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Spherical & Cylindrical Coordinates

  1. Dec 10, 2011 #1
    Are spherical and cylindrical coordinate systems only a physical tool or is there some mathematical motivation behind them? I assume that they can be derived mathematically, but multivariable calculus texts introduce them and state their important properties without much background information.

    I have taken two courses on linear algebra and we built up the tools for coordinate transformations in rectangular coordinates, but we did not discuss other coordinate systems. Is there such a thing as curvilinear algebra?

  2. jcsd
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