Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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4answers
114 views

Sum of acceleration vectors

If a point mass has some accelerations $\mathbf{a_1} $ and $\mathbf{a_2} $, why is mathematically true that the "total" acceleration is $\mathbf{a}= \mathbf {a_1}+\mathbf {a_2}$?
2
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1answer
120 views

What type of mathematical structure is a physicist's definition of a vector space?

A vector space as defined by a mathematician lacks the invariant scalar product that lies at the heart of what I would define as a physicist's definition of a vector space that models the physical ...
2
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2answers
97 views

How to determine which one would not be the resultant?

i had a physics exam yesterday, which was all in all pretty good except for this one question which i just don't get.: ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

About vector form of friction

I read a text on mechanics and in the chapter on friction, there written that the kinetic friction is in the form $$f_k = \mu_k F_N$$ where $f_k$ is the kinetic friction, $\mu_k$ is the kinetic ...
2
votes
2answers
254 views

Coordinate transformation from earth to solar

I am building a 3d model of the solar system and need to figure out the position of the pole stars of each planet in order to tilt the planets in the correct direction the correct amount. I've already ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

Orthogonality in curved space/spacetime

When are two vectors orthogonal in curved spacetime? From wikipedia: "In 2-D or higher-dimensional Euclidean space, two vectors are orthogonal if and only if their dot product is zero, i.e. they ...
2
votes
2answers
270 views

Why do smaller objects become harder to break?

When grabbing a typical tree branch of at least two feet, it's so easy to snap with a less than one inch circumference that even a toddler can do it. However, after breaking it, the smaller halves ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Which are other anomalies like Divergence of 1/r^2?

As one might have learned in the basic science (ex. Electrodynamic theory), when we apply the divergence theorem to the vector function like 1/r^2 with it pointing in the radial direction (like ...
2
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1answer
58 views

What does relative to something mean?

I just started learning about vector components and relative motion. I don't understand what relative to something means. I looked online but none of the explanations are helpful. If someone could ...
2
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1answer
155 views

Equivalent definitions of vectors

Equivalent definitions of vectors. In maths a vector is an object that obeys some axioms of a vector space. But in physics a vector can be thought as an object which is invariant under rotations of ...
2
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1answer
2k views

How do I split a vector into components parallel and perpendicular to a known line?

Given $\mathbf{F}=\langle 7.20,−12.0,28.2\rangle\text{ Newtons}$, find the component of $\mathbf{F}$ that acts perpendicular to member DA such that the vector addition of the perpendicular and ...
2
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5answers
184 views

How does this shell hit the aircraft?

A fighter aircraft is flying horizontally at an altitude of 1500m with speed of 200m/s. The aircraft passes directly overhead an anti-aircraft gun. The muzzle speed of the gun is 600m/s. ...
2
votes
2answers
979 views

Meaning of angular velocity in a rotating system

When you study the motion of a rigid body you have $\vec\omega$, the vector associated to angular velocity. In the case you are using Euler angles and want a quick formula for the rotational kinetic ...
2
votes
3answers
692 views

negative vectors (eg velocity)

If you said someone had a velocity of -12mph and they were traveling north? Wouldn't it mean that they were traveling 12mph south? This is a quote from here: if something [object-x] moving to the ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

What is the physical interpretation of the dot/inner/scalar product of two vectors?

What is the physical interpretation of the dot/inner/scalar product of two vectors? See, if we multiply two scalars like 2*3 we say two times three is six. I also do understand multiplication of ...
2
votes
1answer
258 views

The curl of a special cross product

When given two vectors $\mathbf{A}$ and $\mathbf{B}$, the curl of the cross product of these two is given by ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

$\hat{\imath}$ component of force exerted on an electron by a magnetic field?

