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We are quite familiar with the term â€˜productâ€™ mathematically. It means multiplying. For example, 2 multiplied by 4 gives 8, 16 multiplied by 7 gives 112. Now letâ€™s understand what does the term â€˜Cartesianâ€™ stand for? And further, what does a cartesian product mean. Complicated? Letâ€™s find out.

**Cartesian Product**

Before getting familiar with this term, let us understand what does Cartesian mean. Remember the terms used when plotting a graph paper like axes (x-axis, y-axis), origin etc. For example, (2, 3) depicts that the value on the x-plane (axis) is 2 and that for y is 3 which is not the same as (3, 2).

The way of representation is fixed that the value of the x coordinate will come first and then that for y (ordered way). Cartesian product means the product of the elements say x and y in an ordered way.

**Cartesian Product of Sets**

The Cartesian products of sets mean the product of two non-empty sets in an ordered way. Or, in other words, the collection of all ordered pairs obtained by the product of two non-empty sets. An ordered pair means that two elements are taken from each set.

For two non-empty sets (say A & B), the first element of the pair is from one set A and the second element is taken from the second set B. The collection of all such pairs gives us a Cartesian product.

The Cartesian product of two non-empty sets A and B is denoted by A Ã— B. Also, known as the cross-product or the product set of A and B. The ordered pairs (a, b) is such that a âˆˆ A and b âˆˆ B. So, A Ã— B = {(a,b): a âˆˆ A, b âˆˆ B}. For example, Consider two non-empty sets A = {a_{1}, a_{2}, a_{3}} and B = {b_{1}, b_{2}, b_{3}}

Cartesian product AÃ—B = {(a_{1},b_{1}), (a_{1},b_{2}), (a_{1},b_{3}), ( a_{2},b_{1}), (a_{2},b_{2}),(a_{2,}b_{3}), (a_{3},b_{1}), (a_{3},b_{2}), (a_{3},b_{3})}.

It is interesting to know that (a_{1},b_{1}) will be different from (b_{1},a_{1}). If either of the two sets is a null set, i.e., either A = Î¦ or B = Î¦, then, A Ã— B = Î¦ i.e., A Ã— B will also be a null set

**Number of Ordered Pairs**

For two non-empty sets, A and B. If the number of elements of A is h i.e., n(A) = h & that of B is k i.e., n(B) = k, then the number of ordered pairs in Cartesian product will be n(A Ã— B) = n(A) Ã— n(B) = hk.

**Solved Example for You****Question:** Let P & Q be two sets such that n(P) = 4 and n(Q) = 2. If in the Cartesian product we have (m,1), (n,-1), (x,1), (y, -1). Find P and Q, where m, n, x, and y are all distinct.**Solution:** P = set of first elements = {m, n, x, y} and Q = set of second elements = {1, -1}

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