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CHAPTER

2

Vectors

 Objectives To understand the concept of a vector To apply basic operations to vectors To understand the zero vector To use the unit vectors i and j to represent vectors in two dimensions To use the fact that, if a and b are parallel, then a = kb for a real value k, and to use the converse of this To use the unit vectors i, j and k to represent vectors in three dimensions To understand the triangle of vectors, extending to the polygon of vectors To evaluate the scalar product of two vectors To understand the algebraic laws applicable to the scalar product To recognise the scalar product property of two perpendicular vectors To understand the concept of the angle between two vectors To understand vector resolutes and scalar resolutes To resolve a vector into rectangular components To apply vector techniques to proof in geometry 2.1 Introduction to vectors

In science or engineering, some of the things that are measured are completely determined by their magnitude. For example, mass, length and time are determined by a number and an appropriate unit of measurement.

e.g. length:

time:

30 cm is the length of the page of a particular book 10 s is the time for one athlete to run 100 metres

More is required to describe velocity, displacement or force. The direction must be recorded as well as the magnitude.

e.g. velocity:

60 km/h in a direction south-east

56

Chapter2—Vectors

57

Quantities in two- or three-dimensional space that have direction as well as magnitude can be represented by arrows that point in the direction of the action and whose lengths give the magnitude of the quantity in terms of a suitably chosen unit. Arrows with the same length and direction are regarded as equivalent. These arrows are directed line segments and the sets of equivalent segments are called vectors. The ﬁve directed line segments shown all have

the same magnitude and direction.

y B A  C D O P F E  H G

A directed line segment from a point A to a point −→

B is denoted by AB.

For simplicity of language this is also called −→ vector AB, i.e. the set of equivalent segments can

be named through one member of that set. −→

−→ AB = CD = OP = EF = GH

−→

−→

−→

Note:

x

In Essential Advanced General Mathematics a

column of numbers was introduced to represent the translation and it was called a vector. This is consistent with the approach here as the column of numbers corresponds to a set of equivalent directed line segments.

The column 2 corresponds to the directed line

segment that goes 3 across and 2 up. This notation will be used to represent a directed

line segment in the ﬁrst section of this chapter. Vectors are often denoted by a single bold-face roman letter. For example, the vector from A to B can be −→ denoted by AB or by a single v. That is, v = AB. When a vector is handwritten the notation is v.

3

−→

˜

y B

2 units

A 3 units

0 x

Magnitude of vectors

−→ The magnitude of vector AB is denoted by | AB|, and for vector v the magnitude is denoted by

|v|. The magnitude of a vector is represented by the length of a directed line segment corresponding to the vector. −→

−→

For AB in the diagram above, Pythagoras’ theorem gives | AB| = 3 2 + 2 2 = 13.

In

−→

general, if AB is represented by the column vector x y the magnitude, | AB|, is equal

−→

−→

to x 2 + y 2 .

58 Essential Specialist Mathematics

Addition of vectors (the triangle of vectors) Two vectors u and v can be added geometrically by drawing a line segment representing u from A to B and then a line segment from B to C representing v. The sum u + v is the vector from A to C. That is, −→ u + v = AC .

The same result is achieved if the order is reversed. This is represented in the diagram:

−→

 i.e. u + v = AC and u + v = v + u

The addition can also be achieved with the column vector notation. For example:

if

u = 4 and v = 1

1

3

then

u + v = 4

1

+ 1

3

=

3

4

Scalar multiplication

Multiplication by a real number (scalar) changes the length of the vector. For example:

2u = u + u and 2 u + 2 u = u

2u is twice the length of u and 2 u is half the length of u.

1

1

1

The vector ku, k R + , has the same direction as u, but its length is multiplied by a factor of k. When a vector is multiplied by 2 the vector’s direction is reversed and its length is doubled.

A C
v
u + v
u

B

4

D C
v
u
u + v
u
v

A 3
1
v
u

B

3

1 u
u 4
2u
1
2

u –2u

Chapter2—Vectors

59

When a vector is multiplied by 1 the vector’s direction is reversed and the length remains the same.

u = 2 ,u = 3

−→ u = AB then u = − AB = BA .

