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Cartesian coordinates

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: TH


Context: A coordinate system is a numerical framework used to pinpoint the location of a point in a given space.

  • One well-known coordinate system is Cartesian coordinates, which employs a set of three numbers to determine a point’s distance from three mutually perpendicular planes.
  • In simpler terms, Cartesian coordinates use pairs of numbers (x and y) on a plane or triples of numbers (x, y, and z) in three dimensions to specify the position of a point.


This system was invented by the 17th-century French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes, bridging the gap between algebra and geometry and giving rise to analytic geometry.

Cartesian coordinates find widespread applications in fields like astronomy, engineering, and computer graphics, enabling the representation of spatial data and geometric design.