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Chapter 7: Parametric Equations and Polar Coordinates

  • Page ID
    133617
    • Gilbert Strang & Edwin “Jed” Herman
    • OpenStax

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    Parametric equations define a group of quantities as functions of one or more independent variables called parameters. Parametric equations are commonly used to express the coordinates of the points that make up a geometric object such as a curve or surface, in which case the equations are collectively called a parametric representation or parameterization. The polar coordinate system is a two-dimensional coordinate system in which each point on a plane is determined by a distance from a reference point and an angle from a reference direction. The reference point (analogous to the origin of a Cartesian system) is called the pole, and the ray from the pole in the reference direction is the polar axis. The distance from the pole is called the radial coordinate or radius, and the angle is called the angular coordinate, polar angle, or azimuth


    This page titled Chapter 7: Parametric Equations and Polar Coordinates is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gilbert Strang & Edwin “Jed” Herman (OpenStax) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.