In the polar formula for arc length, [tex]ds^{2}=dr^{2}+r^{2}d{\theta}^{2}[/tex], what is the exact meaning of the [tex]r^2[/tex] term multiplying [tex]d{\theta}^2[/tex]? Is it an initial distance from the origin? A final distance from the origin? The change in r from point a to point b? This baffles me to no end and nothing explains it.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

Dismiss Notice

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Arc Length in Polar Coordinates

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**