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# spherical polar coordinates watch

1. HI

In some recourses I have spherical polar coordinates as
x=rcos(theta)sin(phy)
y=rsin(theta)sin(phy)
z=rcos(phy)

however doing many past papers it says the theta and phy are switched around,
x=rcos(phy)sin(theta)
y=rsin(theta)sin(phy)
z=rcos(theta)

what is the real version?
also i have a similar problem for cylindrical polar coordinates too
thanks
by the way i'm doing a module for maths but i study engineering did we change it?
2. (Original post by Iowan)
HI

In some recourses I have spherical polar coordinates as
x=rcos(theta)sin(phy)
y=rsin(theta)sin(phy)
z=rcos(phy)

however doing many past papers it says the theta and phy are switched around,
x=rcos(phy)sin(theta)
y=rsin(theta)sin(phy)
z=rcos(theta)

what is the real version?
also i have a similar problem for cylindrical polar coordinates too
thanks
by the way i'm doing a module for maths but i study engineering did we change it?
Hi. Both of them are correct - it's just a matter of preference. It really doesn't matter which you do as long as you stay consistent with how have been defined in the problem. You could call the angles anything as long as you then stick with it in that problem.
3. what i meant is that when answering I would put (r,theta, phy) wheras the answer would be (r.phy,theta)
e.g (1,2,3) is actually (1.3.2) which is clearly a different point
but i found out that in engineering and physics we have switched the angles around, which is confusing because if a mathematician looked at it he would plot the point differently,
thanks for the help

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