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Example:Locating Points on Plane

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Explanation:

 

Cartesian coordinate system

 

Illustration of a Cartesian coordinate plane. Four points are marked and labeled with their coordinates: (2, 3) in green, (−3, 1) in red, (−1.5, −2.5) in blue, and the origin (0, 0) in purple.

A Cartesian coordinate system specifies each point uniquely in a plane by a pair of numerical coordinates, which are the signed distances from the point to two fixed perpendicular directed lines, measured in the same unit of length. (Our solved example in mathguru.com uses this concept)

Each reference line is called a coordinate axis or just axis of the system, and the point where they meet is its origin. The coordinates can also be defined as the positions of the perpendicular projections of the point onto the two axes, expressed as signed distances from the origin.

 

Cartesian coordinates in two dimensions

The modern Cartesian coordinate system in two dimensions (also called a rectangular coordinate system) is defined by an ordered pair of perpendicular lines (axes), a single unit of length for both axes, and an orientation for each axis. (Early systems allowed "oblique" axes, that is, axes that did not meet at right angles.) The lines are commonly referred to as the x and y-axes where the x-axis is taken to be horizontal and the y-axis is taken to be vertical. The point where the axes meet is taken as the origin for both, thus turning each axis into a number line.

The point where the axes meet is the common origin of the two number lines and is simply called the origin. It is often labeled O and if so then the axes are called Ox and Oy. A plane with x and y-axes defined is often referred to as the Cartesian plane or xy plane. The value of x is called the x-coordinate or abscissa and the value of y is called the y-coordinate or ordinate.

 

Quadrants

 

The four quadrants of a Cartesian coordinate system.

The axes of a two-dimensional Cartesian system divide the plane into four infinite regions, called quadrants, each bounded by two half-axes. These are often numbered from 1st to 4th and denoted by Roman numerals: I (where the signs of the two coordinates are I (+, +), II (−, +), III (−, −), and IV (+, −). When the axes are drawn according to the mathematical custom, the numbering goes counter-clockwise starting from the upper right ("northeast") quadrant. (Our solved example in mathguru.com uses this concept).

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartesian_coordinate_system

 

The above explanation is copied from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and is remixed as allowed under the Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.