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Sheet 1 Vectors / Solutions 1 of 8

MAT 1802 Mathematics for Engineers II


Problem Sheet 1
Solutions



1. If a = 4i + j ! k, b = 3i ! 2j + 2k and c = !i ! 2j + k, calculate:
(i) a + b + c; Ans. 6i ! 3j + 2k
(ii) | a + b + c |; Ans. 3"5
(iii) a unit vector parallel to 2a ! b ! c but in the opposite direction.
Ans. !
97
1
(6i + 6j ! 5k)
Solution:

(i) We simply add the vectors: a + b + c = (4i + j ! k) + (3i ! 2j + 2k) + (!i ! 2j + k)
= (4 + 3 !1)i + (3 ! 2 ! 2)j + (!1 + 2 + 1) = 6i ! 3j + 2k

(ii) | a ! b + c | = | 3j + 2k | =
2 2 2
) 4 ( 5 2 ! + + = 3"5

(iii) 2a ! b ! c = 6i + 6j ! 5k. Hence | a ! b + c | = = ! + +
2 2 2
) 5 ( 6 6 "97
Hence the vector is !
97
1
( 6i + 6j ! 5k ).



2. Prove that the vectors i ! k, !i + j + 2k and 2i ! j ! 3k can form the sides of a triangle.

Solution: Note that !( i ! k) +(!i + j + 2k) + (2i ! j ! 3k) = 0.




3. Show that the three vectors b + c ! 2a, c + a ! 2b and a + b ! 2c are linearly dependent.

Solution: Let a + b ! 2c = # (b + c ! 2a) + (a + c ! 2b). Hence

a + b ! 2c = (!2#+ )a + (# !2)b + (# + )c

Comparing components: a: !2# + = 1 --------------- (1)
b: # !2 = 1 --------------- (2)
c: # + = !2 --------------- (3)

Solving (2) and (3) simultaneously gives # = = !1. Substituting in (1) we get a consistent result.
Hence the three vectors are linearly dependent.




Sheet 1 Vectors / Solutions 2 of 8
4. Let a =
$ %
OA
,

b =
$ %
OB
+ and c =
$ %
OC
. Then if c = #a + b with # + = 1:
(a) show that the terminal points A, B and C lie on the same straight line.
(b) find the values of # and if:
(i) C is the midpoint of AB; Ans. # = = !
(ii) A is the midpoint of CB; Ans. # = 2, = !1
(iii) C is one-third the distance from A to B. ans. # =
2
3
, =
1
3


Solution: (a) We have c ! !! ! b = #a + b ! b = #a + (1 !#)b ! b = #(a ! !! ! b)
Hence c ! !! ! b is parallel to a ! !! ! b and since b is common then a, b and c lie along the
same line. This means that A, B and C lie on the same straight line.









(b) C is the midpoint of AB if c ! !! ! a = b ! !! ! c. Hence c = ! (a + b) = ! a + ! b. Hence # = = !
(c) CB = 2AC. Hence b ! !! ! c = 2(c ! !! ! a) ! 3c = 2a + b ! c =
2
3
a +
1
3
b. Hence # =
2
3
, =
1
3




5. Points D, E and F are the mid-points of the sides BC, CA and AB, respectively , of a triangle. If a,
b and c are the position vectors of the points A, B and C, respectively, show that:
(a) the sum of the vectors
$ %
AD
,

$ %
BE
and
$ %
CF
is zero; and
(b) The medians have a common point P of trisection.
Deduce the position of point P.

