Origin (mathematics)

In mathematics, the origin of a Euclidean space is a special point, usually denoted by the letter O, used as a fixed point of reference for the geometry of the surrounding space.

The origin of a Cartesian coordinate system

In physical problems, the choice of origin is often arbitrary, meaning any choice of origin will ultimately give the same answer. This allows one to pick an origin point that makes the mathematics as simple as possible, often by taking advantage of some kind of geometric symmetry.

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