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Math Help - Applications for polar coordinate system

  1. #1
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    Applications for polar coordinate system

    can someone give me the applications of Polar coordinate System in daily life with at least 3 examples. i can do it on paper . but im kinda confused about real life application of polar coordinates.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Applications for polar coordinate system

    Quote Originally Posted by victor6 View Post
    can someone give me the applications of Polar coordinate System in daily life with at least 3 examples. i can do it on paper . but im kinda confused about real life application of polar coordinates.
    Navigation and targeting are the most common use of polar coordinates I can think of off hand. Positions of ships or other objects relative to yourself or some other object are frequently given as a range and a bearing.

    Latitude and longitude are based on polar coordinates.

    Clocks are sort of based on polar coordinates with each minute being equivalent to a 6 degree angular change.

    If you ever get into problems involving pendulums these are generally done using polar coordinates.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Applications for polar coordinate system

    Hello, victor6!

    I have introduced Polar Coordinates
    to my students like this . . .

    You give directions from your friend's house (A) to your house (B).
    If this is in a city, your direction might go like this:
    . . Go 4 blocks east and 3 blocks north.

    Code:
                          * B
                          |
                          +
                          | 3
                          +
                          |
        A * - + - + - + - *
                  4
    The coordinates of your house are: (4,3).


    If you are located in the woods,
    your directions would be different.

    Code:
                         * B
                      *  :
                 5 *     :
                *        :
             * 36.9o     :
        A * - - - - - - -*
    You might say:
    . . Face east.
    . . Turn north about 36.9o.
    . . Walk out 5 blocks.

    The polar coordinates of your house are: (5,\,36.9^o)

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  4. #4
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    Re: Applications for polar coordinate system

    Pretty much any problem that has "circular symmetry" would be better handled in polar coordinates rather than Cartesian coordinates.
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