- #1

torito_verdejo

- 20

- 4

What is the advantage of using a polar coordinate system

$$\mathbf{\hat{r}} = \cos \theta\ \mathbf{\hat{i}} + \sin \theta\ \mathbf{\hat{j}}$$

$$\mathbf{\hat{\theta}} = -\sin \theta\ \mathbf{\hat{i}} + \cos \theta\ \mathbf{\hat{j}}$$

Now, isn't counter-productive to define a coordinate system in terms of another? Why, at least in this book, we choose to use such a dependent coordinate system, instead of using a polar coordinate system employing a radius and the angle that this one forms with a polar axis, that are therefore independent of another coordinate system?

Thank you in advance.

**with rotating unit vectors**? Kleppner's and Kolenkow's*An Introduction to Mechanics*states that base vectors ##\mathbf{ \hat{r}}## and ##\mathbf{\hat{\theta}}## have a variable direction, such that for a Cartesian coordinates system's base vectors ##\mathbf{ \hat{i}}## and ##\mathbf{ \hat{j}}## we have$$\mathbf{\hat{r}} = \cos \theta\ \mathbf{\hat{i}} + \sin \theta\ \mathbf{\hat{j}}$$

$$\mathbf{\hat{\theta}} = -\sin \theta\ \mathbf{\hat{i}} + \cos \theta\ \mathbf{\hat{j}}$$

Now, isn't counter-productive to define a coordinate system in terms of another? Why, at least in this book, we choose to use such a dependent coordinate system, instead of using a polar coordinate system employing a radius and the angle that this one forms with a polar axis, that are therefore independent of another coordinate system?

Thank you in advance.

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