Q:

# What is the difference between the x- and y-axis?

A:

In a Cartesian coordinate system, the y-axis sits at a 90-degree angle from the x-axis. The two axes meet at a point where the numerical value of each is equal to zero. On a map of the world, this is analogous to the point where the equator is crossed by the prime meridian.

## Keep Learning

Credit: STOCK4B-RF Getty Images

The x-axis is essentially an infinite number line running horizontally in both positive and negative directions outward from zero. With the use of such a number line, any number can be found and plotted. The y-axis is a similar number line, only running vertically and perpendicular to the first. By assigning a value for both x and y, any point on a two dimensional plane can be plotted. These values for x and y are called coordinates and given in pairs with the x value first. A point located three units to the right of the origin on the x-axis and two units above the origin on the y-axis is at the coordinates (3,2).

The Cartesian coordinate system is highly useful in mathematics and has many practical applications from engineering to map making, but what it represents is arbitrary in real terms. There is no reason, for example, to assign the directional axis that goes north-south to y, or east-west to x, except that it is conventional to do so.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A:

Rectangular, or Cartesian, coordinates indicate a location on a graph that has two perpendicular axes. In this system, x is the horizontal axis, y is the vertical axis and point (x,y) is the rectangular coordinate for a point on the graph.

Filed Under:
• A:

Graphing x = 3 is a matter of drawing a vertical line on the Cartesian plane. For any equation x = n, where n is any real number, the resulting graph is a vertical line crossing the x-axis at the value of n. To graph the given equation, draw the Cartesian plane, plot the coordinates of the graph, and draw a line through it.

Filed Under:
• A:

To find the mean, range and mode on a bar graph, analyze both the x- and y-axis. The mode on a bar graph is the value that has the highest bar while the range refers to the difference between the highest and lowest value on the x-axis. The mean can be calculated by multiplying each x-value by its quantity, summing all the results and dividing by the total quantity.