Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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Can a vector be defined by invariance of some algebraic operation to translations rather than rotations?

Every physics book I've come across defines a vector as an n-tuple of numbers that can be combined via an inner product that's invariant to rotations. Is it possible to instead define a vector via ...
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1answer
100 views

Flow rate is calculated only using the parallel component of the velocity vector

Flow rate is calculated using only the parallel component of the velocity vector to the area vector. Why is this? How can I mathematically prove this? Namely, how do I prove any perpendicular ...
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4answers
133 views

The work done by running in a rectangle

This may be quite off-topic but please help me. Is there any work done when I run in a rectangle? I thought that the answer should be no. But my teacher says that we should calculate each side ...
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1answer
125 views

How to derive the commutation relationship between $\hat{L}^2$ and $\hat{\textbf{p}}$ [closed]

How to prove that $$[\hat{L}^2,\hat{\textbf{p}}] = i\hbar(\hat{\textbf{p}}\times\hat{\textbf{L}} - \hat{\textbf{L}} \times \hat{\textbf{p}})$$ I tried to expand $\hat{L}^2$: ...
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3answers
195 views

We need to find unit vector along the reflected ray [closed]

A ray of light on a plane mirror comes along a vector $i+j-k$ The normal on incidence point is along $i+j$ we need to find unit vector along the reflected ray. I am not able to solve and draw the ...
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1answer
284 views

Component of force field tangent to a curve

I recently had to solve the following problem: A force $F=10\hat x- 8\hat y$ is applied to an object that is constrained to travel towards increasing values of x along the path defined by $y=x^2$ ...
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2answers
986 views

Vector Nature Of Angular Velocity

I am currently reading about angular position, angular velocity, and angular acceleration. I came across this paragraph that was particularly confusing, and was wondering if someone could perhaps help ...
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2answers
679 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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1answer
37 views

Can changing representation change the meaning of density operator?

I had posted a question What is the actual meaning of the density operator?. After that I understood that if I have the expression of a density operator $$\rho=\sum_{i=1}^{i=k}p_i|\psi_i\rangle ...
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2answers
143 views

How to determine velocity vector direction with respect to acceleration.

I'm currently writing a program that attempts to simulate particle movement in a gravitational field with more than one object exerting a force on it. I decided that I'd have the particle move by ...
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1answer
57 views

Gradient of two-particle system

I'm working on problem 5.1a from Griffiths Intro to QM and given that: $$\mathbf R \equiv \frac{m_1\mathbf{r_1} + m_2 \bf r_2}{m_1+m_2}$$ and $\bf r \equiv \bf r_1 - \bf r_2$ I need to show that, ...
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3answers
145 views

Finding the Direction when resolving a Vector

When you are finding the resultant of a vector I understand that to find the magnitude you use Pythagorean Theorem and I understand that to find the direction you are going to use $\tan^{-1}$ (or ...
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1answer
53 views

Finding the divergence of this force [closed]

I've got to find the divergence of this force, $$ \mathbf F=\left(x^2+y^2+z^2\right)^n\left(x\hat e_x+y\hat e_y+z\hat e_z\right) $$ I would know how to do it if the $n$ superscript wasn't there. Any ...
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2answers
77 views

Find net force on a mass centered between four other masses

I'm not going to post the full question, I just want a general idea of how I should go about solving this type of problem. There is a square with 4 charged masses on each of the corners, in the ...
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1answer
75 views

Average acceleration when more than two different velocities occur [closed]

Suppose a car travels at 5m/s north for 5 seconds, it then turn east and travel at 7m/s for 10 seconds, finally it turns north east and travel at 10 m/s for 20 seconds. What is the average ...
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4answers
123 views

Find a central force given the orbit

I've been trying to solve the following problem for a long time. Let's consider a particle of mass $m$ in $\mathbb{R}^3$ with polar coordinates $(r,\theta,\phi)$. The particle moves on the orbit ...
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4answers
147 views

Dot product of vector and its derivative with respect to time? How does $L \cdot\frac{dL}{dt} = \frac{1}{2}\frac{d(L^2)}{dt}$? [closed]

How does: $$L \cdot\frac{dL}{dt} = \frac{1}{2}\frac{d(L^2)}{dt}$$ where L is a vector (I dunno how to make it bold in the equation). How do they reach to this right hand side equation? And what is ...
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5answers
552 views

If the velocity vector of a moving particle is always perpendicular to the position vector, is the path a circle? [closed]

A Newtonian physics question: If the velocity vector of a moving particle is always perpendicular to the position vector, is the only possible path a circle? What if the magnitude of the velocity ...
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1answer
132 views

Quantum states and state vectors

Does a state vector correspond to only one quantum states and the components in the state vector correspond to different states of this quantum state or is it that the components of the state vector ...
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2answers
38 views

How are the angles equal?

