Definition of spherical coordinates in US English:

spherical coordinates

(also spherical polar coordinates)

plural noun

  • Three coordinates that define the location of a point in three-dimensional space. They are the length of its radius vector r, the angle θ between the vertical plane containing this vector and the x-axis, and the angle φ between this vector and the horizontal x–y plane.

    Usually written (r, θ, φ)

    • ‘We propose to develop algorithms for the calculation of synthetic seismograms for anisotropic Earth models in spherical coordinates.’
    • ‘To this end, we consider a spherical boundary, for which the Poisson equation can be solved by expanding the potential in spherical coordinates.’
    • ‘The company's virtual interface allows a user to enter, on a computer screen, the desired field vector of a three-axis magnet in Cartesian, cylindrical, or spherical coordinates.’