Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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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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3answers
98 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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1answer
46 views

calculating distance traveled - I do not have anyone to teach me this [on hold]

Find the resultant displacement of a bear searching for berries on the mountain. The bear heads 55.0º north of west for 15.0 m; then it turns and heads to the west for another 7.00 m.
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2answers
65 views

Is there a difference in handwritten nabla $\vec{\nabla}$ with an overset arrow and typeset nabla $\nabla$?

According to some physicist at KIT it is usual to write the following when using pen and paper: whereas in typeset texts you write $\nabla$. Is that true? Are there sources for this convention?
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5answers
665 views

When is it useful to distinguish between vectors and pseudovectors in experimental & theoretical physics?

My understanding of pseudovectors vs vectors is pretty basic. Both transform in the same way under a rotation, but differently upon reflection. I might even be able to summarize that using an ...
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0answers
28 views

Wondering what textbook is this problem from? [on hold]

Wondering from what textbook is this problem for?
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4answers
84 views

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

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 ...
3
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3answers
51 views

What is the relative velocity of this plane relative to the helicopter? [on hold]

There is a plane moving 100 m/s due east relative to the ground without vertical motion. There is a helicopter facing north moving straight up at 20 m/s. From the perspective of the helicopter, is the ...
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2answers
38 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
52 views

Relative wind velocity explanation - understanding Irodov problem 1.6

I am having trouble understanding the reasoning behind the solution in this Irodov General Physics problem. The problem is 1.6: 1.6. A ship moves along the equator to the east with velocity vo = ...
7
votes
5answers
612 views

Where am I confused about force addition?

As far as my knowledge is concerned, a vector quantity should possess magnitude and direction & more over it should also obey the laws of vector addition. As we all know that the vector sum of 3 ...
0
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0answers
71 views

Acceleration of a unit vector in the Feynman Lectures

In the Feynman Lectures on Physics chapter 28, Feynman explains the radiation equation $$\vec{E}=\frac{-q}{4\pi\epsilon_0 c^2}\, \frac{d^2\hat{e}_{r'}}{dt^2}$$ The unit vector $\hat{e}_{r'}$ is ...
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0answers
22 views

How to derive the function from its gradient? [migrated]

Let $a$ be a vector and $a= \nabla\phi$ where $\phi$ is a scalar. How to find $\phi$ when $a$ is given? My approach: $a_1dx=a_2dy=a_3dz=d\phi$ So, $\phi=\int a_1dx=\int a_2dy=\int a_3dz$ but the ...
2
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
0
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1answer
46 views

Torque definition and right hand rule not arbitrary

I have read the following: http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_20.html#Ch20-S1 The formula for $\tau_{xy}$ is derived in this chapter: http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_18.html#Ch18-S2. ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

Animating an Acceleration Vector - Acceleration of object on a crested path in gravitational field

So I was reading in Chapter 3 of my textbook, Sears & Zemanksky's University Physics with Modern Physics by Young and Freedman, 13th Edition, and the discussion took us to a definition of the ...
0
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1answer
46 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Torque on wire summarized with magnetic moment

The magnetic moment of a current-carrying wire loop $L$ is $$ \boldsymbol\mu = \frac I2\oint_L\mathbf{r} \times \mathrm{d}\mathbf{r} $$ so the torque it experiences under a uniform magnetic field ...
1
vote
1answer
72 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) ...
0
votes
3answers
661 views

How to determine direction of forces in a static problem?

I am consistently getting this wrong. To me, in the picture below, it would make sense that the structure would be pulling downward, and the cable BD would be pulling upward - thus the system is in ...
-1
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0answers
25 views

Vectors-a tricky problem [duplicate]

A particle subjected to two equal forces along two different directions. If one of the forces is halved, the angle which the resultant makes with the other is also halved. The angle between the forces ...
3
votes
3answers
125 views

How to understand the definition of vector and tensor?

Physics texts like to define vector as something that transform like a vector and tensor as something that transform like a tensor, which is different from the definition in math books. I am having ...
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4answers
3k 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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4answers
66 views

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

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
24 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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1answer
95 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 ...
2
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1answer
219 views

Line of action force

The task is to reduce the two forces into a single net force and then find the equation of its line of action. I chose to find the net force and momentum with respect to the origin. The magnitude of ...
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3answers
140 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 ...
3
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3answers
129 views

Relation between component and algebraic definition of covariant vectors

I studied contravariance and covariance concepts in following way: For any vector if we get its components by parallelogram way we achieve contravariant components, and if we want to get its ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Show that getting parallel transported does not change angle between them- Tensors [closed]

I must tell you that I have never seen this kind of question in Tensor Analysis. Our professor had set up this question in our exam, but I don't know whether it belongs to tensors or not. The question ...
1
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2answers
44 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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votes
1answer
32 views

How can I get average numbers of days wind flow from 16 direction? [closed]

Wind flow from North direction a nos. of days, Similarly from North East b nos. of days, East c nos. of days, South East d nos. of days, South e nos. of days, South West f nos. of days, West g nos. of ...
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2answers
170 views

Position Representation in Quantum Mechanics

How does the 3d position operator look like in position representation? I know that in 1d the position operator $\hat{x}$ is just multiplication by $x$.
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2answers
78 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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votes
1answer
48 views

Determine the number of days with North-East wind direction from the number of days with North and East wind direction? [closed]

I have some data like: Wind flow from north direction = “X” Numbers of days. Wind flow from east direction = “Y” Numbers of days. Then is there any formula to know numbers of days wind flows ...
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1answer
40 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
37 views

Can we directly measure vectors' quantities?

Can we perform some kind of experiment that will give us, for example, the $p_x$, $p_y$ and $p_z$ of a particle in a single measurement? I'm aware that they commute so one measurement will not ...
4
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4answers
3k views

Why is current a scalar quantity?

Current has both magnitude and direction. As per the definition of vector defined in encyclopedia, current should be a vector quantity. But, we know that current is a scalar quantity. What is the ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

“Vectors” (i.e. 1-tensors) their definition and motivation for relativity

I'm reading Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell (by Zee) and here he defines a vector as an object which is invariant under coordinate representation; concretely, if in one coordinate representation, $V$, ...
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2answers
33 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
171 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
329 views

How to calculate roll, yaw and pitch angles from 3D co-ordinates (Euler Angles)

I have digitized a video of a flying fly in a 3-dimensional space. At all instants I know the x, y, and z co-oridinates of the following points on the fly's body --- The points are my choice, and ...
6
votes
1answer
75 views

Curvilinear Coordinates and basis vectors

In these notes, $\frac{\partial \vec{r}} {\partial q_i}$ is stated to form a basis set for the vector space. How does this happen? Also, how does one justify this equation from Goldstein's ...
0
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2answers
53 views

Isn't this statement regarding projectile motion wrong?

Isn't this statement regarding projectile motion wrong? If a body is thrown at an angle to the horizontal with initial velocity $u$, then displacement of body as a function of time is ...
1
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1answer
56 views

Kinematics simple question [closed]

Question: In order to protect himself from the rain, a person is standing holding an umbrella at right angle to the horizontal surface. The rain is falling at 10m/s when the velocity of the wind is ...
2
votes
2answers
67 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 ...
2
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1answer
69 views

What does relative to something mean?

I just started learning about vector components and relative motion. I don't understand what relative to something means. I looked online but none of the explanations are helpful. If someone could ...
1
vote
1answer
101 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
0
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2answers
93 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 ...