At the back of my mind I know they should be equal, but mathematically, how are the two $\Delta \phi$ angles equal? The only explanation present in the text is that, "both velocities are ...
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2answers
100 views

Polar coordinates explanation needed on calculation [closed]

This is the question. Here is the answer. But honestly I cant figure it out. Maybe my lecturer's handwriting is quite illegible too (just kidding). Sorry if I ask too simple question but ...
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2answers
85 views

How is it that the cross product of two vectors is always perpendicular to the given vectors? [duplicate]

Vector addition, subtraction and dot product seem logical enough, but I don't understand how two vectors acting on the same plane maybe, can give a perpendicular resultant.
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2answers
102 views

confusion on vector quantities

How can we define simply that velocity is a vector quantity without mentioning that velocity has vector properties. How can we simply say it needs both magnitude and direction for its complete ...
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2answers
176 views

Difference between the two equations for acceleration

I came upon this while studying S.H.M. Well,is there a difference between writing $$a=\frac{dv}{dt}\;$$ and $$a=v\frac{dv}{dx}\;$$ do they differ on the basis of one being a vector and the other ...
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118 views

Stellar Power(Luminosity) Flux

So I was applying some mathematical techniques I learned to physics, and one thing that captured my interest, is the power or luminosity flux of a star. So modeling the situation, taking the scalar ...
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1answer
2k views

Find angle of force vector in equilibrium

So my question is Rope BCA passes through a pulley at point C and supports a crate at point A. Rope segment CD supports the pulley and is attached to an eye anchor embedded in a wall. Rope segment ...
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1answer
251 views

Why Counterclockwise starts from East?

In vector lessons, we have counterclockwise angle of rotation of the vector starts from East. "The direction of a vector is often expressed as a counterclockwise angle of rotation of the vector about ...
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1answer
72 views

Asking the vector form of the equation about velocity

In the undergraduate text of physics, the equation for velocity and displacement at constant acceleration are given in scalar form. For example, my text reads $$v^2 = v_0^2 + 2a(x-x_0)$$ But today, ...
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2answers
116 views

Position vector, length/modulus function and differentials

If $\vec r$ and is the position vector of a point in motion and $r$ is its length/modulus/magnitude/size, then: Can it be true that: $$\|\mbox{d} \vec r\| \neq \mbox{d}r? $$ I think that this is ...
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2answers
59 views

Is it incorrect to explain the direction of a coded vector quantity?

For example, let's say that in a linear physics problem, all the data are given to a certain direction, and coded positively for direction to the right. So +5m/s would be a velocity of 5m/s to the ...
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1answer
1k views

Relative Velocity problem

I was solving many problems on relative velocity and observed that when the question asks, "what is the minimum time taken by the boat/man to cross the river.?" so the solution says that he ...
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1answer
136 views

Is it necessary to know initial y velocity to solve this projectile motion problem?

A marble is launched horizontally off a 93.0-cm high table causing the marble to land on the floor 1.85 m from the base of the table. a.) How long was the ball in the air? b.) With what ...
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1answer
132 views

Can the zeroth-component of a 4-velocity be negative?

Is it allowed to have the zeroth-component of a four-velocity be negative? I presume the answer is yes, but I just want to make sure. Many thanks. This is referring to $V^0$ for a curved space ...
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1answer
595 views

A Lawnmower Problem

For my physics class we were just given an exam that asked the following: A 12Kg lawnmower is pushed with a constant force along the 30* handle with 80N. Break the Forces into its vector ...
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2answers
634 views

Why or how is cross product used?

