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Re: ArcTan[x,y]

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg3361] Re: ArcTan[x,y]
  • From: fateman at (Richard J. Fateman)
  • Date: Sat, 2 Mar 1996 04:12:13 -0500
  • Organization: University of California, Berkeley
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <4h13nr$rr4 at>,
Bill Freed  <billf at> wrote:
>I am writing an article for a math education journal about the  
>conversion to and from polar coordinates. It would be useful to know  
>how the function ArcTan[x,y] is defined in Mathematica- by a single  
>formula, a Which statement or whatever? A rough description or the  
>Mathematica code would do.

Note that mathematica's ArcTan  REVERSES THE ARGUMENTS.

atan2(y,x)  is the tradition, e.g. for the last 40 years of Fortran, etc.

ArcTan[x,y] is uniquely in Mathematica. 

I should hope that you have access to the definition without
reference to Mathematica.

Richard J. Fateman
fateman at


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