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Are the unit vectors i,j and k directions defined by a left-handed coordinate system?

  1. Dec 15, 2009 #1
    A friend asked me this question today. It kinda threw me for a loop. The cartesian coordinates system is a left handed coordinate system right, so therefroe they are defined by a left handed coordinate syste correct?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2009 #2

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Are the unit vectors i,j and k directions defined by a left-handed coordinate sys

    The Cartesian coordinate system is a right-handed system.
     
  4. Dec 15, 2009 #3

    HallsofIvy

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    Science Advisor

    Re: Are the unit vectors i,j and k directions defined by a left-handed coordinate sys

    Your friend is playing with your mind!
     
  5. Dec 15, 2009 #4
    Re: Are the unit vectors i,j and k directions defined by a left-handed coordinate sys

    Does your "friend" live in that square of glass in your bathroom and have an uncanny knack for mimickry?
     
  6. Dec 15, 2009 #5

    D H

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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Re: Are the unit vectors i,j and k directions defined by a left-handed coordinate sys

    Not necessarily. That is an extremely common, but not universal, convention.

    Or he/she is a geologist, or a radar technician, or a GPS specialist, or someone else who (danged annoyingly!) works with north-east-up coordinates.
     
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