Cartesian coordinates are rectilinear 2-D or 3-D coordinates (and therefore a special case of Curvilinear Coordinates)
which are also called Rectangular Coordinates. The three axes of 3-D Cartesian coordinates, conventionally denoted the
*x*-Axis-, *y*-Axis-, and *z*-Axis (a Notation due to
Descartes ) are chosen to be linear and mutually Perpendicular. In 3-D, the coordinates , , and
may lie anywhere in the Interval
.

The Scale Factors of Cartesian coordinates are all unity, . The Line Element is given by

(1) |

(2) |

(3) |

(4) |

(5) |

The Divergence is

(6) |

(7) |

(8) |

Laplace's Equation is separable in Cartesian coordinates.

**References**

Arfken, G. ``Special Coordinate Systems--Rectangular Cartesian Coordinates.'' §2.3 in
*Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 3rd ed.* Orlando, FL: Academic Press, pp. 94-95, 1985.

Morse, P. M. and Feshbach, H. *Methods of Theoretical Physics, Part I.* New York: McGraw-Hill, p. 656, 1953.

© 1996-9

1999-05-26