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# VECTOR ALGEBRA

## Vectors and Scalars

Finding the Resultant by Graphical
and Analytical Method
Unit vector
Vectors

## Surveyors use accurate measures of

magnitudes and directions to create
scaled maps of large regions.
Objectives: After the discussion
of this topic, student should be
able to:
Demonstrate that you meet mathematics
expectations: unit analysis, algebra, scientific
notation, and right-triangle trigonometry.
Define and give examples of scalar and vector
quantities.
Determine the components of a given vector.
Find the resultant of two or more
Expectations
You must be able convert units of
measure for physical quantities.

## Convert 40 m/s into kilometers per hour.

m 1 km 3600 s
40--- x ---------- x -------- = 144 km/h
s 1000 m 1h
Expectations (Continued):
College algebra and simple formula
manipulation are assumed.
v0 v f
Example: x t Solve for vo
2
Expectations (Continued)
You must be able to work in scientific
notation.

## Gmm (6.67 x 10-11)(4 x 10-3)(2)

F = -------- = ------------
r2 (8.77 x 10-3)2

## F = 6.94 x 10-9 N = 6.94 nN

Expectations (Continued)
You must be familiar with SI prefixes

## The meter (m) 1 m = 1 x 100 m

1 Gm = 1 x 109 m 1 nm = 1 x 10-9 m
1 Mm = 1 x 106 m 1 mm = 1 x 10-6 m
1 km = 1 x 103 m 1 mm = 1 x 10-3 m
Expectations (Continued)
You must have mastered right-triangle
trigonometry.
y
sin q y = R sin q
R
y R
x
cos q x = R cos q
R
q
y 2
x tan q R = x2 + y2
x
Distance: A Scalar Quantity
Distance is the length of the actual path
taken by an object.

A scalar quantity:
s = 20 m B
Contains magnitude
only and consists of a
A
number and a unit.
(20 m, 40 mi/h, 10 gal)
DisplacementA Vector Quantity
Displacement is the straight-line
separation of two points in a specified
direction.

A vector quantity:
D = 12 m, 20o B
Contains magnitude
A AND direction, a
q number, unit & angle.
(12 m, 300; 8 km/h, N)
Distance and Displacement
Displacement is the x or y coordinate of
position. Consider a car that travels 4
m, E then 6 m, W.

Net displacement:
D 4 m,E D = 2 m, W
What is the distance
x = -2 x = +4 traveled?
6 m,W 10 m !!
Identifying Direction
A common way of identifying direction
is by reference to East, North, West,
and South. (Locate points below.)

N Length = 40 m
40 m, 50o N of E
60o 50o
W E 40 m, 60o N of W
60o
60o
40 m, 60o W of S
40 m, 60o S of E
S
Identifying Direction
Write the angles shown below by using
references to east, south, west, north.

N N
45o
W E
50o W E
S
S

500 S of E 450 W of N
Vectors and Polar Coordinates
Polar coordinates (R,q) are an excellent
way to express vectors. Consider the
vector 40 m, 500 N of E, for example.

90o 90o
40 m R
180o 50o 180o q

0o 0o
270o 270o

## R is the magnitude and q is the direction.

Vectors and Polar Coordinates
Polar coordinates (R,q) are given for each

90o
(R,q) = 40 m, 50o

## 60o 50o (R,q) = 40 m, 120o

180o 0o
60o
60o (R,q) = 40 m, 210o

(R,q) = 40 m, 300o
270o
Rectangular Coordinates
(-2, +3) x and y axes, with +
(+3, +2) and - numbers to
+ indicate position in
+ space.
x
- Right, up = (+,+)
-
Left, down = (-,-)
(-1, -3) (+4, -3) (x,y) = (?, ?)
Trigonometry Review
Application of Trigonometry to Vectors

Trigonometry y
sin q y = R sin q
R
y R x
cos q x = R cos q
R
q y
x tan q R2 = x2 + y2
x
Example 1: Find the height of a building
if it casts a shadow 90 m long and the
indicated angle is 30o.
The height h is opposite 300 and
the known adjacent side is 90 m.
opp h
tan 30
0

300
h = (90 m) tan 30o
90 m
h = 57.7 m
Finding Components of Vectors
A component is the effect of a vector along
other directions. The x and y components of
the vector (R,q) are illustrated below.

x = R cos q
R y = R sin q
y
q
Finding components:
x
Polar to Rectangular Conversions
Example 2: A person walks 400 m in a
direction of 30o N of E. How far is the
displacement east and how far north?
N
N
R 400 m
y y=?
q 30o
E
x E x=?

