Spherical Coordinates
Instead of Cartesian coordinates, we use spherical coordinates for situations you will see in future sections.
For now, we will just learn how to convert from 3D Cartesians coordinates to 3D spherical coordinates, and vice versa. In other words,

(x,y,z)(ρ,θ,φ)(x,y,z) \to (\rho,\theta,\varphi)

Suppose we have the following graph:
spherical coordinate graph
From the graph, we can obtain the following equations which will be useful for converting spherical to cartesian, or vice versa:

r=ρsinφ r = \rho \sin\varphi
z=ρcosφz = \rho \cos\varphi
z2+r2=ρ2z^2 + r^2 = \rho^2

Using the equations from last sections, we can also obtain more equations:

x=ρsinφcosθx = \rho \sin\varphi \cos \theta
y=ρsinφsinθy = \rho \sin \varphi \sin \theta
ρ2=x2+y2+z2\rho^2 = x^2 + y^2 + z^2

  • Introduction
    Spherical Coordinates Overview:
    Spherical Coordinates
    • Instead of (x,y,z)(x,y,z), we have (ρ,θ,φ)(\rho,\theta,\varphi)
    • Graph of the coordinates in 3D

    Equations to Convert from Cartesian to Spherical
    • Finding the Equations
    • Trig Ratios, Pythagoras
    • Using Equations from last section to obtain more equations!

    Example of Converting Equations
    • Cartesian to Spherical
    • Spherical to Cartesian