Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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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 $D$...
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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 ...
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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):...
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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1answer
612 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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3answers
404 views

Deriving cross product from angular momentum algebra

Is it possible to derive: \begin{equation} \hat{L}=\hat{r}\times \hat{p} \end{equation} from the angular momentum algebra: \begin{equation} [\hat{L}_i,\hat{L}_j]=i\ \hbar\ \epsilon_{ijk}\hat{L}_k\ ? \...
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4answers
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
2
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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. ...
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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 ...
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2answers
411 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} & a_{33}\\...
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4answers
18k views

What is the difference between dot and cross product?

What is the difference between dot product and cross product? Why do we use cross product to find torque, why can't we use dot product? Also we use dot product to find work done and not cross product?...
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4answers
2k 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 $\mathbf{a}= \mathbf {a_1}+\mathbf {a_2}$?
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146 views

Rotation of a vector

Is a vector necessarily changed when it is rotated through an angle? I think a vector always gets changed because its projection will change, and also its inclination with axes will always change. ...
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3answers
98 views

Meaning of the Vector Wave Equation

So I thought I would try my luck here on physics stack exchange about an intuitive meaning of the Vector Wave Equation. I know there are a lot of resources out there that explain this equation, but ...
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2answers
205 views

What coordinate systems allows the magnitude of the basis vectors to change with position?

I'm familiar with coordinate systems where the direction of the basis vectors changes with position, but I haven't come across any where the relative magnitude of the basis vectors themselves are ...
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1answer
194 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 ...
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3answers
22k 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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2answers
670 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 ...
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2answers
375 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 ...
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1answer
64 views

Why does the divergence of the Ponyting vector have energy flux density?

The poynting vector is defined as $\vec{S}=\mu_{0}^{-1}\vec{E}\times \vec{B}$ Taking the divergence of the poynting vector, one arrives at $\vec{\nabla} \cdot \vec{S}=-\frac{\partial u}{\...
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2answers
226 views

How is 4-current a 4-vector?

I am looking at Jackson sec 11.9, where he states that the $\rho,\bf{J}$ form the 4-current $$J^\alpha=(c\rho,\bf{J})$$ Jackson says this is from the invariant of the 4-divergence $\partial^\alpha ...
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1answer
153 views

What's the difference between classical and quantum vector superposition?

$(1)$Since quantum-mechanical states between two consecutive measurements are represented as superposition of orthonormal basis vectors in a vector space, at first glance it seems like it makes sense ...
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4answers
432 views

Normal Vectors to these Hypersurfaces on a Lorentzian Manifold

With respect to the coordinates $(x^{0},x^{1},x^{2},x^{3})=(v,r,\theta,\phi)$, we have the following components of the metric tensor: $\begin{bmatrix} g_{00} & g_{01} & g_{02} & g_{...
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2answers
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How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \cdot \vec{B}$ and $\vec{A} \times \vec{B}$? [closed]

I'm French. I would like to know: How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \cdot \vec{B}$ : "A scalar B" or "A dot B" ? How do you pronounce $\vec{A} \times \vec{B}$ : "A vectorial B", "A vector B", "A cross ...
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2answers
108 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
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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
561 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: $$\vec{F}...
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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?
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2answers
203 views

Making sense out of covariance and contravariance

I just read about co- and contravariant vectors and I am not sure that I got it right: If we imagine that we have a n-dimensional manifold $M$ then a tangent space is spanned by the vectors $\...
2
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1answer
291 views

Extension of Lami's theorem

I was experimenting with the triple scalar product and forces in equilibrium when I came to this result: Consider 4 forces $ \pmb{F_i}$ for $i=1,2,3,4$. $\pmb{F_i}=F_i\hat{e_i}$ where $\hat{e_i}$ is ...
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1answer
73 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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2answers
87 views

Why should an area vector point normal to the surface?

Why is it that the direction of an area vector should be always along the normal drawn to the surface? Can't it also be some other angles with the plane?
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
129 views

The Physics Behind the American Death Triangle [closed]

I've heard a lot about the American Death Triangle and how it is awful for belaying. The Death Triangle is set up as such: you have two anchor points with a single rope or line running through both ...