Polar Coordinates

Explore PolarCoordinates on MathWorld

Polar coordinates are a two-dimensional coordinate system in which points in two dimensions are given by an angle and a distance from the origin.

Polar coordinates is a high school-level concept that would be first encountered in a pre-calculus course. It is listed in the California State Standards for Trigonometry.


Angle: An angle is a measure of the amount of rotation about the point of intersection of two lines or line segments that is required to bring one into correspondence with the other.
Cartesian Coordinates: Cartesian coordinates are the usual coordinate system, originally described by Descartes, in which points are specified as distances to a set of perpendicular axes. Also called rectangular coordinates.
Radius: The radius of a circle is the distance from its center to its circumference or from the center of a sphere to its surface. The radius is equal to half the diameter.

Classroom Articles on Pre-Calculus (Up to High School Level)

  • Asymptote
  • Locus
  • Complex Conjugate
  • Logarithm
  • Complex Number
  • Natural Logarithm
  • Complex Plane
  • Normal Vector
  • Conic Section
  • Parabola
  • Cross Product
  • Parametric Equations
  • Curve
  • Plane
  • Determinant
  • Plane Curve
  • Domain
  • Range
  • Dot Product
  • Rational Function
  • e
  • Reflection
  • Ellipse
  • Rotation
  • Exponential Function
  • Rotation Matrix
  • Function
  • Scalar
  • Hyperbola
  • Spherical Coordinates
  • i
  • Tangent Line
  • Imaginary Number
  • Translation
  • Inverse Function
  • Vector