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cylindrical coordinates[sə′lin·drə·kəl ‚kō′ȯrd·ən·əts]
A system of curvilinear coordinates in which the position of a point in space is determined by its perpendicular distance from a given line, its distance from a selected reference plane perpendicular to this line, and its angular distance from a selected reference line when projected onto this plane.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
The cylindrical coordinates of a point M are the three numbers r, θ, and z characterizing the position of M in space (see Figure 1). The coordinates are called cylindrical because the coordinate surface r = const is a cylinder
whose elements are parallel to the z-axis. The relation between the cylindrical coordinates and the rectangular coordinates x, y, and z of M is given by the equations x = r cos θ, y = r sin θ, and z = z.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.