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Polar Angle Calculator Online

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The Polar Angle Calculator is a specialized tool designed to compute the angle of a point from the origin in a polar coordinate system. This angle, known as the polar angle or theta (θ), is crucial for converting Cartesian coordinates (x, y) to polar coordinates (r, θ), where ‘r’ represents the radial distance from the origin. Understanding the polar angle is essential for applications ranging from navigation systems that require precise directional data to the fields of electromagnetics and fluid dynamics, where problems are more naturally described in polar coordinates.

Formula of Polar Angle Calculator

To calculate the polar angle (theta, θ) from a point’s Cartesian coordinates (x, y), the formula used is:

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θ = arctan(y / x)

Here, arctan represents the arctangent function, which calculates the angle whose tangent is the ratio of y to x. This formula assumes the origin (0, 0) as the center of the polar coordinate system. It’s important to note that the output of the arctangent function typically ranges between -π/2 and π/2 radians. For points located in various quadrants, additional considerations regarding the signs of x and y are necessary to determine the correct angle in all four quadrants accurately.

General Terms and Conversion Table

Angle (Degrees)Angle (Radians)Cos(θ) (x-coordinate)Sin(θ) (y-coordinate)
0010
30π/6√3/21/2
45π/4√2/2√2/2
60π/31/2√3/2
90π/201
1202π/3-1/2√3/2
1353π/4-√2/2√2/2
1505π/6-√3/21/2
180π-10
2107π/6-√3/2-1/2
2255π/4-√2/2-√2/2
2404π/3-1/2-√3/2
2703π/20-1
3005π/31/2-√3/2
3157π/4√2/2-√2/2
33011π/6√3/2-1/2
36010

Example of Polar Angle Calculator

To illustrate the practical application of the polar angle formula, consider a point with Cartesian coordinates (3, 3). Applying the formula:

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θ = arctan(3 / 3) = arctan(1) ≈ π/4 or 45 degrees

This example demonstrates how to convert Cartesian coordinates to their polar angle, showcasing the formula’s utility in real-world situations.

Most Common FAQs

Q1: What is the polar angle used for?

A1: The polar angle is used to determine the direction of a point from the origin in a polar coordinate system, essential for fields such as astronomy, engineering, and physics.

Q2: How do you calculate the polar angle for points in different quadrants?

A2: For points in different quadrants, it’s crucial to consider the signs of x and y coordinates since the arctan function alone only covers angles from -π/2 to π/2. Additional adjustments are need to accurately calculate angles in all four quadrants.

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Q3: Can the polar angle be negative?

A3: Yes, the polar angle can be negative, especially when calculated using the arctan function directly. However, angles are often adjust to a [0, 2π) or [0, 360 degrees) range for clarity and consistency.

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