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MIT Physics 8.02 - Electricity & Magnetism

SECTION : Coordinate Systems        

SUBJECT: Coordinate Systems  
Fullscreen Version  

This interactive visualization illustrates the different types of coordinate systems often used in studying electromagnetism: cartesian, cylindrical (polar), and spherical. Pressing "C" cycles between them.

Each system has a distinct set of principle axes, represented by the three surfaces. For cartesian, x, y, and z. For cylindrical, r, theta, and z. For spherical, r, theta, and phi.

By using the arrow keys (and control + up/down arrow keys), you can move the observation point in the three different principle directions for the current coordinate system displayed. The small arrows on the observation point display the unit vectors for each system.



Instructions (popup window)  
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NOTE: You will need the Macromedia Shockwave Plugin to view this simulation. If you do not already have it, it will be downloaded automatically if you are connected to the Internet.