# Section 2.6 Cylindrical and Spherical Coordinates A) Review on the Polar Coordinates

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1 Section.6 Cylindrical and Spherical Coordinates A) Review on the Polar Coordinates The polar coordinate system consists of the origin O,the rotating ray or half line from O with unit tick. A point P in the plane can be uniquely described by its distance to the origin r = dist (P, O) and the angle θ, 0 θ < π : Y P(x,y) r θ O X We call (r, θ) the polar coordinate of P. Suppose that P has Cartesian (standard rectangular) coordinate (x, y).then the relation between two coordinate systems is displayed through the following conversion formula: ½ x = r cos θ Polar Coord. to Cartesian Coord.: y = r sin θ Cartesian Coord. to Polar Coord.: 0 θ < π if y > 0, π θ < π if y 0. ( r = p x + y tan θ = y x Note that function tan θ has period π, and the principal value for inverse tangent function is π < arctan y x < π. 1

2 So the angle should be determined by 8 arctan y x, if x > 0 >< arctan y + π, if x < 0 θ = π x, if x = 0, y > 0 >: π, if x = 0, y < 0 ³ Example 6.1. Find (a) Cartesian Coord. of P whose Polar Coord. is, π, and (b) Polar Coord. of Q whose Cartesian Coord. is ( 1, 1). 3 Sol. (a) (b) x = cos π 3 = 1, y = sin π 3 = p 3. r = p = p tan θ = 1 1 = 1 =) θ = π 4 or θ = π 4 + π = 5π 4. Since ( 1, 1) is in the third quadrant, we choose θ = 5π 4 so µ p, 5π 4 is Polar Coord. Under Polar Coordinate system, the graph of any equation of two variables r and θ is a curve. In particular, there are two families of coordinate curves that form Polar grid: r = constant circle centered at O with radius r θ = constant ray with angle θ.

3 B) Cylindrical Coordinate System The cylindrical coordinate system basically is a combination of the polar coordinate system xy plane with an additional z coordinate vertically. In the cylindrical coordinate system, a point P (x, y, z), whose Cartesian coordinate is (x, y, z), is assigned by the ordered triple (r, θ, z), where (r, θ) is the polar coordinate of (x, y), the vertical projection along z axis of P onto xy plane. Z P(x,y,z) z O X θ r Q(x,y,0) Y 3

4 Thus, we readily have the conversion formula: x = r cos θ y = r sin θ z = z. The reserve formula from Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates follows from the conversion formula from D Cartesian to D polar coordinates: r = x + y θ = arctan y x or arctan y x + π. Example 6.. (a) Plot the point with cylindrical coordinates (, π/3, 1), and nd its rectangular coordinates. (b) Find cylindrical coordinates of the point with rectangular coordinates (3, 3, 7). Sol. (a) We rst plot the point with D polar coordinate (, π/3) in xy plane : r =, θ = π/3 = 10 o. Then we raise it up vertically 1 unit. To nd its rectangular coordinates, we use the formula x = r cos θ = cos π µ 3 = 1 = 1 y = r sin θ = sin π 3 = Ãp 3! = p 3 Z P(-1, 3,1) Q(-1, 3,0) O θ = π/3 Y X 4

5 (b) r = p x + y = p = p 18 tan θ = y x = 3 3 = 1, arctan ( 1) = π 4. There are two choices for θ : π/4 or 3π/4. Since (3, 3) is in the 4th quadrant, we nd that the cylindrical coordinates for the point with rectangular coord (3, 3, 7) is ³p 18, π/4, 7. As with the polar coordinate system, one nds it very convenient and simple to represent many surface using cylindrical coordinates instead of the rectangular coordinate system. For instance, the coordinate planes, under the cylindrical coordinate system, consists of three families surfaces described as follows: ² Equation r = constant represents a circular cylinder with z axis as its symmetric axis. r = 1 ² Equation θ = constant represents a half-plane originating from z axis with the constant angle to zx plane y = x 5

6 θ = 0, θ = π 4 ² z = constant represents a plane parallel to xy plane, the same as in the rectangular system. Put all three families together, we have the cylindrical grids: Cylindrical Grids 6

7 Therefore, equations for cylinder-like surfaces may be much easier using the cylindrical coordinate system. Example 6.3. (a) Describe he surface whose cylindrical equation is z = r. (b) Find the cylindrical equation for the ellipsoid 4x + 4y + z = 1. (c) Find the cylindrical equation for the ellipsoid x + 4y + z = 1. Solution: (a) z = r =) z = r =) z = x + y This a cone with its axis on z axis. (b) 4x + 4y + z = 1 =) 4r + z = 1 (c) If we use the cylindrical coordinate as we introduced above, we would get or x + 4y + z = 1 r cos θ + 4r sin θ + z = 1 r + 3r sin θ + z = 1. However, if we change the axis of the cylindrical coordinate system to y axis, i.e., z = r cos ϕ x = r sin ϕ y = y, where (r, ϕ) is the polar coordinate of the projection onto zx plane, then the equation between x + 4y + z = 1 =) 4y + r = 1. C) Spherical Coordinate System. 7

