- Usually spherical coordinates. any of three coordinates used to locate a point in space by the length of its radius vector and the angles this vector makes with two perpendicular polar planes.
Origin of spherical coordinate
First recorded in 1860–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- three coordinates that define the location of a point in three-dimensional space in terms of the length r of its radius vector, the angle, θ, which this vector makes with one axis, and the angle, φ, made by a second axis, perpendicular to the first, with the plane containing the first axis and the point. Usually written (r, θ, φ)
- Any of a set of coordinates in a three-dimensional system for locating points in space by means of a radius vector and two angles measured from the center of a sphere with respect to two arbitrary, fixed, perpendicular directions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.