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Spherical coordinate system

  1. Jul 15, 2009 #1
    I do not understand Spherical coordinate system.

    I'm asked to compare the differences with Cartesian coordinate but I have no idea how to start.

    So I would like some help that will at least give me a understanding of the spherical coordinate system, thx
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2009 #2

    Cyosis

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    Let's stick to the 2-d case first. That means we compare Cartesian coordinates with polar coordinates. In Cartesian you need an x coordinate and a y coordinate to describe a fixed point on the grid. How do you describe such a point in polar coordinates?
     
  4. Jul 15, 2009 #3
    (magnitude,angle)

    The task is to investigate the spherical coordinate system, which I haven't learn but I have no idea what to do
     
  5. Jul 15, 2009 #4

    Cyosis

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    Yes it's the distance to that point and an angle. Keeping the distance to a point constant while rotating the angle 2pi rad you will get a circle. How can you extend this system so that instead of a circle you get a sphere?
     
  6. Jul 25, 2009 #5

    Hootenanny

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    Wikipedia and Wolfram's Mathworld have pretty good pages on spherical coordinates, I would suggest that you try having a look there.
     
  7. Jul 25, 2009 #6

    HallsofIvy

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    You put those numbers into the formula and do exactly what the formula says! y= 4 and x= 3 so y/x= 4/3. What is arctan(4/3)?
     
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