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August 19th, 2010, 05:47 PM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Jul 2010 Posts: 4 Thanks: 0  Spherical Vector to Cartesian Vector
Hello everyone, I have what should be a straightforward question. How would I convert a 3D spherical vector into a 3D Cartesian coordinate direction vector. This may sound confusing at first. ( Or maybe it is just me) But basically, I have a spherical vector defined by <rho,theta,psi> and I would like to convert that vector into a Cartesian vector <x,y,z>. Thanks, Taylor S. Amarel 
August 19th, 2010, 08:16 PM  #2 
Member Joined: Jun 2010 Posts: 36 Thanks: 0  Re: Spherical Vector to Cartesian Vector
If r is magnitude of the vector, then x = r*cos{?} y = r*cos{?} z = r*cos{?} 
August 20th, 2010, 03:45 AM  #3 
Newbie Joined: Jul 2010 Posts: 4 Thanks: 0  Re: Spherical Vector to Cartesian Vector
I'm not sure that will work, forgive me for questioning your answer. But I with the formula you gave, it appears as if your assuming Rho is an angle. Which in my case it is not. I have the a radius or distance from the origin (rho), an angle, (theta), and another angle (psi). (rho,theta,psi). I'm trying to get a three dimensional direction vector and it * appears* that your thinking Rho is an angle. (It looks that way because of the trigonometry function associated with Rho in your formula). I could be wrong, I a beginner trying to learn. Could you please provide some explanation or confirmation? Thanks, Taylor S. Amarel Learning is Living 
August 20th, 2010, 07:33 AM  #4 
Member Joined: Jun 2010 Posts: 36 Thanks: 0  Re: Spherical Vector to Cartesian Vector
OK. Then I assume that the vector moves through an angle ? with respect to a reference line in the vertical plane. Afterwords it moves horizontally through an angle ? to reach the final position.In that case x = ?cos?cos? y = ?cos?sin? z = ?sin?. 

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