## The x-component (E) is ADJ: x = R cos q

The y-component (N) is OPP: y = R sin q
Example 2 (Cont.): A 400-m walk in a
direction of 30o N of E. How far is the
displacement east and how far north?
N Note: x is the side
400 m adjacent to angle 300
y=?
30o
E ADJ = HYP x Cos 300
x=?
x = R cos q

## x = (400 m) cos 30o The x-component is:

= +346 m, E Rx = +346 m
Example 2 (Cont.): A 400-m walk in a
direction of 30o N of E. How far is the
displacement east and how far north?
N Note: y is the side
400 m opposite to angle 300
y=?
30o
E OPP = HYP x Sin 300
x=?
y = R sin q

## y = (400 m) sin 30o The y-component is:

= + 200 m, N Ry = +200 m
Example 2 (Cont.): A 400-m walk in a
direction of 30o N of E. How far is the
displacement east and how far north?
N
400 m The x- and y-
Ry = components are
30o +200 m each + in the
E
+346 m

## Solution: The person is displaced 346 m east

and 200 m north of the original position.
Signs for Rectangular Coordinates
90o
R is positive (+)
R + 0o > q < 90o
q
0o x = +; y = +
+
x = R cos q
y = R sin q
Signs for Rectangular Coordinates
90o
R is positive (+)
R
+ q 90o > q < 180o
180o
x=-; y=+

x = R cos q
y = R sin q
Signs for Rectangular Coordinates
R is positive (+)
q 180o > q < 270o
180o
x=- y=-
-
R x = R cos q
y = R sin q
270o
Signs for Rectangular Coordinates
R is positive (+)
q 270o > q < 360o
+ 360o
x=+ y=-

R x = R cos q
y = R sin q
270o
Resultant of Perpendicular Vectors
Finding resultant of two perpendicular vectors is
like changing from rectangular to polar coord.

R R x y 2 2

y
q
y
x tan q
x
R is always positive; q is from + x axis
Example 3: A 30-lb southward force
and a 40-lb eastward force act on a
donkey at the same time. What is the
NET or resultant force on the donkey?
Draw a rough sketch. Choose rough scale:
Ex: 1 cm = 10 lb
40 lb 40 lb

4 cm = 40 lb
30 lb 3 cm = 30 lb
30 lb
Finding Resultant: (Cont.)
Finding (R,q) from given (x,y) = (+40, -30)

40 lb q Rx 40 lb
f
Ry

30 lb R 30 lb

R= x2 + y2 R= (40)2 + (30)2 = 50 lb

-30
tan f = f = -36.9o q = 323.1o
40
Unit vector notation (i,j,k)
y Consider 3D axes (x, y, z)
j Define unit vectors, i, j, k
i x
k Examples of Use:
z 40 m, E = 40 i 40 m, W = -40 i
30 m, N = 30 j 30 m, S = -30 j
20 m, out = 20 k 20 m, in = -20 k
Example 4: A woman walks 30 m, W;
then 40 m, N. Write her displacement
in i,j notation and in R,q notation.
In i,j notation, we have:
+40 m R R = Rxi + Ry j
f Rx = - 30 m Ry = + 40 m
-30 m
R = -30 i + 40 j

## Displacement is 30 m west and 40 m

north of the starting position.
Example 4 (Cont.): Next we find her
displacement in R,q notation.
40
tan f ; f = 53.1
59.10

+40 R 30
m
f q = 1800 53.10
-30 m
q = 126.9o

R (30) (40)
2 2
R = 50 m

## (R,q) = (50 m, 126.9o)

Example 5: Town A is 35 km south and 46 km
west of Town B. Find length and direction of
highway between towns.
46 km
R = -46 i 35 j
f?
R (46 km)2 (35 km)2 35 B
km
R = 57.8 km R=?
A
46 km
tan f
35 km q = 1800 + 52.70

f = 52.70 S. of W. q = 232.70
Example 6. Find the components of the 240-N
force exerted by the boy on the girl if his arm
makes an angle of 280 with the ground.

F = 240 N

Fy F
280
Fy
Fx

## Fy = +|(240 N) sin 280| = +113 N F = -(212 N)i + (113 N)j

Component Method
1. Start at origin. Draw each vector
approximately with tip of 1st to tail of 2nd,
tip of 2nd to tail 3rd, and so on for others.

## 2. Draw resultant from origin to tip of last

vector, noting the quadrant of the resultant.

## 4. Add vectors algebraically to get resultant in

i,j notation. Then convert to (R,q).
Example 7. A boat moves 2.0 km east then
4.0 km north, then 3.0 km west, and finally
2.0 km south. Find resultant displacement.
1. Start at origin. N
D 3 km, W
Draw each vector 2 km, S C B
with tip of 1st to tail 4 km, N
of 2nd, tip of 2nd to
tail 3rd, and so on for
E
A
others. 2 km, E
2. Draw resultant from origin to tip of last
vector, noting the quadrant of the resultant.
Note: The magnitude is approximated, but it is
still clear that the resultant is in the fourth
Example 7 (Cont.) Find resultant displacement.
3. Write each vector N
in i,j notation: D 3 km, W
2 km, S C B
A = +2 i 4 km, N

B= +4j E
A
C = -3 i 2 km, E
D= -2j 4. Add vectors A,B,C,D
algebraically to get
R = -1 i + 2 j resultant in i,j notation.
1 km, west and 2 5. Convert to R,q notation
km north of origin. See next page.
Example 7 (Cont.) Find resultant displacement.
Resultant Sum is: N
D 3 km, W
R = -1 i + 2 j 2 km, S C B
4 km, N
Now, We Find R, q
E
A
R (1) (2) 5
2 2
2 km, E

R = 2.24 km
2 km R Ry= +2
tan f km
1 km
f
f = 63.40 N or W Rx = -1 km
Reminder of Significant Units:
N
For convenience, we D 3 km
follow the practice of 2 km C B
4 km
assuming two (2)
decimal places for E
A

## In the previous example, we assume that the

distances are 2.00 km, 4.00 km, and 3.00 km.

