Browse Definitions :
Definition

polar coordinates

Polar coordinates provide a method of rendering graphs and indicating the positions of points on a two-dimensional (2D) surface. The polar coordinate system is employed in mathematics, physics, engineering, navigation, robotics, and other sciences.

The polar plane consists of a reference axis, or ray, that emanates from a point called the origin. Positions or coordinates are determined according to the distance or radius, from the origin, symbolized r , and the angle relative to the reference axis, symbolized by the lowercase Greek theta ( ). In the most common polar system, the reference ray points off toward the right, and angles are measured counterclockwise from it (illustration at left). This scheme is preferred, and is used by mathematicians, physicists, and engineers. In a less common scheme, the reference ray points upward, and angles are measured clockwise from it (illustration at right). This method is sometimes used by astronomers, navigators, military personnel, meteorologists, and robotics engineers.

Points or coordinates in either system are indicated by writing an opening parenthesis, the r value, a comma, the value, and a closing parenthisis in that order. The radius coordinates are, by convention, always nonnegative. Angles can be specified in degree s from 0 to 360, or in radian s from 0 to 2 pi , where pi is approximately 3.14159. An example using degrees is ( r , ) = (2,30). The origin is assigned r = 0.

If the scheme in the left-hand illustration is used, it is possible to convert a coordinate in the Cartesian xy -plane to polar values using these formulas:

x = r cos

y = r sin

Conversely, to convert a coordinate in the polar plane (as depicted in the left-hand illustration) to Cartesian values, use these formulas:

r = ( x 2 + y 2 ) 1/2

= arctan ( y / x )

Compare Cartesian coordinates .

This was last updated in September 2005
SearchNetworking
  • Wi-Fi 6E

    Wi-Fi 6E is one variant of the 802.11ax standard.

  • microsegmentation

    Microsegmentation is a security technique that splits a network into definable zones and uses policies to dictate how data and ...

  • network packet

    A network packet is a basic unit of data that's grouped together and transferred over a computer network, typically a ...

SearchSecurity
  • MICR (magnetic ink character recognition)

    MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) is a technology invented in the 1950s that's used to verify the legitimacy or ...

  • What is cybersecurity?

    Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats.

  • Android System WebView

    Android System WebView is a system component for the Android operating system (OS) that allows Android apps to display web ...

SearchCIO
  • privacy compliance

    Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or ...

  • contingent workforce

    A contingent workforce is a labor pool whose members are hired by an organization on an on-demand basis.

  • product development (new product development -- NPD)

    Product development, also called new product management, is a series of steps that includes the conceptualization, design, ...

SearchHRSoftware
  • talent acquisition

    Talent acquisition is the strategic process employers use to analyze their long-term talent needs in the context of business ...

  • employee retention

    Employee retention is the organizational goal of keeping productive and talented workers and reducing turnover by fostering a ...

  • hybrid work model

    A hybrid work model is a workforce structure that includes employees who work remotely and those who work on site, in a company's...

SearchCustomerExperience
  • Salesforce Trailhead

    Salesforce Trailhead is a series of online tutorials that coach beginner and intermediate developers who need to learn how to ...

  • Salesforce

    Salesforce, Inc. is a cloud computing and social enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider based in San Francisco.

  • data clean room

    A data clean room is a technology service that helps content platforms keep first person user data private when interacting with ...

Close