# What is the history of the Cartesian plane?

Although certain concepts key to the Cartesian plane are found in works as early as ancient Greece, scholars credit Rene Descartes with the critical concept of applying algebra to geometry. Descartes introduced the notion of arithmetizing analytical geometry by assigning coordinates to two points in a plane. After Descartes published his theories, other mathematicians immediately began expanding upon his ideas and developing the Cartesian plane.

Apollonius of Greece found rudimentary ways to solve geometrical problems, and the French cleric Nicole Oresme of the 14th century used systems similar to Cartesian coordinates. However, it was not until Rene Descartes in 1637, that Euclidean geometry and algebra were at last united.

Scholars named the coordinate system after Descartes; however, many of the features of the modern Cartesian plane were additions by subsequent mathematicians. Descartes only worked with the x-axis and in the first quadrant; up until that time, the concepts of zero and negative numbers were not common.

It was Isaac Newton who first went beyond the use of positive distances. In his publication "Enumerations of Curves of Third Degree," Newton pioneered the use of perpendicular axes that included both positive and negative numbers. He even set the precedent of using x to label the horizontal axis, y for the vertical axis and 0 for the intersection.

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Q&A Related to "What is the history of the Cartesian plane?"
 If you mean who invented it a french mathematician named Rene Descartes invented it. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_history_of_t...
 1. Draw the Cartesian plane so that each point in the plane has an address. The center is called the origin, and it is usually drawn in the center of the page. A horizontal line goes http://www.ehow.com/how_8559969_draw-cartesian-pla...
 1. Find a normal vector. Sometimes this will be given, but often you will have to figure it out from other givens. For the purposes of this article, the normal vector is defined as. http://www.wikihow.com/Find-the-Cartesian-Equation...
 It was officially published by and named after René Descartes. Which in Latin, the official scientific language of the time, was written as Renatus Cartesius. Pierre de Fermat http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200906...
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