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Cylindrical and Spherical Coordinates. In plane geometry the polar coordinate system is used to give a convenient description of certain curves and regions. Figure 1 enables us to recall the connection between polar and Cartesian coordinates. If the point P has Cartesian coordinates (x, y) and

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## Cylindrical and Spherical Coordinates

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**2. **Cylindrical and Spherical Coordinates In plane geometry the polar coordinate system is used to give a convenient description of certain curves and regions.
Figure 1 enables us to recall the connection between polar and Cartesian coordinates. If the point P has Cartesian coordinates (x, y) and polar coordinates (r, ? ), then, from the figure,
x = r cos ? y = r sin ?
r2 = x2 + y2 tan ? =

**3. **Cylindrical and Spherical Coordinates In three dimensions there are two coordinate systems that are similar to polar coordinates and give convenient descriptions of some commonly occurring surfaces and solids.
They will be especially useful when we compute volumes and triple integrals.

**5. **Cylindrical Coordinates In the cylindrical coordinate system, a point P in three-dimensional space is represented by the ordered triple (r, ?, z), where r and ? are polar coordinates of the projection of P onto the xy-plane and z is the directed distance from the xy-plane to P. (See Figure 2.)

**6. **Cylindrical Coordinates To convert from cylindrical to rectangular coordinates, we use the equations
whereas to convert from rectangular to cylindrical coordinates, we use

**7. **Example 1 Converting Between Cylindrical and Rectangular Coordinates (a) Plot the point with cylindrical coordinates (2, 2?/3, 1) and find its rectangular coordinates.
(b) Find cylindrical coordinates of the point with rectangular coordinates (3, 3, 7).
Solution:
(a) The point with cylindrical coordinates (2, 2?/3, 1) is plotted in Figure 3.

**8. **Example 1 Solution From Equations 1, its rectangular coordinates are
Thus the point is (1, , 1) in rectangular coordinates.

**9. **Example 1 Solution (b) From Equations 2 we have
so
Therefore one set of cylindrical coordinates is ( , 7?/4, 7). Another is ( , ?/4, 7). As with polar coordinates, there are infinitely many choices.

**10. **Cylindrical Coordinates Cylindrical coordinates are useful in problems that involve symmetry about an axis, and the z-axis is chosen to coincide with this axis of symmetry.
For instance, the axis of the circular cylinder with Cartesian equation x2 + y2 = c2 is the z-axis.
In cylindrical coordinates this cylinder has the very simple equation r = c. (See Figure 4.) This is the reason for the name cylindrical coordinates.

**12. **Spherical Coordinates The spherical coordinates (?, ?, ?) of a point P in space are shown in Figure 6, where ? = | OP | is the distance from the origin to P, ? is the same angle as in cylindrical coordinates, and ? is the angle between the positive z-axis and the line segment OP.
Note that
? ? 0 0 ? ? ? ?
The spherical coordinate system is especially useful in problems where there is symmetry about a point, and the origin is placed at this point.

**13. **Spherical Coordinates For example, the sphere with center the origin and radius c has the simple equation ? = c (see Figure 7); this is the reason for the name spherical coordinates.

**14. **Spherical Coordinates The graph of the equation ? = c is a vertical half-plane (see Figure 8), and the equation ? = c represents a half-cone with the z-axis as its axis (see Figure 9).

**15. **Spherical Coordinates The relationship between rectangular and spherical coordinates can be seen from Figure 10.
From triangles OPQ and OPP ? we have
z = ? cos ? r = ? sin ?

**16. **Spherical Coordinates But x = r cos ? and y = r sin ?, so to convert from spherical to rectangular coordinates, we use the equations
Also, the distance formula shows that
We use this equation in converting from rectangular to spherical coordinates.

**17. **Example 4 Converting from Spherical to Rectangular Coordinates The point (2, ?/4, ?/3) is given in spherical coordinates. Plot the point and find its rectangular coordinates.
Solution:
We plot the point in Figure 11.

**18. **Example 4 Solution From Equations 3 we have
x = ? sin ? cos ?
y = ? sin ? sin ?
z = ? cos ?
Thus the point (2, ?/4, ?/3) is in rectangular coordinates.

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