Subsections

# Cylindrical and Spherical Coordinates

## Getting Started

To assist you, there is a worksheet associated with this lab that contains examples and even solutions to some of the exercises. You can copy that worksheet to your home directory by going to your computer's Start menu and choose run. In the run field type:

\\filer\calclab


when you hit enter, you can then choose MA1024 and then choose the worksheet

Coords_start_C14.mw


Remember to immediately save it in your own home directory. Once you've copied and saved the worksheet, read through the background on the internet and the background of the worksheet before starting the exercises.

## Background

Defining surfaces with rectangular coordinates often times becomes more complicated than necessary. A change in coordinates can simplify things. Cylindrical coordinates can simplify plotting a region in space that is symmetric with respect to the -axis such as paraboloids and cylinders. The paraboloid would become and the cylinder would become . Spherical coordinates would simplify the equation of a sphere, such as , to . The conversion tables below show how to make the change of coordinates.

To change to cylindrical coordinates from rectangular coordinates use the conversion:

Where is the radius in the x-y plane and is the angle in the x-y plane.

To change to spherical coordinates from rectangular coordinates use the conversion:

Where is the angle in the x-y plane; is the radius from the origin in any direction; and is the angle in the x-z plane.

Using a triple integral to find the volume of a solid translates in the following manner:

## Exercises

1. Given the rectangular equation:

A)
Graph the equation using the domain values of , and the range values .
B)
Find the above equation in cylindrical coordinates and then graph the equation. Write the equation in text in its simplest form.
C)
Find the above equation in spherical coordinates and graph it. Write the equation of the equation in text in its simplest form.
D)
Looking at the three equations, which coordinates appear to give the simplest equation?

2. Given the rectangular equation:

A)
Graph the equation using the domain values of , and the range values .
B)
Find the above equation in cylindrical coordinates and then graph the equation. Write the equation in text in its simplest form.
C)
Find the above equation in spherical coordinates and graph it. Write the equation of the equation in text in its simplest form.
D)
Looking at the three equations, which coordinates appear to give the simplest equation?

3. Use a triple integral in all three coordinate systems to prove that the volume of a sphere of radius centered at the origin is . You will need to use the command value instead of evalf.