## Thus, the answer must be reported as:

R = 2.24 km, 63.40 N of W
Example 8: Find R,q for the three vector
displacements below:
A = 5 m, 00 C=
R 0.5 m
B = 2.1 m, 200 B
q 200
C = 0.5 m, 900
A=5m B = 2.1 m
Example 8: Find R,q for the three vector
displacements below: (A table may help.)
For i,j notation C=
R 0.5 m
find x,y compo- B
nents of each q 200

## Vector f X-component (i) Y-component (j)

A=5 m 00 +5m 0
B=2.1m 200 +(2.1 m) cos 200 +(2.1 m) sin 200
C=.5 m 900 0 + 0.5 m
Rx = Ax+Bx+Cx Ry = Ay+By+Cy
Example 8 (Cont.): Find i,j for three vectors:
A = 5 m,00; B = 2.1 m, 200; C = 0.5 m, 900.
X-component (i) Y-component (j)
Ax = + 5.00 m Ay = 0
Bx = +1.97 m By = +0.718 m
Cx = 0 Cy = + 0.50 m

## 4. Add vectors to A = 5.00 i + 0j

get resultant R B = 1.97 i + 0.718 j
in i,j notation. C= 0 i + 0.50 j

R = 6.97 i + 1.22 j
Example 8 (Cont.): Find i,j for three vectors: A
= 5 m,00; B = 2.1 m, 200; C = 0.5 m, 900.
R = 6.97 i + 1.22 j Diagram for
finding R,q:
5. Determine R,q from x,y:
R Ry
R (6.97 m) (1.22 m)
2 2
q 1.22 m
Rx= 6.97 m
R = 7.08 m

1.22 m
tan f q = 9.930 N. of E.
6.97 m
Example 9: A bike travels 20 m, E then 40 m
at 60o N of W, and finally 30 m at 210o. What
is the resultant displacement graphically?
C = 30 m Graphically, we use
B= ruler and protractor
30o
40 m to draw components,
then measure the
R Resultant R,q
q 60o
f
A = 20 m, E

## Let 1 cm = 10 m R = (32.6 m, 143.0o)

A Graphical Understanding of the Components
and of the Resultant is given below:

Note: Rx = Ax + Bx + Cx
Cy
By 30o 0
C B Ry = Ay + By + Cy
R
Ry q
f 60o A
Rx Ax
Cx Bx
Example 9 (Cont.) Using the Component
Method to solve for the Resultant.
Write each vector
Cy B in i,j notation.
y 30o
C B
Ax = 20 m, Ay = 0
R
Ry q 60 A A = 20 i
f
Rx A Bx = -40 cos 60o = -20 m
x
Cx Bx By = 40 sin 60o = +34.6 m

B = -20 i + 34.6 j
Cx = -30 cos 30o = -26 m
Cy = -30 sin 60o = -15 m C = -26 i - 15 j
Example 9 (Cont.) The Component Method
Cy B
y 30o A = 20 i
C B
R B = -20 i + 34.6 j
Ry q
f 60 A C = -26 i - 15 j
Rx A
x R = -26 i + 19.6 j
Cx Bx

## R= (-26)2 + (19.6)2 = 32.6 m

+19.6 R
19.6
f tan f = q = 143o
-26 -26
Example 9 (Cont.) Find the Resultant.

Cy B R = -26 i + 19.6 j
y 30o
C B
R
Ry R
f q 60 A +19.6
f
Rx A -26
x
Cx Bx

## The Resultant Displacement of the bike is best

given by its polar coordinates R and q.

R = 32.6 m; q = 1430
Example 10. Find R= A + B + C for Vectors
Shown below.
B Cx
A = 5 m, 900 350 C
B = 12 m, 00 A y

q C
C = 20 m, -350
R

Ax = 0; Ay = +5 m
A= 0 i + 5.00 j
Bx = +12 m; By = 0 B = 12 i + 0j
Cx = (20 m) cos 350 C = 16.4 i 11.5 j
Cy = -(20 m) sin -350 R = 28.4 i - 6.47 j
Example 10 (Continued). Find A + B + C

B Rx = 28.4 m
350 q
A
q C R
R Ry = -6.47 m

R (28.4 m) (6.47 m)
2 2
R = 29.1 m
6.47 m
tan f q = 12.80 S. of E.
28.4 m
Vector Difference
For vectors, signs are indicators of direction.
Thus, when a vector is subtracted, the sign
(direction) must be changed before adding.

## First Consider A + B Graphically:

R=A+B
B
R
B
A A
Vector Difference
For vectors, signs are indicators of direction.
Thus, when a vector is subtracted, the sign
(direction) must be changed before adding.

## Now A B: First change sign (direction)

of B, then add the negative vector.
B -B A
R -B
A A