Skip to main content
\(\require{cancel}\)
Physics LibreTexts

1.3: Coordinate Systems

  • Page ID
    24772
  • The coordinate systems most commonly used in engineering analysis are the Cartesian, cylindrical, and spherical systems. These systems are illustrated in Figures \(\PageIndex{1}\), \(\PageIndex{2}\), and \(\PageIndex{3}\), respectively. Note that the use of variables is not universal; in particular, it is common to encounter the use of \(r\) in lieu of \(\rho\) for the radial coordinate in the cylindrical system, and the use of \(R\) in lieu of \(r\) for the radial coordinate in the spherical system.

    m0180_fCartesianBasis.png Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Cartesian coordinate system ( CC BY SA 4.0; K. Kikkeri) m0180_fCylindricalCoordinates.png Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Cylindrical coordinate system. ( CC BY SA 4.0; K. Kikkeri) m0180_fSphericalCoordinates.png Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\): Spherical coordinate system. ( CC BY SA 4.0; K. Kikkeri)
    • Was this article helpful?