 x Cartesian coordinate system Overview

A Cartesian coordinate system specifies each point
Point (geometry)
In geometry, topology and related branches of mathematics a spatial point is a primitive notion upon which other concepts may be defined. In geometry, points are zero-dimensional; i.e., they do not have volume, area, length, or any other higher-dimensional analogue. In branches of mathematics...

uniquely in a plane
Plane (mathematics)
In mathematics, a plane is a flat, two-dimensional surface. A plane is the two dimensional analogue of a point , a line and a space...

by a pair of numerical
Number
A number is a mathematical object used to count and measure. In mathematics, the definition of number has been extended over the years to include such numbers as zero, negative numbers, rational numbers, irrational numbers, and complex numbers....

coordinates, which are the signed distances from the point to two fixed perpendicular
Perpendicular
In geometry, two lines or planes are considered perpendicular to each other if they form congruent adjacent angles . The term may be used as a noun or adjective...

directed lines, measured in the same unit of length. Each reference line is called a coordinate axis or just axis of the system, and the point where they meet is its origin
Origin (mathematics)
In mathematics, the origin of a Euclidean space is a special point, usually denoted by the letter O, used as a fixed point of reference for the geometry of the surrounding space. In a Cartesian coordinate system, the origin is the point where the axes of the system intersect...

, usually at ordered pair (0,0).  Discussion of cartesian coordinate system What else do I need to know? Why does the quadrant numbering go counterclockwise? Why did Descartes choose this rather than clockwise or right to left designation? In the first quadrant, the x-coordinate and the y-coordinate are always positive. Why do the points in the other three quadrants have a different outc... Discussions History of the Cartesian coordinate system How can the Cartesian coordinate system be applied? Cartesian definitions 