Vectors

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chibean
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:10 pm

Vectors

Post by chibean » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:15 pm

Can you explain when and how to use the different vector equations? Mainly I would like clarification on how to determine the x and y components on a vector, and how to add and subtract vectors?
NS_Tutor_Mathias
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:39 pm

Re: Vectors

Post by NS_Tutor_Mathias » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:59 am

If provided on a graph, you can simply read off the x and y components. However far the vector goes on the x-axis alone, that is it's x-component. Likewise for y.

If you are only provided with an angle, you'll need to use trigonometric identities to decompose the vector into a horizontal and vertical component. I've attached an image that should walk you through this:
vector_decomposition.png
(121.63 KiB) Not downloaded yet

Once you have horizontal and vertical components you can just add (or subtract) all the vertical and horizontal components to your heart's desire. Don't overthink it: A (3, 2) vector plus a (4, 1) vector gives a (7, 3) vector.

(As a small aside, I wrote 'launch vector' and 'launch angle' - of course, this works for any kind of angle, whether things are being launched or not. I had a little bit of kinematics on the brain when I made this just a minute ago :) )
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