Solution: (a) The diagram represents the situation. We know
that
$ %
AB
+
$ %
BC
+
$ %
CA
= 0 (closed triangle)
We also have
$ %
AD
=
$ %
AB
+
$ %
BD
,
$ %
BE
=
$ %
BC
+
$ %
CE
and
$ %
CF
=
$ %
CA
+
$ %
AF
.
Hence
$ %
AD
+
$ %
BE
+
$ %
CF
=
$ %
AB
+
$ %
BD
+
$ %
BC
+
$ %
CE
+
$ %
CA
+
$ %
AF
=
$ %
BD
+
$ %
CE
+
$ %
AF
= ! (
$ %
AB
+
$ %
BC
+
$ %
CA
) = 0

(b) Let P be the point of intersection of AD and BE. Hence

$ %
OP
=
$ %
OB
+ #
$ %
BE
=
$ %
OA
+
$ %
AD
where O is the origin outside plane.

Let a =
$ %
OA
, b =
$ %
OB
, c =
$ %
OC
, d =
$ %
OD
, e =
$ %
OE
, f =
$ %
OF
and
p =
$ %
OP
.


A
B
C
O
C
B
A
F
D
E
C
B
A
P
D
E
Sheet 1 Vectors / Solutions 3 of 8
p = a + (d ! a) = a + ( ! (b + c) ! a) = (1 ! )a + ! b + ! c
p = b + #(e ! b) = b + #( ! (a + c) ! b) = (1 ! #)b + ! #a + ! #c

Equating for a, b and c we get, 1 ! = ! #, ! = 1 ! # and = #. Hence # = =
2
3
.
Hence p =
$ %
OP
=
1
3
a +
1
3
b +
1
3
c =
1
3

$ %
OA
+
1
3

$ %
OB
+
1
3

$ %
OC
.

Note that
1
3

$ %
OA
+
1
3

$ %
OB
+
1
3

$ %
OC

is symmetric in A, B and C, and there was nothing special in our
choice of medians. Hence a similar analysis with the other medians will lead to same result. Hence
medians meet at same point.



6. (a) In a parallelogram ABCD, X is the midpoint of AB and the line DX cuts the diagonal AC at
P. Writing
$ %
AB
= a,
$ %
AD
= b,

$ %
AP
= #
$ %
AC
,
$ %
DP
=
$ %
DX
, express
$ %
AP
:

(i) in terms of #, a and b;
(ii) in terms of , a and b.
Deduce that P is a point of trisection of both AC and DX.

(b) The resultant of two vectors a and b is perpendicular to a. If |b| = "2 |a|, show that the
resultant of 2 a and b is perpendicular to b.

Solution: (a) (i)
$ %
AP
= #
$ %
AC
= #(b + a)

(ii)
$ %
AP
=
$ %
AD
+
$ %
DP
= b +
$ %
DX
= b + (
$ %
AX
!
$ %
AD
)
= b +( ! a ! b) = ! a + (1 ! )b

Last part:
$ %
AP
= #a + #b = ! a + (1 ! )b (from above). Hence # = ! = 1 ! ! =
2
3
and # =
1
3
.
hence
$ %
AP
= ! a + (1 ! )b =
1
3
a +
1
3
b =
1
3
$ %
AC
.


(b) (a + b)&a = 0, |b| = "2 |a|
(2a + b)&b = 2a& && &b + b& && &b = !2a& && &a + b& && &b = !2a& && &a + 2a& && &a = 0, as required.










A X B
C
D
P
Sheet 1 Vectors / Solutions 4 of 8
7. Two points A and B have position vectors a and b respectively
relative to the origin O.
Show that the position vector d of the point D, which divides the line
AB internally in the ratio AD: DB as # : , is given by:

#
#
+
+
=
a b
d

Solution: AD : DB = # : !
$ %
AD
=
#
#
+
$ %
AB
=
#
#
+
(b ! a)

$ %
DB
=
#

+
$ %
AB
=
#

+
(b ! a)
d =
$ %
OD
=
$ %
OA
+
$ %
AD
= a +
#
#
+
(b ! a) =
#
#
+
+ a b
as required.



