Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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2answers
310 views

Point charge potential (sign problem)

I'm a bit embarrassed, but I'm not able to compute the electric potential at point $P$ (at a distance $R$ from the origin) generated by a positive unitary point charge in the origin with the right ...
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1answer
415 views

Is instantaneous velocity a scalar or a vector?

So this is a simple question that I have been confused about. Last night I was in a discussion with a friend, and we somehow ended up on this topic. He believes that instantaneous velocity is a ...
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1answer
214 views

General definition of vector, spinor, and spin

I am looking for basic and exact definitions of fundamental physical concepts in graduate level. I reach this following definitions. Could you please help to improve these definitions. Spin: ...
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1answer
118 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
81 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
569 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

Electromagnetic wave propagation through two lossless dielectrics

In Elements of Electromagnetics (Sadiku, 3rd edition, Section 10.8), the author says to consider two lossless dielectric materials joined at an interface $z=0$. Here two lossless dielectric materials ...
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2answers
3k 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
131 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
292 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
272 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
403 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
579 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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2answers
760 views

Acceleration vector - deceleration vs direction

If acceleration of something $= - 10 \text{ m s}^{-2}$ And forwards is define as north. Does that mean the object is getting slower (decelerating) or accelerating in the reverse direction (south) ...
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2answers
7k 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
61 views

Newton's third law of motion versus Work

Newton third law of motion says that "To every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction". The vector study tells us that if two vectors are of same nature and equal magnitude but ...
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2answers
38 views

Change of vectors [closed]

We have two vectors $F1$ and $F2$ as shown in figure. The change of vectors is shown as $F2-F1$. Why it is it rather than taking negative of vector $F2$ i.e. $-F2$ and then adding it by head-to-tail ...
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1answer
183 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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3answers
131 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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5answers
108 views

Why is the independence of orthogonal vector-quantities always implicit in books/lectures?

The "theorem" that I can "just" separately deal with orthogonal quantities (like horizontal and vertical force or velocity, etc), I never found explicitly mentioned, but just implicitly in the ...
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1answer
190 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
206 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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3answers
108 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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2answers
570 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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1answer
392 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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1answer
47 views

Clarifying some notation, the square of a vector derivative

I'm reading a text which asserts that, if $\vec{F}(\vec{x})=-\nabla V(\vec{x})$ then we define $$E = \frac{m}{2} \left( \frac{d\vec{x}}{dt}\right)^2-V(\vec{x}) \, .$$ However, I don't understand how ...
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2answers
70 views

Clarification on meaning of scalar in math and scalar in physics

When a mathematician says something is a scalar, say on the plane, they mean that it associates to points on the plane real numbers. When a physicist says something is a scalar, they mean that if we ...
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3answers
144 views

Why do we need both dot product and cross product?

I was looking for an intuitive definition for dot product and cross product. I have found two similar quesitions in SO, but I am not satisfied with the answers. Finally I found a possible answer here. ...
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2answers
122 views

Derivation of Jefimenko's Equation in Jackson's EMT book

I have been trying to understand the derivation of Jefimenko's equation in Jackson on p.246-247 which can be seen in the photographs attached. First of all I did not fully comprehend the ...
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2answers
124 views

Relation between Vector space $V$ and its dual $V^{*}$ [closed]

I asked the same question in Math.SE, but I was suggested to ask it here as well. I am studying relativity, and as you know the theory extensively uses the notion of covariant and contravariant ...
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2answers
54 views

Can one representation of a projector operator be re-arranged to get another?

I have a vector space $V$ and a subspace of $V$, $W$. Let $P$ be the projection operator for subspace $W$. Also let the dimension of $W$ be $d$. Also I have two orthonormal basis $(a_1,a_2,...a_d)$ ...
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5answers
1k views

How to find total force on an object?

If there are a multitude of forces acting on an object in different directions, how do we find the TOTAL force? I know we add up the $ x $- and $ y $-components of the forces individually, but how do ...
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2answers
187 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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1answer
112 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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1answer
388 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
134 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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3answers
350 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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2answers
444 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
115 views

Commutation of abstract $O(3)$ generators and vectors [closed]

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} = ...
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1answer
266 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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1answer
105 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
615 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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1answer
920 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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1answer
688 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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2answers
39 views

Finding the magnitude of Two Vectors [closed]

Vector C has a magnitude 23.4 m and is in the direction of the negative y-axis. Vectors A and B are at angles α = 44.4° and β = 27.7° up from the x-axis respectively. If the vector sum A+B+C = 0, what ...
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1answer
138 views

Difference between Speed and Velocity

What is the difference between Speed, Velocity and Acceleration? Could any one describe it pictorially?. I am more over confused even after investigating many times. I am unable to relate myself ...
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3answers
65 views

Why are $2\pi$ factors included in the definition of the reciprocal lattice?

I would like to know where the $2\pi$ factors are coming from in the formula for reciprocal vectors in reciprocal lattices. For example, in a simple cubic lattice the primitive vectors are given by ...
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1answer
31 views

Acceleration in a system equal for every body — why?

A 1 kg cart can slide frictionlessly on the table. The black weights each weigh 1 kg. The pulleys are frictionless. The task is to determine the acceleration of the cart. For the left-most ...
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2answers
73 views

Do components of force have direction when doing work?

When we get angle > 0, the x-component of force is along the direction of displacement and so their product is called Work. So the x-component of force is said to have direction of the respective ...
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1answer
102 views

What is the work done said when angle between force and displacement>90 and <180?

If the angle between $Force$ and $Displacement$ is obtuse then by using the formula of $Work$ we get negative quantity so is it said then that the system is losing energy or it is merely for the case ...