Category:Definitions/Cartesian Coordinate Systems

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This category contains definitions related to Cartesian Coordinate Systems.
Related results can be found in Category:Cartesian Coordinate Systems.


Every point on the plane can be identified by means of a pair of coordinates $\tuple {x, y}$, as follows:


Identify one distinct point on the plane as the origin $O$.

Select a point $P$ on the plane different from $O$.

Let the distance from the origin to $P$ be defined as being $1$.

Draw an infinite straight line through $O$ and $P$ and call it the $X$-axis.

Draw an infinite straight line through $O$ perpendicular to $OP$ and call it the $Y$-axis.


Now, let $Q$ be any point on the plane.

Draw two lines through $Q$, parallel to the $X$-axis and $Y$-axis.

The plane is then conventionally oriented so that the $X$-axis is horizontal with $P$ being to the right of $O$.


Thus the $Y$-axis is then a vertical line.


Thus the point $Q$ can be uniquely identified by the ordered pair $\tuple {x, y}$ as follows:


X Coordinate

The distance of the line segment from $Q$ to the $Y$-axis is known as the $X$ coordinate and (usually) denoted $x$.

If $Q$ is to the right of the $Y$-axis, then $x$ is positive.

If $Q$ is to the left of the $Y$-axis, then $x$ is negative.

The $X$ coordinate of all points on the $Y$-axis is zero.


Y Coordinate

The distance of the line segment from $Q$ to the $X$-axis is known as the $Y$ coordinate and (usually) denoted $y$.

If $Q$ is above the $X$-axis, then $y$ is positive.

If $Q$ is below the $X$-axis, then $y$ is negative.

The $Y$ coordinate of all points on the $X$-axis is zero.


The point $P$ is identified with the coordinates $\tuple {1, 0}$.