8. Obtain the acute angle between two diagonals of a cube.
(N.B.: It does not matter which two diagonals to take).

Solution: |
$ %
AH
| = |
$ %
FC
| = "3

$ %
AH
& && &
$ %
FC
= |
$ %
AH
||
$ %
FC
| cos '
1 + 1 ! 1 = "3 ( "3 cos '
cos ' =
1
3

)' = 70.53




9 Given a i + 2j !3k and b 3i ! j + 2k:
(a) show that the vectors a + b and a ! b are mutually orthogonal;
(b) calculate the acute angle between the vectors 2a + b and a + 2b;
(c) obtain a unit vector orthogonal to both a and b.

Solution: (a) (a + b)& && &(a ! b) = a& && &a ! b& && &b = (1 + 4 + 9) ! (9 + 1 ! 4) = 0
(b) |2a + b| = |5i + 3j ! 4k| = "(5
2
+ 3
2
+ 4
2
) = 5"2
and |a +2b| = |7i + 0j + k| = "(7
2
+ 0
2
+ 1
2
) = 5"2
(2a + b)& && &(a + 2b) = 35 + 0 ! 4 = 31 = 5"2 ( 5"2 cos ' ! cos ' =
31
50
! cos ' = 51.68
(c) a* ** *b =
2 1 3
3 2 1
!
k j i
= (4 ! 3)i ! (2 ! 9)j + (!2 !6)k = i ! 11j ! 7k
Hence |a* ** *b | = "171 Take v =
171
1
( i ! 11j ! 7k)

A
B
O
D
a
b
d
F(0, 0, 1)
E
A(0, 0, 0)
H(1, 1, 1)
C(1, 1, 0)
D
G
'
Sheet 1 Vectors / Solutions 5 of 8
10. Given that a 2i ! 3j + k, b !i + k and c 2j ! k:
(a) calculate in terms of i, j and k:
(i) a* ** *b (ii) b* ** *c (iii) c* ** *a
(b) obtain a unit vector orthogonal to both b and c.

Solutions: (a) (i) a* ** *b =
1 0 1
1 3 2
!
!
k j i
= (!3 ! 0)i ! (2 + 1)j + (0 ! 3)k = !3(i + j + k)
(ii) b* ** *c =
1 2 0
1 0 1
!
!
k j i
= (0 ! 2)i ! (1 ! 0)j + (!2 + 0)k = ! (2i + j + 2k)
(iii) c* ** *a =
1 3 2
1 2 0
!
!
k j i
= (2 ! 3)i ! (0 + 2)j + (0 ! 4)k = ! (i + 2j + 4k)

(b) b* ** *c = ! (2i + j + 2k) is orthogonal to both b and c.
|b* ** *c | = 3 2 1 2
2 2 2
= + + . Hence
3
1
(2i + j + 2k) are two unit vectors orthogonal to
both b and c.



11. The vectors a, b and c lie along the sides of the triangle ABC such that a +
$ %
BC
, b +
$ %
CA
, and
c +
$ %
AB
, show that a* ** *b = b* ** *c = c* ** *a
and hence obtain the sine and the cosine rules for the triangle ABC.

Solution: Since a, b and c form a closed polygon then a + b + c = 0.
Hence we have a = !(b + c) ! a* ** *b = !(b + c)* ** *b
= !b* ** *b ! c* ** *b = b* ** *c Hence a* ** *b = b* ** *c
Also c* ** *a = !c* ** *(b + c) = !c* ** *b ! c* ** *c = b* ** *c. Hence result.

For the sine rule,
|a* ** *b| = |a| |b| sin (, ! -) = |a| |b| sin - = BC . CA sin -
|b* ** *c| = AC . AB sin . and |c* ** *a| = AB . BC sin /
Hence from result of first part, a* ** *b = b* ** *c = c* ** *a we obtain
AC . AB sin . = AB . BC sin / = BC . CA sin -.
Dividing by AB . BC . CA we obtain the sine rule:
AC
sin
AB
sin
BC
sin - / .
= =

For the cosine rule, a = ! (b + c) ! a& && &a = (b + c) & && & (b + c) = b& && &b + c& && &b + b& && &c + c& && &c = b& && &b + c& && &c + 2b& && &c

BC
2
= CA
2
+ AB
2
+ CA.AB cos (, ! .) = CA
2
+ AB
2
! CA.AB cos .

