Cylindrical coordinates refers to a three-dimensional coordinate system used to describe the location of a point in space based on the distance from the origin in the x-y plane "r", the angle measured in the x-y plane between the point and the x axis "θ", the distance perpendicular to the x-y plane: (r,θ,z).
In a sense, cylindrical coordinates are polar coordinates with a third dimension added: (r,θ) correspond to the polar coordinates for (x,y). This is in contrast to spherical coordinates, where z is replaced by an angle, just like x and y are in polar coordinates.
The equations converting the parameters are as follows:
- r2 = x2 + y2
- tan(θ) = y/x
- x = r*cos(θ)
- y = r*sin(θ)