3

2 , 2u = 4 and 2u = 6

6

4

−→

−→

If

If

−→ The directed line segment AB starts at B and ﬁnishes at A.

Zero vector

The zero vector is denoted by 0 and represents a line segment of zero length. The zero vector has no direction. The magnitude of the zero vector is 0. Note that 0 × a = 0 and a + (a) = 0.

In two dimensions, 0 = 0 0

Subtraction of vectors

In order to subtract v from u, add v to u. For example: v
u –v
u – v
u Example 1
3

Draw the directed line segment deﬁned by 2 and state the magnitude of the corresponding

vector.

Solution

3 2 is the vector ‘3 across to the right and 2 down’.

y 1 A
3
0 1
2
4
–1
B

x

Note: Here the vector starts at (1, 1) and ﬁnishes at (4, 1). It can start at any point. The

magnitude of the vector = 3 2 + (2) 2 = 13

60 Essential Specialist Mathematics Example 2

The vector u is deﬁned by the directed line segment from (2, 6) to (3, 1). If u = a b ﬁnd a and b.

Solution

2 From the diagram 6

+ u = 3

1

The vector u = 3 2 1

Hence a = 1 and b = −5.

6 =

5

1

Polygons of vectors

−→ For two vectors AB and BC, AB + BC = AC

−→

−→

−→

−→

y A
(2, 6)
B
(3, 1)
0

x B
C

A −→
For a polygon ABCDEF, AB + BC + CD + DE + EF + FA = 0
−→
−→
−→
−→
−→
B
C
A
D
F
E Example 3
−→
−→

−→ Illustrate the vector sum AB + BC + CD where A, B, C and D are points in the plane. Solution
−→
AB + BC + CD = AD
−→
−→
−→
C
B
A
D

Parallel vectors

Chapter2—Vectors

61

The non-zero vectors u and v are said to be parallel if there exists k R\{0} such that u = kv.

If u = 2 and v = 6 then vector u is parallel to v as v = 3u.

3

9

Position vectors

The point O, the origin, can be used as a starting point for a vector to indicate the position of a point in space relative to that point. For a point A the position vector is OA.

−→

The two-dimensional vector a =

a

a

2 1 is associated

with the point (a 1 , a 2 ). The position vector representing a is the position vector which ends at point (a 1 , a 2 ).

a 2

O

y (a 1 , a 2 )
a

a 1

x

Vectors in three dimensions

The deﬁnition of vector given above is, of course, also valid in three dimensions. The properties which hold in two dimensions also hold in three dimensions. For vectors in three dimensions, a third axis, denoted by z, is used. The x axis is drawn at an angle to indicate a direction out of the page and towards the reader.

The third axis is at right angles to the other two axes. a can be represented as a column vector.

z a 3
a A
O
a 2
a 1

(0, a 2 , a 3 )

y

a =

a 1

a 2

a 3

and a = OA the position vector of the point A.

−→

The position vector representing a is the position vector which ends at the point (a 1 , a 2 , a 3 ). It is appropriate to summarise the following properties for vectors of the same dimension before proceeding.

x a + b = b + a commutative law for vector addition (a + b) + c = a + (b + c) associative law for vector addition a + 0 = a zero vector a + −a = 0 −a is the opposite or inverse vector m(a + b) = ma + mb distributive law where m ∈ R a is parallel to b if there exists k ∈ R \ {0} such that a = kb

62 Essential Specialist Mathematics

Let V, A 1 , A 2

and A n be points in space. V

A 1

A 2 A n – 1 A n

−→ Then VA 1 + A 1 A 2 + A 2 A 3 +···

−−→

−−→

−−−−→

A n1 A n =

−→

VA n Example 4
−→
OABCDEFG is a cuboid as shown. Let OA = a, OG = g and OC = c.
−→
−→

Find the following vectors in terms of a, g, and c:

a

d

−→

OB −→

GB

 −→ −→ b OF −→ c GD e FA Solution −→ −→ −→ a OA + AB OB = −→ −→

= a + c

(as AB = OC)

−→

−→

−→

b OF = OC + CF

−→

−→

 −→ = c + g −→ (as CF = OG) c OA GD = −→ = a −→ −→ −→

d GB = GO + OA + AB

= −g + a + c −→

−→

−→

e FA = FG + GO + OA

−→

= −c g + a

F

C G
E
O

B

D

A Example 5
O

OABC is a tetrahedron. −→ OA = a, OB = b, OC = c

M is the midpoint of AC

N is the midpoint of OC

P is the midpoint of OB.