A
B
C
.
/
-
b
a
c
Sheet 1 Vectors / Solutions 6 of 8
12. Prove that for any vectors a, b and c:
(i) (a* ** *b)& && &(a* ** *b) = (a& && &a)(b& && &b) ! (a& && &b)
2

(ii) a& && &(b* ** *(c* ** *a)) = (a& && &c)(b& && &a) ! (a& && &a)(b& && &c)
(iii) a* ** *(b* ** *(c* ** *a)) = (a& && &b)(a* ** *c)

Solution: (i) (a* ** *b)& && &(a* ** *b) = |a* ** *b|
2
= |a|
2
|b|
2
sin
2
' = |a|
2
|b|
2
(1 ! cos
2
')
= |a|
2
|b|
2
! |a|
2
|b|
2
cos
2
' = (a& && &a)(b& && &b) ! (a& && &b)
2


(ii) a& && &(b* ** *(c* ** *a)) = a& && &( (b& && &a) c ! (b& && &c) a) = ( (b& && &a)(a& && &c) ! (b& && &c)(a& && &a)
(iii) a* ** *(b* ** *(c* ** *a)) = a* ** *((b& && &a) c ! (b& && &c) a) = (b& && &a)(a* ** *c) ! (b& && &c)(a* ** *a) = (b& && &a)(a* ** *c) since v* ** *v = 0.



13. If a, b and c are orthogonal vectors, show that:
[a, b, c]
2
= a
2
b
2
c
2
where v
2
= v& && &v

Solution: [a, b, c]
2
= (a& && &(b* ** *c))
2
= a
2
(b* ** *c))
2
cos
2
0 = a
2
b
2
c
2
sin
2
90 = a
2
b
2
c
2

noting that b* ** *c is parallel to a.



14. Show that for any vectors a, b and c:
(i) (a + b)& && &{(b + c)* ** *(c + a)} = 2[a, b, c];
(ii) a* ** *(b* ** *c) + b* ** *(c* ** *a) + c* ** *(a* ** *b) = 0;
(iii) [b* ** *c, c* ** *a, a* ** *b] = [a, b, c]
2

Solution: (i) (a + b)& && &{(b + c)* ** *(c + a)} = (a + b)& && &{b* ** *c + b* ** *a + c*a} = a& && &b* ** *c + b& && &c*a
= a& && &b* ** *c ! b& && &a*c = a& && &b* ** *c + a& && &b*c = 2 a& && &b*c

(ii) a* ** *(b* ** *c) = (a& && &c) b ! (a& && &b) c, b* ** *(c* ** *a) = (b& && &a) c ! (b& && &c) a, c* ** *(a* ** *b) = (c& && &b) a ! (c& && &a) b
Adding we get 0.

(iii) [b* ** *c, c* ** *a, a* ** *b] = (b* ** *c) & && & ((c*a)* ** *(a* ** *b)) = (b* ** *c) & && & ((c*a)& && &b) a) = {(b* ** *c) & && & a}{(c*a)& && &b}
= {a& && &(b* ** *c)}
2
= [a, b, c]
2




15. The velocity v of a particle is related to its angular velocity 0 00 0 and its space position vector r by
v 0 00 0* ** *r. If the particle has mass m, show that its kinetic energy T, given by T ! mv
2
may be
expressed in the form:
T = ! m(0 00 0
2
r
2
! (0 00 0& && &r)
2
)

Solution: v
2
= | 0 00 0* ** *r |
2
= 0 00 0
2
r
2
sin
2
' = 0 00 0
2
r
2
(1 ! cos
2
') = 0 00 0
2
r
2
! 0 00 0
2
r
2
cos
2
' = 0 00 0
2
r
2
! (0 00 0& && &r)
2