The magnetic field over a certain range is given by $\vec{B} = B_x\hat{\imath} + B_y\hat{\jmath}$, where $B_x= 4\: \mathrm{T}$ and $B_y= 2\: \mathrm{T}$. An electron moves into the field with a ...
2
votes
2answers
305 views

Sum of all forces

Let us glue up these two images, where we get closed loop thrust of water. Force $F_3$ has direction $-x$ and force $F_2$ has $x$ direction. What is the sum of all forces? Can it be more than zero? ...
2
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1answer
175 views

Vector transformation in special relativity

Please note that I am very new on this website so have some difficulties in writings as required here but trying really hard to learn quickly. La-Tex is the main problem but please understand me that ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

Another question about Shankar's notation

I have another question on the notation in Shankar. I think it's sloppy, but I also may just be misunderstanding it. Again, this is at the very beginning of the math intro. He has: $$a\left| V ...
2
votes
1answer
16k views

How Does force relate to velocity

I had originally asked this question on math overflow and it was suggested that I ask it here. So I know that a force will change the magnitude of velocity if it is at an angle other that 90 degrees. ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Understanding vectors in an example

I just read an example of vectors in my book which is confusing me. Three particles A,B and C are at the vertices of an equilateral trinagle ABC. Each of the particle moves with constant speed v. ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Laws of addition of Vectors

How Triangle Law and Parallelogram law of addition of Vectors are different?Ain't they. Please don't tell me the things written in book......give me the appropriate reason.And how do i distinguish ...
2
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3answers
506 views

What is the general approach to calculating time of impact in 3D?

Given two objects a and b moving at fixed velocities, how would you determine (a) whether they will collide at all, and if so, (b) time of impact? (Let us assume these are spherical bodies each with ...
2
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1answer
470 views

Combined Gravitational Force Vectors in a Spherical Coordinate System

Asking a question here is quite intimidating for me -- while I love Physics, my high-school understanding only allows me to go so far... I've been trying to solve this problem for the last couple of ...
2
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1answer
203 views

Line of action force

The task is to reduce the two forces into a single net force and then find the equation of its line of action. I chose to find the net force and momentum with respect to the origin. The magnitude of ...
2
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2answers
489 views

2D - Kinematics - Linkage System using Vector Algebra [closed]

I have this question that I dont know how to solve correctly : My question is, how do I find $V_B$ ? I will find the angular velocities myself, but I want to know the method to get $V_B$ ? I know ...
2
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0answers
96 views

Surface normal on the earth to the sun at a given point in time

How complicated is it to calculate a surface normal on the spherical approximation of the earths surface pointing towards the sun at a given point in time? What I try do is to highlight a small area ...
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3answers
13k views

Uses of Vectors In Real Life

I always wonder how vectors are used in real life.Vectors and decomposition of vectors,dot and cross products are taught in the early stage in every undergraduate physics course and in every ...
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2answers
102 views

Differentiating a vector product

$$m_i\mathbf{r}_i\times\frac{\mathrm{d}^2\mathbf{r}_i}{\mathrm{d}t^2} = \frac{\mathrm{d}}{\mathrm{d}t}\biggl(m_i\mathbf{r}_i\times\frac{\mathrm{d}\mathbf{r}_i}{\mathrm{d}t}\biggr)$$ I do not ...
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4answers
429 views

Vectors with more than 3 components

I have some confusion over Vectors, Its components and dimensions. Does the number of vector components mean that a vector is in that many dimensions? For e.g. $A$ vector with 4 components has 4 ...
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3answers
1k views

Can vectors in physics be represented by complex numbers and can they be divided? [closed]

Below is attached for reference, but the question is simply about whether vectors used in physics in a vector space can be represented by complex numbers and whether they can be divided. In ...
1
vote
3answers
112 views

Gradient is covariant or contravariant?

I read somewhere people write gradient in covariant form because of their proposes. I think gradient expanded in covariant basis $i$, $j$, $k$, so by invariance nature of vectors, component of ...
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5answers
718 views

What is the direction of a point vector. A vector with magnitude 0? [closed]

A simple question : Can a point on a piece of paper represent a vector ? Can i say that a point "B" ( magnitude =0, because it's a point) , is having direction towards +x axis ? Thanks
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1answer
159 views

Why consider only direction cosines?

