Tagged Questions

Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

2answers
2k views

Finding force vectors

A tugboat tows a ship at a constant velocity. The tow harness consists of a single tow cable attached to the tugboat at point $A$ that splits at point $B$ and attaches to the ship at points $C$ and $D$...
3answers
733 views

How do I meaningfully divide by a vector?

How long does it take a baseball with velocity $(30, 20, 25) m/s$ to travel from location $r_1 = (3, 7,−9) m$ to location $r_2 = (18, 17, 3.5)m$? I am thinking that it should be the displacement ...
1answer
2k views

Electric field a distance $z$ above the center of a circular loop. The Hard way [closed]

Problem 2.5: Find the electric field a distance $z$ above the center of a circular loop of radius $r$ which carries a uniform line charge $\lambda$. This problem is in refereced here (with solution):...
1answer
465 views

Why can we use just one angular velocity vector to describe the rotation of a whole non-inertial reference frame?

The other day in class the professor was explaining non-inertial reference frames. We were working out how to find the acceleration of a point as measured from the non-inertial reference frame, and ...
2answers
149 views

Why is the “complete metric space” property of Hilbert spaces needed in quantum mechanics?

I have been learning more about Hilbert spaces in an effort to better understand quantum mechanics. Most of the properties of Hilbert spaces seem useful (e.g. vector space, inner product, complex ...
1answer
620 views

Rolling a ball into a cone; what should the forces overall be?

This is my solution to finding angular displacement/velocity/acceleration on cone so far. Consider a cone, with an apex of half-angle $\psi$ pointing down, and a height of $h$. If I roll a ball into ...
0answers
117 views

Sound - for purposes of vibration

What is the best way to distribute noise from more than one source (I'm envisioning a system with many), within a dome, with the ground as its primary target, at optimal frequencies and volumes to ...
3answers
29k views

Uses of vectors in real life [closed]

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 ...
3answers
404 views

Deriving cross product from angular momentum algebra

Is it possible to derive: $$\hat{L}=\hat{r}\times \hat{p}$$ from the angular momentum algebra: [\hat{L}_i,\hat{L}_j]=i\ \hbar\ \epsilon_{ijk}\hat{L}_k\ ? \...
4answers
2k 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 ...
2answers
124 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 ...
7answers
407 views

Why is force a vector? (The Feynman Lectures)

A vector is a quantity that transforms just the way the coordinates transform under rotation (while a scalar remains invariant under rotation). In FLP, he says suppose $F$ is a vector and probably ...
3answers
1k views

The velocity formula $\mathbf{v} = \mathbf{u} + \mathbf{a}t$ for 1D, 2D, 3D . What is the difference?

Could I use $\mathbf{v} = \mathbf{u} + \mathbf{a}t$ for calculating velocity in these 3 different dimensions? If not, what's the difference between these 3 dimensions? How would you calculate ...
3answers
242 views

Dimension of vector resulting from tensorial product

I'm quoting what I found in a book about quantum computation: Individual state spaces of $n$ particles combine quantum mechanically through the tensor product. If $X$ and $Y$ are vectors, then ...
7answers
80k 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.
2answers
11k 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 ...
1answer
130 views

Considering the theory of special relativity: Is torque still a vector?

Considering the theory of special relativity: Is torque still a vector? In classical mechanics it is easy: You have 3 axes and thus 3 planes. Every plane has its own torque so torque has 3 ...
2answers
7k views

split gravitational force into x, y, and z componenets

I am writing a program for a computer science class in which I am doing an n-body simulation in 3-dimensional space. Currently, I have figured out the gravitational force along the hypotenuse between ...
3answers
303 views

Why are triangles drawn like so when working with gravity on an inclined plane?

This is my first year as a physics student, and I've never learned about vectors past a basic level, so this is confusing me. When we have gravity on an inclined plane, we separate it into two ...
1answer
113 views

Coulomb's law with an $r^3$, not $r^2$, in the denominator [duplicate]

I am reading an older physics book that my professor gave me. It is going over Coulomb's law and Gauss' theorem. However, the book gives both equations with an $r^3$, not $r^2$, in the denominator. ...
2answers
275 views

Reflection - reaction force direction

Let's say an object hits a wall. When the object is reflected does the direction of the reaction force caused on the wall look like the red arrow? Does that direction depend on how "strong" object is ...
2answers
411 views

1answer
204 views

Differentiation of a vector with respect to a vector

Does differentiation of a vector with respect to a vector make any sense? Even if it makes sense, how does it make any physical meaning? I mean what is the physical interpretation?
2answers
204 views

5answers
392 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. We ...
1answer
36 views

Cable wakeboard raley

Illustration of the problem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWRixptJaRo The non physics solution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRwHcJjfCR4 My first approach to learn this was to follow youtube ...
2answers
63 views

How do we determine if a certain physical quantity is a vector?

For instance in Newtonian physics we treat position of objects, displacements, velocities, forces, momenta, angular velocities etc all as vector quantities (little arrows in space which have a certain ...
2answers
106 views

Is multiplication in physics purely mathematical or is there a physical explanation to it?

Here is what I mean: We always use mathematics in physics, which is pretty powerful, but I still need to ask whether multiplication in physics has a better explanation to what I already think. For ...