The basic idea in co-ordinate geometry, as has been mentioned earlier, is to study the properties of geometrical figures such as straight lines, circles, parabolas etc through the use of numbers. The core concept is that on a 2-dimensional (Euclidean) plane, any point can be represented by a pair of real numbers, using two non-parallel straight lines. The point where these two non-parallel reference lines meet is termed the origin of the reference axis. By convention, one axis is called thex-axis and one they-axis. Any point on the plane can now be determined in reference to this reference axes as described in the figure below:
x is called the abscissa of P while y is the ordinate of P. x and y together are called the co-ordinates of P.
However, it is almost always the case (out of convenience) that the two axis are taken at right angles to each other. Such axes are called Rectangular Axes. We will always be using Rectangular Axes in our discussion from now onwards.
For a good command over co-ordinate geometry, a lot of results will be required to be memorised since they are encountered so often. For this purpose, each new theorem or result or property that we will encounter in the following pages is discussed in a separate article for ease of reference later.
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