Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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6
votes
2answers
786 views

Understanding the difference between co- and contra-variant vectors

I am looking at the 4-vector treatment of special relativity, but I have had no formal training in Tensor algebra and thus am having difficulty understanding some of the concepts which appear. One ...
2
votes
1answer
516 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 = ...
-1
votes
2answers
98 views

Find an angle in 3 dimensions [on hold]

I've had a good attempt at this question trying everything I could think of and the answer I got was 60 degrees yet still incorrect. It would be great if anyone could help me out. The boom ...
0
votes
2answers
138 views

Cross product and the right hand rule - what is the intuition behind it? [duplicate]

I understand that by convention, the cross product is defined to be the vertical projection of vector $A$ on $B$ in the case of $A \times B$. But the vertical projection of $A$ on $B$ would still be ...
-1
votes
0answers
36 views

My physics question is about dynamics of a particle [closed]

A body of mass $2$ kg is acted upon by two forces each of magnitude $1$ Newton, making an angle of $60^{\circ} \simeq 100^{\circ}$ with each other. The net acceleration of the body (in ...
1
vote
3answers
60 views

Is there a general rule for determining the direction of tension force?

Tension, for me, is a tricky thing. After finishing a related chapter of my book and watching a video, I still can't get a hang of it. Here is a situation: My knowledge is that tension, just like ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

Is the displacement vector tangent to the circular path?

My book says that when a mass travels in a curved path, like a circle for example, the instantaneous velocity and displacement vectors are both tangent to the path. I agree that velocity vector ...
1
vote
3answers
423 views

Why does the moment of force (aka. torque) depend on the perpendicular distance?

Couyld anyone explain how the lecturer concluded that $$(\underline{r_2} - \underline{r_1}) \times \underline{H} = \underline{p} \times \underline{H}$$
0
votes
1answer
27 views

How do I get the angle for the $x$ and $y$ component of the electric field for four equidistant particles?

Four particles form a square of edge length $a= 5.00\ cm$ and have charges $q_1= +10\ nC$, $q_2=-20\ nC$, $q_3=20\ nC$, and $q_4=-10\ nC$. In unit vector notation, what is the net electric field the ...
3
votes
1answer
300 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Co-ordinate rotations

I need help transforming a magnetic field vector from one co-ordinate system to another. I have the components of the Earth's magnetic field in a co-ordinate system with z facing radially into the ...
5
votes
2answers
302 views

How does one write Newtons 2nd Law using the language of forms?

Newton's second law says that $F=ma$. Supposing that the force is conservative and can thus be expressed in terms of a potential $V$ we have that $F=-dV$. We have that $V$, being a function, can ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

A way to determine if a body accelerates or loses speed at a certain time

With given vectors for acceleration and velocity, is there a way to determine if a body accelerates or decelerates at a certain time-interval? Can this be determined, for instance, by simply observing ...
7
votes
2answers
211 views

What does it mean to transform as a scalar or vector?

I'm working through an introductory electrodynamics text (Griffiths), and I encountered a pair of questions asking me to show that: the divergence transforms as a scalar under rotations the ...
18
votes
5answers
15k views

How can area be a vector?

My professor told me recently that Area is a vector. A Google search gave me the following definition for a vector: Noun: A quantity having direction as well as magnitude, esp. as determining ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Cross product in spherical coordinate [migrated]

Hello I have a question: Is the formula for the cross product the same in spherical coordinates as in cartesian coordinates? I have found conflicting answers on the internet.
1
vote
3answers
86 views

Find time-parametrization given path and speed of a particle

Consider a particle in two dimensions with position vector $r(t)=<x(t),y(t)>$ and the shape of the path is described by a function $y(t)=f(x(t))$ (Thus $r(t)$ is a parametrization of $f$ with ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Explain how $\Delta v_{\perp}=v\Delta\theta$

In The Feynman lectures, under the chapter entitled Vectors, Feynman writes: My two intimately related questions are: 1) What does he mean by the magnitude of velocity? is he talking about the ...
0
votes
3answers
160 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
votes
1answer
76 views

Vector product in a 4-dimensional Minkowski spacetime

I'm studying relativity and I lost track of interpretation along the mathematical formalism. What does vector product mean as an event? I mean, how must one interpret the result of the vector product ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

What does it mean by saying the generators of translations transform as vectors under the Lorentz Group?

The commutator of generators of Lorentz transformation and translation is as follow: $$[M^{\mu\nu},P^\sigma]=i(P^\mu\eta^{\nu\sigma}-P^\nu\eta^{\mu\sigma} ).$$ Then from this we usually say that the ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Does dimensionality determine the net effects of randomly oriented forces on an object?

My question relates to the orthogonality of random vectors in high dimensional space, and the relationship of random vectors as a function of dimensionality. My question can be formulated as a ...
-1
votes
0answers
28 views

Why is $f_\mu=-\mu |<w, -v>|\tau$

Given a point-like object $M$ with weight $w$ traveling down a curve $\gamma$ with constant gravity experiencing a frictional force $f_\mu$. Let $v$ denote the unit normal vector to $\gamma$ at $M$. ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Why would the norm of these vectors be 1?