Why are these called direction angles? Why do we consider only direction cosines and not direction sines or tans. What is its actual significance? And How to use them? Why are they called ...
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3answers
5k views

Why work is a scalar and not a vector?

Work (in physics) is a scalar but why? and why not a vector?
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2answers
2k views

Derive vector gradient in spherical coordinates from first principles

Trying to understand where the $\frac{1}{r sin(\theta)}$ and $1/r$ bits come in the definition of gradient. I've derived the spherical unit vectors but now I don't understand how to transform ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

A simple way of calculating Euler Angles from Rotation Matrix — help!

This is a follow up of this question : I have the rotation matrix $$ \left( \begin{matrix} a_{11} & a_{12} & a_{13}\\ a_{21} & a_{22} & a_{23}\\ a_{31} & a_{32} & ...
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3answers
4k views

Vertical and horizontal components of forces and vectors

I'm getting a bit confused when finding components of vectors and forces. In problems for vectors, I've always known that if you want to get the components of a vector, you would use the following: ...
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vote
2answers
407 views

Vectors, Component Addition, and Significant Figures

I have two vectors $\vec{A}$ and $\vec{B}$ and I need to find the x- and y-components of $\vec{C} = \vec{A} + \vec{B}$. Here's what I have so far: $$|\vec{A}| = 50.0 \mathrm{m}, \theta = ...
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1answer
35 views

What kind of physical quantity is angular displacement?

Angular Displacement is neither a vector nor a scalar. What type of physical quantity it is? Are there any other examples of that physical quantity?
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1answer
60 views

Curl of a vector field with two different systems of coordinates

Let $$\mathbf{H} = H_x \mathbf{u}_x + H_y \mathbf{u}_y + H_z \mathbf{u}_z$$ be a vector field whose components are defined with respect to the unit vectors $\mathbf{u}_x$, $\mathbf{u}_y$ and ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Intuitive meaning of Dot Product [duplicate]

I know intuitively that the Cross Product of two vectors $\vec{A}$ and $\vec{B}$ represents another vector $\vec{A \times B}$ perpendicular to it. In study of physics we come across this situation a ...
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2answers
2k views

What does the magnitude of the acceleration mean?

I am a little confused as to what the magnitude of acceleration is and what it means.
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2answers
2k views

Angular displacement and the displacement vector

I've been recently introduced to angular displacement, and I'm a little bit confused about it. I think that displacement which is a vector and which is defined as the shortest distance between any two ...
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2answers
122 views

Points in Spacetime

Assume there are two points in spacetime $a=(t,x,y,z)$ and $a'=(t',x',y',z')$. Let's say that the first one is in the origin of spacetime i.e. $a=(0,0,0,0)$. The point $a'$ has two possibilities ...
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2answers
250 views

Conservation of Linear Momentum with respect to a given direction

Is linear momentum conserved in any direction? More specifically, if you project all momentum vectors in a system onto another vector, will momentum be conserved? I know that momentum is conserved ...
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2answers
250 views

Question on notation in Shankar's Quantum Mechanics - math intro on vector spaces

I'm just beginning Shankar's 2nd edition Quantum Mechanics and having some trouble with notation. He defines his vectors as "$\left|V\right>$" . And with a scalar multiplier as "$a\left|V\right>$" . ...
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2answers
278 views

Why no basis vector in Newtonian gravitational vector field?

In my textbook, the gravitational field is given by$$\mathbf{g}\left(\mathbf{r}\right)=-G\frac{M}{\left|\mathbf{r}\right|^{2}}e_{r}$$ which is a vector field. On the same page, it is also given as a ...
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2answers
3k views

The resultant of two forces acting at any angle?

I am studying about forces as vectors. And they give me this equation: $c^2 = a^2 + b^2 - 2ab \cos C$ Can anybody explain me the second part of the equation? I perfectly understand $c^2 = a^2 + b^2$ ...