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Homework Help: Name of compensation factor when converting between coord. systems?

  1. Aug 3, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    When converting from one coordinate system to another, you cannot just use standard conversion formulas, but have to compensate using a special factor term. What is the name of that special compensation factor?

    I'm having no luck with finding the name.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Just to make sure I know what you are talking about, please provide an example.
  4. Aug 3, 2013 #3


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    If you're talking about integrals, then it's the determinant of the Jacobian matrix. Otherwise, I agree with Simon that your statement is much too ambiguous.
  5. Aug 3, 2013 #4
    Sorry but this is the entire question. I can't offer clarification because I don't really get what is being asked either.
  6. Aug 3, 2013 #5

    Simon Bridge

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    It is unlikely that you will be asked a question like that unless the terms have been used before in your coursework.

    That coursework probably involves transforming between coordinate systems.

    Take a look at that work, especially worked examples, and see if you can work out what is meant by the "standard conversion formulas" and how these get modified when they are used.

    If you don't see it - then please copy out an example from your coursework.
    How are you expected to transform between coordinate systems?

    To my mind - if a "compensating factor" were needed every time, then the "standard conversion formulas" would include it.

    I was thinking "Jacobean" too ... but if that word does not ring any bells it's probably not it.
  7. Aug 3, 2013 #6
    Jacobian was mentioned in passing.

    This isn't a credit-bearing calculus course. It's just part of a summer program at my University for incoming qualifying low-income students. I was assigned to this particular course which has the goal of encouraging self research and challenging student limits. It's a mix of video lectures, quizzes, tests, self study and research, etc. We're given the most basic concepts then tests on those concepts at a more advanced level for the challenge. So it certainly is not a traditional mathematics courses. I've actually found such a style to be enjoyable in that it actually encourages me to try to understand concepts on a higher level.
  8. Aug 3, 2013 #7
    In another problem from the same problem set which I've asked about here, finding the solution involved Jacobians. Said question involved finding a compensation factor for conversions between coordinate units.

    I think I'll go with the answer as Jacobian.

    Thanks everyone!
  9. Aug 3, 2013 #8

    Simon Bridge

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    That's what you needed to find all right ... double-check that the "compensating factor" is the "determinant of the Jacobean".

    But since it is not credit-bearing, you can use the response to your answer as a learning exercise.
  10. Aug 4, 2013 #9
    Yep. That's pretty much the entire idea of this course.
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