Let a Cartesian coordinate system $uOx$ coincides with a vertical plane so that $Ou$ is the horizontal axis and $Ox$ is the axis oriented vertically upwards (see Fig. 1). We are looking for the ...
0
votes
3answers
99 views

resultant of 3 vectors along sides of equilateral triangle [closed]

It is a homework problem, but I really don't quite understand the question. It reads- "3 forces of magnitudes 10N, 20N, and 30N acting on a point are parallel to the sides of an equilateral triangle, ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Does spacetime position not form a four-vector?

When one starts learning about physics, vectors are presented as mathematical quantities in space which have a direction and a magnitude. This geometric point of view has encoded in it the idea that ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Moment line of action

I am having trouble understanding a moment's line of action. Lets say we have door hinge of $L$ length and push down on it with $X$ force. The moment at the begin $(O)$ of the hinge would then be ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Are perpendicular components special in vectors?

We can split a vector (velocity/displacement vector) along any two directions as long as the resultant of the oblique components of the vector is same as my original vector. Similarly if we have to ...
1
vote
1answer
48 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
367 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
127 views

Vector decomposition validity

Is force or field decomposition into component vectors always valid? Lets say a constant electric field $\vec{F}$ is acting in space such that it makes an angle $\phi$ with respect to the horizontal ...
0
votes
4answers
143 views

Is magnitude of velocity same as speed?

Is magnitude of instantaneous velocity same as instantaneous speed? More specifically, is $$\left|\frac{d\vec{r}}{dt}\right| = \frac{d|\vec{r}|}{dt}\; .$$ Also Is it wrong to say that ...
-2
votes
0answers
75 views

What does cross product mean in simple words? [migrated]

Two numbers 3 and 4 their multiplication is each one from the first number is repeated a number of times as the second number i.e. 3 times 4 is (1+1+1) times four meaning 1+1+1+1 + 1+1+1+1 + 1+1+1+1 ...
0
votes
3answers
148 views

Can we have physical quantities which have magnitude and direction but are not vectors?

I am not able to understand how to approach the question. Vectors are defined as quantities having magnitude and direction, then how is it possible? Please explain.
2
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
421 views

Why is force a localized vector and not a free vector?

A vector which is drawn parallel to a given vector through a specified point unlike free vector in space is called a localised vector. The effect of a force acting on a body depends not only on the ...
-1
votes
2answers
32 views

Problem with velocity vector [closed]

Question: The radius vector of a point depends on time $t$, as $\vec{r} = \vec{c}t+\dfrac{\vec{b}t^2}{2}$ where $c$ and $b$ are constant vectors. Find the magnitude of velocity. My attempt : ...
0
votes
3answers
156 views

How do we calculate instantaneous velocity in 2D?

Suppose a body is moving with a constant speed of $10~\mathrm{ms^{-1}}$ in negative $x$ direction in $x$-$y$ plane. Let $\vec r$ be the position vector. Then what will be the instantaneous velocity ...
1
vote
2answers
76 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
242 views

Why perpendicular vectors do not share components?

I just can picture it in my mind or on paper. Can someone explain it with examples? This is the key idea behind the uniform circular motion: if the force has a component in direction of the object's ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Dirac notation and column representation

$\renewcommand{ket}[1]{|#1\rangle}$ I am facing difficulty in understanding how the right hand side is coming in equation A below In $H$ of dimention 4, the vector $$ \sqrt{\frac{2}{3}} ...
-1
votes
1answer
48 views

Angle between vector and $x$-axis [closed]

I have to find to component of vector DE having magnitude 1 m .now the vector is in 4th quad making angle 90 degree with postive x axis The solution that my teacher showed is ax=1cos(270) .and ay = ...
1
vote
1answer
226 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: ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Gauss' Law and area vector

Recently I've been doing some physics exercises on electric and magnetic fields and read up somewhere that the vector area of a closed surface is equal to zero. That made me wonder why, when using ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Laws of addition of Vectors

How Triangle Law and Parallelogram law of addition of Vectors are different?Ain't they. Please don't tell me the things written in book......give me the appropriate reason.And how do i distinguish ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Is it better to walk or run when there is rain? [duplicate]

When I was coming from school to my house, there was heavy rain. Then one of my friends said "Don't simply walk, run fast". Then the question came to my mind: how should I go so as to avoid wetting: ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

How do I evaluate this general magnetic dipole equation for this given setup?

This shouldn't be too hard a question (mostly focused on vector multiplication) but I'm still not confident in my answer. Basically, I am looking at the force between two magnetic dipoles and using ...
0
votes
2answers
364 views

Relative motion. Setting course of closest approach

Let $r_{P/Q}$ be the position vector of $\overrightarrow P$ relative to vector $\overrightarrow Q$ and $v_{P/Q}$ the velocity vector of $\overrightarrow P$ relative to $\overrightarrow Q$. Suppose ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Write the force as a sum [closed]

We suppose that a force $\overrightarrow{F}$ (for example, the gravity) is applied vertically downwards to an object that is placed at a plane which has an angle of $45^{\circ}$ with the horizantal ...