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.
Continue ReadingRene Descartes invented the Cartesian, or rectangular, coordinate system in the 17th century. In contrast, polar coordinates express the location on the graph in terms of a distance, r, from the origin point (0.0), which is where the x and y axes cross, and an angle measurement from the x-axis. According to the Pythagorean theorem, the distance from the origin of a Cartesian point (x,y) is the square root of the sum of x squared and y squared.
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