Math Photo: Curvilinear Coordinates

Published by MrHonner on

Curvilinear Coordinates

Looking through this system of parallel curves makes me think about the many different ways we can impose coordinate systems on spaces.  An ordered pair of coordinates specifies a unique location on this curved surface just as a pair (x,y) locates a point in the flat Cartesian plane.

This image also reminds me of the role of context in geometry.  From our perspective, this coordinate system looks curved, but if we lived on this surface, it would all seem perfectly flat!  Maybe our world looks really curved to someone standing outside it.




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