate system is described in terms of the directed distance the point is from the pole, and the angle of rotation the directed distance line makes with the polar axis.

In the diagram below, Point P is on a directed distance line that is at an angle θ from the polar axis. Point P is at a distance...

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This section contains 805 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Coordinate System, Polar Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics
Coordinate System, Polar from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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