Hence T ! mv
2
= ! m(0 00 0
2
r
2
! (0 00 0& && &r)
2
)
or
v
2
= (0 00 0* ** *r)
2
= (0 00 0* ** *r)& && &(0 00 0* ** *r) = ! 0 00 0& && & {(0 00 0* ** *r)* ** *r} = 0 00 0& && & {r* ** *(0 00 0* ** *r)} = 0 00 0& && & {r
2
0 00 0 ! (0 00 0& && &r) r}
= 0 00 0
2
r
2
! (0 00 0& && &r)
2
etc.

Sheet 1 Vectors / Solutions 7 of 8
16. Prove that for any vectors a, b, c, d, e and f we have:
(a) (a& && &(b*c))(d& && &(e*f)) =
f c e a d c
f b e b d b
f a e a d a
& & &
& & &
& & &

(b) (a*b)*(c*d) = (a*b & && & d)c ! (a*b & && & c)d

Solution: (a) (a& && &(b*c))(d& && &(e*f)) = [a, b, c] [d, e, f] = det((a, b, c)) det ((d, e, f))
= det((a, b, c)
T
) det ((d, e, f)) = det((a, b, c)
T
(d, e, f))
=
3 3 3
2 2 2
1 1 1
3 2 1
3 2 1
3 2 1

f e d
f e d
f e d
c c c
b b b
a a a
=
f c e a d c
f b e b d b
f a e a d a
& & &
& & &
& & &




17. The vectors a, b, c and d lie along the sides of the quadrilateral ABCD such that a =
$ %
DA
,
b =
$ %
AB
, c =
$ %
BC
and d =
$ %
CD
. Show that

a
2
= b
2
+ c
2
+

d
2
+ 2b& && &c + 2c& && &d + 2d& && &b
and, hence, show that, if the figure is coplanar (i.e. A, B, C, D lie in the same plane), then:

AD
2
= AB
2
+ BC
2
+ CD
2
! 2AB.BC cos B ! 2BC.CD cosC + 2 AB.CDcos (A + D)

If the figure is skew, i.e. the sides AB and CD are not in the same plane, show that the angle '
between AB and CD is given by:

cos ' =
CD AB
C CD BC B BC AB CD BC AB DA
. 2
cos . 2 cos . 2
2 2 2 2
+ + ! ! !


Solution: First part: a + b + c + d = 0 ! a = !(b + c + d)

Hence a
2
= b
2
+ c
2
+ d
2
+ 2b& && &c + 2c& && &d + 2d& && &b

d& && &b = CD. AD cos (A + D) (from exterior angle of a triangle theorem)
b& && &c = AB. BC cos (, ! B) = ! AB. BC cos B
c& && &d = BC. CD cos (, ! C) = ! BC. CD cos C




Hence

AD
2
= AB
2
+ BC
2
+ CD
2
! 2AB.BC cos B ! 2BC.CD cosC + 2 AB.CDcos (A + D)



A +D
A
C
B
D
d b
c
a
, ! C
, ! B
, ! D
Sheet 1 Vectors / Solutions 8 of 8
Second part:
















b& && &d = AB. CD cos '
b& && &c = AB. BC cos (, ! B) = ! AB. BC cos B
c& && &d = BC. CD cos (, ! C) = ! BC. CD cos C

From first part, we found that

2d& && &b = a
2
! b
2
! c
2
+

d
2
! 2b& && &c ! 2c& && &d
2AB.CD cos ' = DA
2
! AB
2
! BC
2
! CD
2
+ 2AB.BC cos B + 2BC.CD cosC

Hence
cos ' =
CD AB
C CD BC B BC AB CD BC AB DA
. 2
cos . 2 cos . 2
2 2 2 2
+ + ! ! !












A
C
B
D
d
b
c
a
, ! B
'
, ! C