Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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164 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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7k 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
3k 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 ...
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2answers
117 views

If an asteroid were threatening the Earth, could I deviate it just by jumping on it?

An impact by a 10 kilometres asteroid on the Earth has historically caused an extinction-level event due to catastrophic damage to the biosphere. There is also the threat from comets coming ...
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143 views

Inner products with orthonormal bases

Probably a stupid question here - I think it's a case of me not having sufficient mathematical background to follow this through. In Leonard Susskind's Theoretical Minimum book, he represents the ...
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96 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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5k 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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448 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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48 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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65 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 ...
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1answer
112 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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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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123 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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257 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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256 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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295 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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4k 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 $c^2 = a^2 + b^2$ ...
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1answer
52 views

Vectors in non-orthogonal systems

In a non-orthogonal coordinate system, what is the physically significant difference between the components of a vector on the skew axes and its projection onto each axis? Why would one want to find ...
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1answer
55 views

4-vector velocity to Newtonian?

The four-vector condition for a particle free of forces is: $\frac{du}{dτ} = 0$ and the equivalence of this to the statement of newton's first law follows from the expression for four-velocity: ...
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80 views

Why should multiplication of a ket vector by a complex number change only its “direction”?

Dirac argues on page 17 of his book, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, that multiplication of a ket by a complex number shouldn't change the state this ket represents. But then concludes: Thus ...
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1answer
123 views

Understanding vectors in physics: notation

We have the formula for the Lorentz force $$\textbf{F} = q \space(\textbf{E} + \textbf{v} \times \textbf {B})$$ This is a simple formula you learn in high school, but I'm interested to self-study ...
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1answer
199 views

Spinor formalism in QFT

We can describe fields by two formalisms: vector and spinor. This is the result of possibility of representation of the Lorentz's group irreducible rep as straight cross product of two $SU(2)$ or two ...
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156 views

rotation matrix - why am I thinking this wrong?

The rotation given in Question 1 part ii) doesn't match with this wikipedia link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotation_matrix. $$ \begin{array}{lcl} x' &=& x \cos\theta - y \sin\theta \\ y' ...
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102 views

Currents and magnets

I've watched this video on YouTube by Sixty Symbols entitled "Currents and Magnets". In the video, the professor demonstrates the expansion of a wire due to current heating it up and he also ...
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492 views

Potential of surface charge

I have a question about the $ \hat{n} $ in this formula $\sigma = P \dot{}\hat{n}$. Why do sometime in my book they get $\sigma = P \cos{\theta}$ for a sphere. Isn't $\hat{n} = r$ ? And then in ...
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73 views

Interpretations of (r,s) tensors [duplicate]

A tensor of type (r,s) on a vector space V is a C-valued function T on V×V×...×V×W×W×...×W (there are r V's and s W's in which W is dual space of V) which is linear in each argument. We take (0, 0) ...
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79 views

What are some good resources for learning how to apply vectors in physics?

Although I don't have any problems with vectors when using them in Mathematics but I am having a hard time using them in physics. It is really frustrating me. Can you please recommend me some good ...
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163 views

More about the Right Hand Rule?

We started learning about electromagnetism in physics class, and the Right Hand Rule comes in handy as seems easy to use, but I'm curious as to how it actually works. I guess it's more of a math ...
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248 views

Angle needed for object A to intercept with object B

Object B is 15 degrees East of North at a distance of 20km/h. Object B is moving at an average speed of 30km/h in the direction 40 degrees East of North. If object A is capable of moving at 100km/h, ...
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1answer
81 views

How to add magnitude data in an ENU coordiante system

I have water velocity data taken in an ENU (East, North, UP) or XYZ coordinate system. The data is contained in 3 columns like this: ...
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1answer
447 views

Resultant vector problem

$\newcommand{\v}[1]{\vec #1}\newcommand{\i}{\hat i}\newcommand{\j}{\hat j}$ Problem statement (1,2) A shopper at the supermarket follows the path indicated by vectors $\v A, \v B, \v C, \v D$ in ...
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646 views

Is it possible to prove that the curl of a gradient equals zero in this way?

If $(\nabla\times\nabla\Phi)_i = \epsilon_{ijk}\partial_j\partial_k\Phi$, where Einstein summation is being used to find the $i$th component... Using Clairaut's theorem $\partial_{i}\partial_{j}\Phi ...
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261 views

Is there a more clever way to apply the cross product of two vectors to magnetism?

