# What's the meaning of the Cartesian coordinates of the atom?

How to get the Cartesian coordinates of an atom?

Dear friends,
Such a question confused me when reading!
"xi,yi and zi are the Cartesian coordinates of the ith atom"
How to get the coordinate of an atom? For example: carbon, oxygen?
I think the atom is only a dot! What's the way to indicate it with Cartesian coordinate?
Thank you!!
Sincerely,
zsglly

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lightgrav
Homework Helper
They're telling you the coordinate of the atom's center-of-mass
(we always describe the location of an object by its c.o.m. location!).
The C atom is at ( x_c , y_c , z_c ) ; the O atom is at ( x_o , y_o , z_o ) .

lightgrav said:
They're telling you the coordinate of the atom's center-of-mass
(we always describe the location of an object by its c.o.m. location!).
The C atom is at ( x_c , y_c , z_c ) ; the O atom is at ( x_o , y_o , z_o ) .
But I need the specific numerical value for calculating.
How to get it?

lightgrav
Homework Helper
Well, if they're not given in the problem, choose:
a) the text might list some inter-atom spacings in the chapter
b) you're supposed to keep them as variables (x,y,z)

What are you supposed to be calculating / computing ?

Until now, I didn't find any text about inter-atom spacings
To calculate moments of inertia.
I only want to get the value of several atoms.

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Actually, I'm not sure whether I need calculate the Cartesian coordinates or not. But I hope not. Because my only intention is to get the value of carbon, oxygen and so on.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
zsglly said:
Until now, I didn't find any text about inter-atom spacings
To calculate moments of inertia.
Of what ??? ( For instance, a carbon dioxide molecule about an axis perpendicular to the molecular axis ?) Please write down the given question completely. You have not provided enough information.

are you trying to say something like:
how many atoms does a carbon or oxygen have????

Gokul43201 said:
Of what ??? ( For instance, a carbon dioxide molecule about an axis perpendicular to the molecular axis ?) Please write down the given question completely. You have not provided enough information.
To calulate the moment of inertia using J.O. Hirshfelder's method
Do you know?