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Math Help - On graphing polar functions

  1. #1
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    On graphing polar functions

    I've been teaching myself Calculus II and polar coordinates are giving me the hardest time. I know there are two methods for graphing a polar functions, you can compile a table of values or you can refer to the Cartesian graph of the function itself. For r =1-2 \cos(\theta) I have been trying the latter method to no avail. The problem is I don't know in what increments to label the x-axis for the graph. People usually say set \theta = \frac{\pi}{2} and solve for \theta and that's how you get your increments, but in this case I get funky answers. Someone please.
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor Calculus26's Avatar
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    when graphing something llike

    r = 1- 2cos(t) ( a limacon)

    in addition to multiples of pi/2 also locate the zeroes as these are where

    r can change from pos to neg

    1-2cos(t) = 0 t = pi/3, 5pi/3 so include these values as well as the usual suspects pi/2,pi,3pi/2, and 2pi

    when graphing r = a cos(nt) or asin(nt) consider multiples of pi/(2n)

    This will give you the values where r= -a,0 and a

    For a more complete discussion see Polar Coordinate System
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    This is why I love you guys.
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