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

#### qwerty11

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?

#### Mark44

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.

#### HallsofIvy

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

#### Rasalhague

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?

#### D H

Staff Emeritus
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.
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.

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

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