Kinematics in Polar Coordinates


  • Students should have some familiarity with polar coordinates
  • Students should be familiar with the product rule for differentiation

In-class Content

Homework for Polar Coordinates

  1. (LinePolar) Gain some experience with polar equations.

    The general equation for a straight line in polar coordinates is given by: $$r(\phi)=\frac{r_0}{\cos(\phi-\delta)}$$ Find the polar equation for the following straight lines:

    1. $y=3$

    2. $x=3$

    3. $y=-3x+2$

  2. (PolarSpherical) A short problem to check your geometric understanding of the relationship between spherical and polar coordinates.

    Show that the plane polar coordinates we have chosen are equivalent to spherical coordinates if we make the choices:

    1. The direction of $z$ in spherical coordinates is the same as the direction of $\Vec L$.
    2. The $\theta$ of spherical coordinates is chosen to be $\pi/2$, so that the orbit is in the equatorial plane of spherical coordinates.

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