−→

−→

Find in terms of a, b and c:

 −→ −→ −→ −→ −→ a AC b OM c CN d MN e MP P
N
B

A

M

C

Solution

a

−→

−→

−→

AC = AO + OC

c

=

−→

CN =

1

2

1

a + c

−→

CO

= 2 (c)

= −

1 2 c

e

−→

−→

−→

MP = MO + OP

1

= − 2 (a + c) +

1

2 b

1

= 2 (b (a + c))

b

d

Chapter2—Vectors

−→

OM =

−→

−→

OA + AM

−→

= OA +

1

2

−→

AC

1

= a + 2 (a + c)

1

= 2 (a + c)

−→

−→

−→

MN = MO + ON

= − 2 (a + c) +

=

2 a i.e. MN is parallel to AO

1

1

1

2 c

1

2 c

2 a 2 c +

1

1

= −

63

Linear dependence and independence

A set of vectors is said to be linearly dependent if one of its members can be expressed as a

linear combination of the other vectors.

For example, the set of vectors a, b and c is linearly dependent if there exist real numbers k, l and m, not all zero, such that ka + lb + mc = 0.

A set of vectors is said to be linearly independent if it is not linearly dependent.

The vectors a, b and c are linearly independent if the solution of the equation ka + lb + mc = 0 is uniquely represented by k = l = m = 0. Two simple facts about linear independence are: a set that contains the zero vector is linearly dependent set with exactly two vectors is linearly independent if and only if one vector is not a scalar multiple of the other a

An alternative practical deﬁnition of linear dependence of three vectors is given below. Consider the set of vectors a, b and c.

If a and b can be observed to be independent, i.e. not parallel, then the set of vectors a, b

and c is linearly dependent if there exist real numbers m and n, not both zero, such that

c = ma + nb. This representation of c in terms of two independent vectors a and b is unique as demonstrated in this important result.

Let a and b be two independent (not parallel) vectors. Then ma + nb = pa + qb implies m = p and n = q ma + nb and pa + qb may be considered as two possible representations of vector c.

Proof

If ma + nb = pa + qb

As a and b are independent vectors, then by the deﬁnition of linear independence, (m p) = 0 and (n q) = 0.

then

(m p)a + (n q)b = 0.

64 Essential Specialist Mathematics

That is, m = p and n = q. c has a unique representation. Example 6
Determine if the following sets of vectors are linearly dependent.

a a = 2 , b = 1 and c =

1

3

5

6

b

3

a = 4

1

, b = 1 and c = 0

1

2

3

1

Solution

a We note that a and b are not parallel.

c = ma + nb

Then 5 = 2m + 3n

Let

6 = m n

Solving the simultaneous equations we have m = 23 This set of vectors is linearly dependent.

Generally any set of three or more two-dimensional vectors will be linearly dependent.

5

and n = 7

5

.

b Again we note that a and b are not parallel.

Let

Then 1 = 3m + 2n

c = ma + nb

0 = 4m + n

1 = −m + 3n

Solving the ﬁrst two equations we have m =

However, when these values are substituted in the third equation,

m + 3n = 13 = 1.

5 and n = 4

1

5

.

5

There are no solutions which satisfy the three equations

the vectors are linearly independent. Example 7

Points A and B have position vectors a and b respectively relative to an origin O. The point D is −→ such that OD = k OA and the point E is such that AE = l AB. The line segments BD and OE −→

−→ intersect at X. If OX = 2 OE and XB = 4 DB −→

a Express OX in terms of a, b, k and l. −→

b Express XB in terms of a, b, k and l.

−→

−→

−→

−→

5

−→ B
E
X
A
D

5

c Find k and l.