I do not understand how does the result of two vectors acting on a particle require me to take the cross product to find the resultant. Won't the actual force on the particle be the result of the ...
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1answer
90 views

Showing $ \textbf{F} \cdot d\textbf{s} = -dV$ is equivalent to $ F_s = -\frac{\partial V}{\partial s}$

Can someone please explain how the following $$ \textbf{F} \cdot d\textbf{s} = -dV$$ is equivalent to $$ F_s = -\frac{\partial V}{\partial s}$$ using some intermediate steps. I don't follow this ...
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3answers
739 views

Question involving Vectors and Forces

This is a question I found in Mechanics for Engineers by Beer & Johnston. A 600-lb crate is supported by the rope and pulley arrangement as shown below. Write a computer program which can be ...
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2answers
3k views

Find the Unit Vector of a Three Dimensional Vector

How can I find the unit vector of a three dimensional vector? For example, I have a problem that I am working on that tells me that I have a vector $\hat{r}$ that is a unit vector, and I am told to ...
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1answer
251 views

What causes a gyroscope to eventually rotate/fall over?

Hey so I've just learned about angular velocity and momentum and how torque changes it. Looking at a wheel spinning around an axis, with one end being held up by a rope, what causes the wheel to ...
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2answers
779 views

Understanding weight on an inclined plane

I'm trying to solve a problem where I have an object resting on an inclined plane, with the angle of the plan being alpha, and the weight being w. I'm having trouble figuring out how I can calculate ...
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1answer
76 views

Basic question about angular momentum

I've learned that the angular momentum of an object rotating about a fixed axis is $I \omega $. Also, in absence of external torques, $I_1 \omega_1 = I_2 \omega_2 $ (meaning, two different events). I ...
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1answer
42 views

vector resolutions

I am learning Mechanics - motion in a plane. Is it possible to that a given vector can be resolved in infinite ways into two non-colinear vectors in the same plane? For example, I have a vector ...
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1answer
49 views

How the torque/moment-of-force can be mathematically defined?

Given the definition of torque/moment-of-force $\mathbf F$ applied in $P$ with respect to the pole $O$ $$ \mathbf M_O=\vec{OP}\times\mathbf F $$ and given that the vectors $\vec{OP}$ and $\mathbf F$ ...
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4answers
143 views

Find the work done in moving an object along a vector r with a force F [closed]

$$r=3i+5j-2k$$ $$F=3i-3j+2k$$ What do I do. I know that work = force x distance. However, what vector operation should I do? I was wondering whether I should possible find the unit vector of r and ...
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1answer
48 views

Relative Motion of Child and Boat [closed]

A boat is traveling upstream at $11~\text{km/h}$ with respect to the water of a river. The water is flowing at $7.0~\text{km/h}$ with respect to the ground. What are the (a) magnitude (b) ...
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1answer
72 views

Is velocity always tangential to trajectory?

So I was doing an exercise and they find find the angle between the tangential of trajectory and the vertical I was stuck but then I read in a site that the velocity is ALWAYS tangential to the ...
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1answer
107 views

What does “projection of a vector” really mean?

Let $\vec{a}$ & $\vec{b}$ be two non-collinear, non-zero co-initial vectors having angle $\theta$ between them. The projection of $\vec{b}$ on $\vec{a}$ is given by the dot product of $\vec{b}$ ...
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1answer
30 views

Projectile velocity and component $x$ and $y$ velocities

So the equations for the X and Y velocity given $\theta$ and $V_0$ are $V_x = V_0\cos\theta$, and $V_y = V_0\sin\theta$. When I test this with something like 1 m/s and and angle of $45^{\circ}$, I ...
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1answer
37 views

The vector r points from $P'(x',y',z')$ to $P(x,y,z)$ [closed]

For some reason this question is giving me a hard time :( The vector $r$ points from $P'(x',y',z')$ to $P(x,y,z)$. (a) Show that if $P$ is fixed and $P'$ is allowed to move, then ...
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2answers
658 views

How can I split a resultant force into its $x$ and $y$ components?

Point charge 3.5μC is located at x = 0, y = 0.30 m, point charge -3.5μC is located at x = 0 y = -0.30 m. What are (a)the magnitude and (b)direction of the total electric force that these charges ...