I am just beginning to learn magnetism and my book used two ways to define the force caused by the magnetic field, brushing over the latter. The first: $$F = q v B \sin (\theta).$$ And: ...
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594 views

Bra space and adjoint vectors

If I'm not wrong, a bra, $ \langle \phi_n | $, can be thought as a linear functional that when applied to a ket vector, $| \phi_m \rangle$, returns a complex number; that is, the inner product it's a ...
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1answer
28 views

How can I calculate the speed of an object knowing its horizontal and vertical velocity components?

Let's say a ball is thrown and it experiences typical projectile motion (moves in a parabolic arc etc.) and the only information we know are the equations for the horizontal and vertical components of ...
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32 views

Vectors-Can anyone explain me the concept of sense in vectors?

Is it same as the direction?Then , why another term "sense"is used ,instead of direction? Can anyone illustrate it?
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103 views

Integral ambiguity

I'm a bit confused with some notation I encounter in physics calculus. Consider this: Taken from here. Integration operates on functions, correct? What does it mean to integrate $\frac{d{\bf ...
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49 views

Free vs bound vectors and torque

When considering basic Newtonian mechanics, we can treat vector as free and move their point of application at will. This is consistent with the affine nature of Euclidean space. However, when ...
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2answers
48 views

How do I find the perpendicular velocity of a particle to a varying magnetic field?

I am trying to find the component of velocity perpendicular to a magnetic field. This was easy when the magnetic field was static and pointing in only one direction (the $z$ axis), but now I need to ...
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1answer
127 views

Rate of change of a vector

I'm studying the book "Classical Mechanics" by Goldstein together with a coursebook my professor provided. I'm having trouble grasping how to intuitively determine what the rate of change of a vector ...
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1answer
91 views

Plane Polar coordinates for simple pendulum in moving lift(elevator) [closed]

Can any one help me with the following. A simple pendulum is suspended from the ceiling of a lift. It is moving upward with acceleration $a$. The string of the effective length of the pendulum makes ...
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1answer
188 views

Finding angular momentum about the center of mass?

If we have a couple of particles of an equal, unknown mass: $$r_{+} = (c + e^{-Bt} \cos({\theta}))\textbf{x} + (d + e^{-Bt} \sin({\theta}))\textbf{y}$$ $$r_{-} = (c - e^{-Bt} ...
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186 views

Need clearing up on vector decomposition in motion physics

I've been pursuing physics on my own, and I need something cleared up. Say I have two arbitrary objects, I have their velocities, I know when the collide, I have their normal vectors, etc. I know ...
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226 views

Angular position vector?

I'm a mathematician, so I like my angular velocities to be vectors. It makes my angular momenta and torques vectors as well, and so they have nice operations I can do on them. Because of that, I pick ...
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2answers
470 views

I don't understand the idea of perpendicular vectors being independent of each other?

So problem 71-75 is about vectors. The problem says: A river has a current flowing with a velocity of 2.0 meters per second due east. A boat is 75 meters from the north riverbank. It travels at ...
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2answers
994 views

How to find the resultant of two forces? [closed]

I got this question in a assignment and haven't been able to figure out how to get to the correct result. A force of 6 newtons and a force of 10 newtons can be combine to form a resultant of ...
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1answer
86 views

Commutation of abstract $O(3)$ generators and vectors

I've been given the following problem, and I'm quite lost with it. Let $L_1$, $L_2$, and $L_3$ denote the abstract o(3) algebras. You are given that $\vec{A} = (A_1, A_2, A_3)$ and $\vec{B} = (B_1, ...
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1answer
115 views

Interchaning a position between two reference frames?

$\vec{r}_a$ is a positional vector from reference frame $a$. What is the position of same point from reference frame $b$ ? If required, assume position of origin of frame $a$ is $\vec{m}$ and ...
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226 views

Navier-Stokes equations: conservation of momentum

The first Navier-Stokes equation (conservation of mass) says: $\vec \nabla \cdot \vec v=0$ For a stationary flow, the l.h.s of the second equation is (conservation of momentum): $\rho \frac{D\vec ...
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381 views

Induced voltage of a conductor in a magnetic field

A book which I referenced for Electrical Machinery states that the voltage induced in a conductor inside a magnetic field is given by $$ \mathcal{E}=(\mathbf{v} \times \mathbf{B})\cdot \mathbf{l}$$ ...