# Definition:Cartesian Product/Coordinate

## Definition

Let $\ds \prod_{i \mathop \in I} S_i$ be a cartesian product.

Let $j \in I$, and let $s = \sequence {s_i}_{i \mathop \in I} \in \ds \prod_{i \mathop \in I} S_i$.

Then $s_j$ is called the $j$th coordinate of $s$.

If the indexing set $I$ consists of ordinary numbers $1, 2, \ldots, n$, one speaks about, for example, the first, second, or $n$th coordinate.

For an element $\tuple {s, t} \in S \times T$ of a binary cartesian product, $s$ is the first coordinate, and $t$ is the second coordinate.

## Also denoted as

It is usual to use the subscript technique to denote the coordinates where $n$ is large or unspecified:

$\tuple {x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_n}$

However, note that some texts (often in the fields of physics and mechanics) prefer to use superscripts:

$\tuple {x^1, x^2, \ldots, x^n}$

While this notation is documented here, its use is not endorsed by $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ because:

there exists the all too likely subsequent confusion with notation for powers
one of the philosophical tenets of $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ is to present a system of notatiion that is as completely consistent as possible.