Step By Step Calculus » 14.0 - History and Applications

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History and Applications
Polar co-ordinates were first used by Isaac Newton and Jacques Bernoulli in the seventeenth century, and have been used ever since. Polar co-ordinates help us to understand the graphical properties of complex numbers which are used to model the properties of light and electricity. Electrical engineers use the polar forms of complex numbers while designing radars, optical devices, etc. In aviation, targets are usually located by their distance and azimuth which correspond to rr and \theta\theta in polar coordinates.