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# Chapter 3 Vectors

## In Physics we have parameters that can be completely described by a

number and are known as scalars .Temperature, and mass are such
parameters
are known as vectors . Examples of vectors are displacement, velocity
and acceleration.
In this chapter we learn the basic mathematical language to describe
vectors. In particular we will learn the following:

Resolving a vector into its components
The notion of a unit vector
Add and subtract vectors by components
Multiplication of a vector by a scalar
The scalar (dot) product of two vectors
The vector (cross) product of two vectors
(3-1)
An example of a vector is the displacement vector which
describes the change in position of an object as it moves
from point A to point B. This is represented by an arrow
that points from point A to point B. The length of the
arrow is proportional to the displacement magnitude.
The direction of the arrow indicated the displacement
direction.
The three arrows from A to B, from A' to B', and from A''
to B'', have the same magnitude and direction. A vector
can be shifted without changing its value if its length and
direction are not changed.
In books vectors are written in two ways:

Method 1: (using an arrow above)
Method 2: a (using bold face print)
The magnitude of the vector is indicated by italic print: a

a
(3-2)
Sketch vector using an appropriate scale
Sketch vector using the same scale
Place the tail of at the tip of
The vector starts from the tail of
and terminates at the tip of
a
b
b a
s a
s a b = +
commutative
Negative of a given

has the same magnitude
vecto
as
but opposite direction
r b b
b
a b b a
b b

+ = +

(3-3)
Geometric vector Subtraction
( )
( )
We write:
From vector
We thus reduce vector subtraction to
vector addition which we know how to do
we find
d a b a b
b b
b
b
a
d a =
= = +

Note: We can add and subtract vectors using the method of components.
For many applications this is a more convenient method
(3-4)
A B
C

A component of a vector along an axis is the projection
of the vector on this axis. For example is the
projection of along the x-axis. The component
is defined by drawing straight lines fr
x
x
a
a a
om the tail
and tip of the vector which are perpendicular to
the x-axis.
From triangle ABC the x- and y-components
of vector are given by the
cos ,
equations:
If we know
in

s
x y
a a a
a
a
a
a
u u = =
2 2
and we can determine and .
From triangle ABC we h
, tan
ave:
y
x
x
y
x
y
a
a a
a
a a
a u
u
= + =
(3-5)
Unit Vectors
A unit vector is defined as vector that has magnitude
equal to 1 and points in a particular direction.
A unit vector is defined as vector that has magnitude equal to 1 and points
in a particular direction. Unit vector lack units and their sole purpose is
to point in a particular direction. The unit vectors along the x, y, and z axes
are labeled , , and , respect

y. l

ive i j k
Unit vectors are used to express other vectors
For example vector can be written as:
.

The quantities and are called
the of vec

vect tor or component s
x
x y
y
a a i
a
a i a j
a
a j = +
(3-6)
x
O
y
a

We are given two vectors and

We want to calculate the vector sum
The components and are given by the equations:
and
x y x y
x y
x y
x x x y y y
r a b r a b
a a i a j b b i b j
r r i r j
r r
= + =
= + =
+
+
= +
(3-7)
x
O
y
a

## Subtracting Vectors by Components

We are given two vectors and
We want to calculate the vector difference

The components and of are given by the equations:
and
x y x y
x y
x y
x x x
a a i a j b b i b j
d a b d i d j
d d
a b
d
d =
= + = +
= = +
y y y
d a b =
(3-8)
Multiplication of a vector by a scalar r esults in a new vector
The magnitude of the new vector is given by
Multiplying a Vecto
:
If 0 vector has the
r by a Scalar
| | b s
a s b sa
a b
s b
=
>
=
The S
same
calar
direction
Product o
as vector
If 0
f two
vector has a direction opposite to that of vector
The scalar product of two vectors and is given by:
Vectors
=
a
s b a
a b a
a b
b
<

The scalar product of two vectors is also
known as the product. The scalar product in terms
of vector components is given by the equation:
cos
"dot"

=
x x y y z z
ab
a b a b a b a b
|
+ +
(3-9)
The vector product of the vectors and
is a vector
The magnitude of is given
The Vector Pro
by the equation:
The direction of is perpend
duct of two Vectors
s
icular
in
c a b a b
c
c
c
c
ab | =
=
right hand
to the plane P defined
by the vectors and
The sense of the vector is given by the :
a. Place the vectors and tail to tail
b. Rotate in the plane P along
rule
the shortest an
a b
c
a b
a gle
so that it coincides with
c. Rotate the fingers of the right hand in the same direction
d. The thumb of the right hand gives the sense of
The vector product of two vectors is also known as
b
c
"cross the p " roduct
(3-10)
The vector components of vector are given by the equations:

,

,
The Vector Product in terms of Vector Components
,
x y z z y
x y z x y z x y z
c a b
c a b a b
a a i a j a k b b i b j b k c c i c j c k
c
=
=
= + + = + + = + +
Note: Those familiar with the use of determinants can use the expres
,
Note: The order of the two vectors in the cross product is importa
sion
n
c c

t
y z x x
x y z
x
z z x
y z
y y x
i j k
a b a a a
b b b
a b a b a b a b
b
= =
=

( )
a a b =
(3-11)