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Coordinate system , or Cartesian coordinate system as is sometimes known, is a rectangular system used to uniquely determine a point in two or three dimensional space by its distance from the origin of the coordinate system.

It gained its name from a French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650), most famously known for his work on merging algebra and geometry into algebraic geometry. He developed ideas about this system in his book - Discourse on Method (published in 1637), to which an appendix The Geometry ( La Géometrié ) was added trying to mathematically show the application of his philosophy. The book was also famous for the quote 'Je pense, donc je suis' (I think, therefore I am).

The basic workins of the coordinate geometry are best described by a diagram

Want to find how this all works for the coordinate geometry of a straight line? Click here...

Click here to see the full explanation on coordinate geometry of a straight line

See other AS resources

See his work on geometry later published on its own by clicking the picture below

See some other famous mathematical books and artifacts by clicking on the abacus

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