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Addition of Vectors:

Resolution of Vectors
• A single vector is usually divided into two vectors called components that
are perpendicular to each other.
• The process of splitting vector into its component is called resolution. The
components are normally along the x and y axis of the cartesian coordinate
• The component along x axis is called horizontal component, while the
component along y axis is called vertical component.
• To represent the horizontal and vertical components of a vector V, 𝑉𝑥 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑉𝑦
will be used, respectively. In general,
𝑉𝑥 = 𝑉 cos 𝜃 𝑉𝑦 = 𝑉 sin 𝜃
provided that ∅ is measured with respect to the x – axis. The signs of the
horizontal and vertical components of the given vector must also be taken into
consideration, depending on the quadrant where the vector lies.
y - axis

y - axis

Quadrant II Quadrant I
V - x, +y +x, +y

x - axis
Quadrant III Quadrant IV
𝜽 - x, - y +x, - y
𝑉𝑥 x - axis

A given vector may be resolved using Different quadrants of the cartesian

its horizontal and vertical components. coordinate system.
Component Method
• The component method is generally used when more than two vectors are to be added.
The steps involved in adding vectors using the component method is as follows:
1. Resolve the given vectors into its horizontal and vertical components.
2. Get the algebraic sum of all the horizontal components, σ 𝑉𝑥 . Then, get the algebraic
sum of all the vertical components, σ 𝑉𝑦 . These sums represent the horizontal
component and the vertical component of the resultant, respectively.
෍ 𝑉𝑥 = 𝑉𝑥1 + 𝑉𝑥2 + 𝑉𝑥3 + ⋯ + 𝑉𝑥𝑛

෍ 𝑉𝑦 = 𝑉𝑦1 + 𝑉𝑦2 + 𝑉𝑦3 + ⋯ + 𝑉𝑦𝑛

3. Since the vertical and horizontal components are perpendicular to each other, the
magnitude of the resultant may be calculated using the Pythagorean Theorem.
2 2

𝑅= ෍ 𝑉𝑥 + ෍ 𝑉𝑦
From the signs of the sum of the horizontal components and the
vertical components, determine the quadrant where the resultant is.
This will indicate the direction of the resultant.
4. Solve for the angle 𝜃 that the resultant makes with the horizontal.
σ 𝑉𝑦 σ 𝑉𝑦
𝜃 = 𝑎𝑟𝑐𝑡𝑎𝑛 𝑜𝑟 𝜃 = tan−1
σ 𝑉𝑥 σ 𝑉𝑥
σ 𝑉𝑦
Note: σ means that the absolute value of the sum of the vectors
along the y – axis divided by the vectors along the x – axis.