1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    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

    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


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    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


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    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)?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Spherical coordinate system
  1. Spherical Coordinates (Replies: 2)

  2. Coordinate system (Replies: 5)