Analytic geometry, or analytical geometry, has two different meanings in mathematics. The modern and advanced meaning refers to the geometry of analytic varieties. This article focuses on the classical and elementary meaning. In classical mathematics, analytic geometry, also known as coordinate geometry, or Cartesian geometry, is the study of geometry using a coordinate system and the principles of algebra and analysis. This contrasts with the synthetic approach of Euclidean geometry, which treats certain geometric notions as primitive, and uses deductive reasoning based on axioms and theorems to derive truth. Analytic geometry is widely used in physics and engineering, and is the foundation of most modern fields of geometry, including algebraic, differential, discrete, and computational geometry. Usually the Cartesian coordinate system is applied to manipulate equations for planes, straight lines, and squares, often in two and sometimes in three dimensions. Geometrically, one studies the Euclidean plane (2 dimensions) and Euclidean space (3 dimensions). As taught in school books, analytic geometry can be explained more simply: it is concerned with defining and representing geometrical shapes in a numerical way and extracting numerical information from shapes' numerical definitions and representations. The numerical output, however, might also be a vector or a shape. That the algebra of the real numbers can be employed to yield results about the linear continuum of geometry relies on the Cantor–Dedekind axiom.
Things you can do in Coordinate Geometry If you know the coordinates of a group of points you can:
Determine the distance between them
Find the midpoint, slope and equation of a line segment
Determine if lines are parallel or perpendicular
Find the area and perimeter of a polygon defined by the points
Transform a shape by moving, rotating and reflecting it.
Define the equations of curves, circles and ellipses.
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