8 In the spherical coordinate system, a point P (x, y, z), whose Cartesian coordinates are (x, y, z), is described by an ordered triple (ρ, θ, φ), where are de ned as follows. ² ρ= dist (P, O) ρ> 0, 0 θ π, 0 φ π ² θ is de ned in the same way in the cylindrical coordinate system: Angle from zx plane, counter-clockwise, to the half-plane originating from z axis and containing P ² φ = angle from positive z axis to vector! OP. Z P(x,y,z) ρ φ z O X θ r Q(x,y,0) Y Note that when P is on z axis, φ = 0, and φ increases from 0 to π as P moves closer to xy plane, and φ keeps increasing as P moves below xy plane, and φ reaches the maximum value π when P is on the negative z axis. Conversion formula (rectangular \$ cylindrical \$ spherical) 8

9 x = r cos θ = ρsin φ cos θ y = r sin θ = ρsin φ sin θ z = r cot φ = ρcos φ ρ= p x + y + z tan θ = y x z cos φ = p x + y + z. Note that when we determine θ, we also need to consider which quadrant the point is in. More precisely, 8 arctan y x, if x > 0 >< arctan y + π, if x < 0 θ = π x., if x = 0, y > 0 >: π, if x = 0, y < 0 However, φ can be determined uniquely as Ã! z φ = arccos p. x + y + z Example 6.4. (a) Plot the point with spherical coordinates (, π/4, π/3), and nd its rectangular coordinates. (b) Find the spherical coordinates for the point with rectangular coordinates 0, p 3,. Sol: (a) We rst plot the point Q on xy plane with polar coordinate (, π/4). We then rotate! OQ in the vertical direction (i.e., the rotation remains in the plane spanned by z-axis and line OQ) till its angle with z axiz reaches π/3. 9

10 Z P(x,y,z) φ = π/3 ρ = O X θ = π/4 r = Q Y ³ π ³ π x = ρsin φ cos θ = sin cos 3 4 ³ π y = ρsin φ sin θ = sin ³ 3 π 3 z = ρcos φ = cos = 1. ³ π sin = 4 p 6 = p 6 (b) ρ= p r ³ x + y + z = p p = 16 = 4 θ = π ³0,, since p 3, is on positive y axis cos φ = z ρ = 4 = 1 =) φ = π 3. µ Ans: Spherical coord. = 4, π, π. 3 The coordinate surfaces are: ² ρ= ρ 0 (constant) is a sphere centered at the origin with radius ρ 0 ² θ = θ 0 (constant) is a half-plane originated from z axis with angle θ 0 to zx plane (the same as in the cylindrical coordinate system 10

11 ² φ = φ 0 (constant) is a circular cone with z axis as its symmetric axis and the opening angle φ 0 In fact, if we convert φ = φ 0 into the rectangular coordinate system, we have We can eliminate θ by x = ρsin φ 0 cos θ y = ρsin φ 0 sin θ z = ρcos φ 0. x + y = ρ sin φ 0 z = ρ cos φ 0. We then eliminate ρby dividing the rst equation by the second x + y z = tan φ 0 or x + y = z tan φ 0 tan φ 0 1 which is a cone. Again, these three families of coordinate surfaces form the spherical grids: Spherical Grids 11

12 Example 6.5. Find the spherical equation for the hyperboloid of two sheets x y z = 1. Solution: By direct substitution, we obtain, under the standard spherical coordinate system (ρsin φ cos θ) (ρsin φ sin θ) (ρcos φ) = 1 or ρ sin φ cos θ sin φ sin θ cos φ = 1. Example 6.6. Find a rectangular equation for the surface whose spherical equation is ρ= sin φ sin θ. Solution: We want to eliminate the spherical variables ρ, θ, φ and replace them with x, y, z. To this end, we multiply the equation by ρto obtain ρ = ρsin φ sin θ. From the conversion formula, we have x + y + z = y or x + (y 1) + z = 1. This is the sphere centered at (0, 1, 0) with radius R = 1. Homework: 1. Change from rectangular to (i) cylindrical coordinates and (ii) to spherical coordinates. (a) 1, p 3, p 3 (b) (0, 1, 1) (c) 1, p 3,. Describe in words and then sketch the surface. (a) r = (b) ρ= 1

13 (c) φ = π 6 (d) θ = π 6 3. Convert into (i) cylindrical equation and (ii) spherical equation. You must simply your solutions. (a) z = x + y (b) x + y z = 3 (c) x + y z = 3 4. (optional) Identify the surface by converting into rectangular equation. (a) r = 3 cos θ (b) ρ= 3 cos φ (c) r z = 1. 13

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