O

Solution −→

a

=

=

=

−→ OX = 2 OE

5

5

(

−→

5

2

5

(

−→

−→ 2 OA + AE)

−→ 2 OA + l AB)

−→

−→ (a + l( AO + OB))

= 2 (a + l(a + b))

5

= 2 ((1 l)a + lb)

5

−→

c Note XB = XO + OB −→

−→

XB

−→

5

= 2 [(1 l)a + lb] + b

=

=

2

5

(1 l)a + 1 2l b

5

2 (l 1)a + 1 2l b

5

5

Chapter2—Vectors

b

−→

−→ XB = 4 DB

5

5

5

5

5

(

−→

−→

−→ 4 DO + OB)

−→ 4 (OD + OB)

−→ 4 (k OA + OB)

=

=

=

= 4 (ka + b)

−→

= − 4 ka + 4 b

5

5

65

−→ As a and b are independent vectors, XB has a unique representation in terms of a and b.

5 4 ka + 4 b = 2 (l 1)a + 1 2l b

5 5
1

5

Hence 4 k = 2 (l 1)

5

5 From equation
2
2l
= 1
5
5
1
l =
2
Substitute in
1
= 2 (l − 1)
4 5 k
5

4

5

k = 2 ×

5

1

4

k =

1

2

and 4

5

= 1 2l

5 2 Exercise
2A
−→
1

i

iv

−→

OC

−→

DC

ii

v

OE

−→

DE

−→

iii

In the diagram, OA = a and OB = b.

a Find in terms of a and −→ b:

−→

OD

b If |a| = 1 and |b| = −→ 2, ﬁnd:

−→

i

| OC|

ii

| OE|

iii

−→

| OD| E
D
A
O B
C

66 Essential Specialist Mathematics

2 Using a scale of 1 cm = 20 km/h, draw vectors to represent:

a a car travelling south at 60 km/h

b a car travelling north at 80 km/h

3 If the magnitude of a = 3, ﬁnd the magnitude of:

4

a 2a

b

3

2 a

c

1

2 a

OA = A A = A A = A A

OB = B B = B B = B B

−→

−→ If OA = a and OB = b, ﬁnd in terms of a and b:

 −→ −→ −→ a i OA ii OB iii A B −→ iv AB −→ −→ −−→ b i OA ii OB iii A B 5 Find in the terms of a, b, c and d: −→ −→ −→ a XW b VX c ZY

6 The position vectors of two points A and B are a and b. Find:

−→

a AB

−→

b where M is the midpoint of AB

AM

−→

c OM

7 ABCD is a trapezium with AB parallel to DC. X and Y are midpoints of AD and BC respectively. −→

a Express XY in terms of a and b where −→

−→

AB = a and DC = b.

b Show that XY is parallel to AB.

8 ABCDEF is a regular hexagon, centre G. The

position vectors of A, B and C relative to an origin O are a, b and c respectively. Express:

−→

a in terms of a, b and c

OG

−→

b in terms of a, b and c

CD O
A'
B'
A''
B''
A'''
B'''
A
B

X Y
a
b
d

V

W

c

Z M
A
B
a
b

O D
C
X
Y
A
B C
D
G
B
E
A
F

9

OABCD is a right square pyramid. −→

−→ OA = a, OB = b, OC = c, and OD = d

−→

−→

−→

a Find AB in terms of a and b. −→

Find DC in terms of c and d. −→

i

ii

−→

iii Use the fact that AB = DC to ﬁnd a relationship −→ between a, b, c and d.

b Find BC in terms of b and c.

i Chapter2—Vectors
67
O
N
A
B
D
M
C
−→

ii Let M be the midpoint of DC and N the midpoint of OB. Find MN in terms of a, b

10

11

12

13

and c.

Determine whether the following sets of vectors are linearly dependent.

a

b

c

a = 1 , b = 1 and c = 2

6

4

3

2

3

4

a = 1 , b = 2 and c = 3

3

2

4

1

6

4

1

a = 1

1

, b = 1 and c = 5

3

4

3

11

In the following, a and b are non-zero and non-parallel vectors.

a If ka + lb = 3a + (1 l)b, ﬁnd the values of l and k.

b If 2(l 1)a + 1 5 b = 4

l

5

ka + 3b ﬁnd the values of l and k.

