# polar coordinates

## polar coordinates

noun Mathematics.
a system of coordinates for locating a point in a plane by the length of its radius vector and the angle this vector makes with the polar axis (polar angle)

Origin:
1810–20

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 polar coordinates —pl n Cartesian coordinates See also spherical coordinates a pair of coordinates for locating a point in a plane by means of the length of a radius vector, r, which pivots about the origin to establish the angle, θ, that the position of the point makes with a fixed line. Usually written (r, θ)

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polar coordinates

system of locating points in a plane with reference to a fixed point (origin) and an axis through that point. The coordinates are written (r,theta), in which r is the distance from the origin to any desired point and theta is the angle made by the vector r and the axis. A simple relationship exists between Cartesian coordinates given in terms of two reference axes (x,y) and the polar coordinates (r,theta), namely: x = r cos theta, and y = r sin theta