Cartesian Coordinates – A Justification

Cartesian Coordinates – A Justification

Cartesian coordinates are generally written with a horizontal x-axis and a vertical y-axis. The data it shows are written as ordered pairs (x, y). These axes are drawn p perpendicular to each other.

Why are the axes drawn vertically? While the description below is not required to enable this, perpendicular axes make it visibly clear that charges in X position can be made independently of changes in Y.

Then by moving to on X position we can move up or down in a vertical direction without changing the horizontal position or vice versa.

As another example lets suppose we have a tube and a ball. We refer to the shape independently of any color these objects have. We can arbitrarily sign a color to them by painting which acts independently of the shapes and vice versa.

Often we want to show one value and have freedom to adjust another. ┬áLet’s say we have one number which we want to represent as the number of engines on an airplane and another number to represent how much money we make. We count the engines. Likewise, we count the money on day 1. Then we do the same the next day with the same airplane and perhaps get a different number. Notice that the money made didn’t have any impact on the engine count. Thus, we can represent these as independent numbers where our “horizontal” number is engine count and our “vertical” number is money.

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