−→

−→

−→

In the cuboid shown OG = g, OC = c and OA = a. M is the

midpoint of ED. Find each of the following in terms of a, g and c:

a

d

 F −→ −→ b AB c EM −→ e AM A

−→

EF

−→

OM G
D
M
E
C
O

B

P, Q and R are points with position vectors 2a b, 3a + b and a + 4b respectively

relative to an origin O where a and b are non-zero, non-parallel vectors. Given that S is −→ the point on OP produced such that OS = k OP and RS = m RQ −→

a Express OS in terms of:

−→

−→

−→

i k, a and b

ii m, a and b

68 Essential Specialist Mathematics

14 The position vectors of points A and B, relative to an origin O, are a and b respectively −→ where a and b are non-zero, non-parallel vectors. The point P is such that OP = 4 OB. −→

−→

8

5 OQ.

The midpoint of AB is the point Q. The point R is such that OR =

a Find in terms of a and −→ b:

OR

b Show that R lies on AP and state the ratio AR : RP. −→

−→

OQ

 −→ −→ iii AR iv RP

−→

i

ii

−→

c Given that the point S is such that OS = OQ, ﬁnd the value of such that PS is

parallel to BA.

15 Let a = 2 and b = 3 . Find the value of x and y for which:

1

1

a xa = (y 1)b

b (2 x)a = 3a + (7 3y)b

c (5 + 2x)(a + b) = y(3a + 2b)

2.2 Resolution of a vector into rectangular components

z

A

unit vector with the same direction as a is denoted by and =

i is a unit vector in the positive direction of the x axis.

unit vector is a vector of magnitude 1. For a given vector a the a
|a| .
1
k
j
O
1
i
1

x

j and k are unit vectors in the direction of the y and z axes respectively.

i

= 0 and j = 0 for vectors in two dimensions.

1

1

i

= 0 , j = 1 and k = 0 for vectors in

1

0

0

0

0

1

y

three dimensions. It is evident that i, j and k are linearly independent.

All vectors in two or three dimensions can be expressed uniquely as a sum of multiples

of i, j and k.

e.g.

r = ⎣ ⎡

0 + r 2 + 0 = r 1 i + r 2 j + r 3 k

r

r 2 =

r

r

1

0

0

0

0

r

3

1

3

For two dimensions

Here r = xi + yj

Note |r| = x 2 + y 2

The coordinates of P are (x, y)

y P (x, y)
j
r
O
i

x

For three dimensions

−→ OP = xi + yj + zk −→

and | OP| = x 2 + y 2 + z 2 The coordinates of P are (x, y, z) The basic operations on vectors in i, j and k notation can be summarised as follows.

+

Let

Then

a 1 i a + b = (a 1

a b =

a

=

a 2 j + a 3 k,

+ b 1 )i + (a 2

and b = b 1 i + b 2 j + b 3 k + b 2 )j + (a 3 + b 3 )k

x

(a 1 b 1 )i + (a 2 b 2 )j + (a 3 b 3 )k

and

ma = ma 1 i + ma 2 j + ma 3 k for scalar m

Equivalence

If a = b then a 1 = b 1 , a 2 = b 2 and a 3 = b 3

Magnitude

|a| = a 2 + a

1

2

2

+ a

2

3 Chapter2—Vectors
69
z
P
z
O
y
x
y Example 8
D
A
B
j
O
i
C

70 Essential Specialist Mathematics

a Using the vectors i and −→ j, give the vectors: −→ −→

b

i

OA

−→

AB

−→

AB

ii

ii

ii

OB

BC

BC

iii

OC

Using the vectors i and −→ j, give the vectors:

i

Find the magnitude of −→ the vectors:

i

c

iv

−→

OD

Solution −→

 a i OA = 2i + 3j −→ ii iii OC = i − 2j −→ iv −→ −→ b AB = AO + OB i = −2i − 3j + 4i + j = 2i − 2j −→ c | AB| = √ 4 + 4 i

=

=

8 2 2

OB = 4i + j

−→

−→

OD = −2i + 3j

ii

−→

−→

−→

BC = BO + OC

= −4i j + i 2j

= −3i 3j

ii

−→

| BC| = (3) 2 + (3) 2

=

=

18 3 2 Example 9
Let a = i + 2j − k, b = 3i − 2k and c = 2i + j + k.

Find: a

a + b

b

a 2b

c

a + b + c

d

|a|

Solution

a a + b = (i + 2j k) + (3i 2k) = 4i + 2j 3k