1.3. DOT PRODUCT If θ is the angle (between 0 and π) between two nonzero vectors u and v,


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1 1.3. DOT PRODUCT Dot Product Definitions and Properties The dot product is the first way to multiply two vectors. The definition we will give below may appear arbitrary. But it is not. It is motivated by applications, in particular projections. Definition 34 (Dot Product) The dot product, also called inner product, is denoted with the symbol. We can only take the dot product of two vectors having the same dimension. The result is a number, obtained by multiplying the corresponding coordinates of the two vectors, then adding all the products. If u = a, b and v = c, d are two vectors, then u v = ac + bd. You will note that the answer is a number, not a vector. We have a similar definition for vectors in higher dimensions. In general, if u = x 1, x 2,, x n and v = y 1, y 2,, y n, then u v = n x i y i. i=1 Example 35 If u = 1, 1, 1 and v = 1, 2, 3 then u v = (1) (1) + (1) (2) + (1) (3) = 6. Proposition 36 The dot product satisfies the following properties: 1. u u = u 2 2. u 0 = 0 u = 0 3. u v = v u 4. α u β v = αβ ( u v) for any scalars α and β. 5. u ( v + w) = u v + u w 6. If θ is the angle (between 0 and π) between two nonzero vectors u and v, then u v = u v cos θ. 7. u v if and only if u v = 0. Again, we assume that u and v are two nonzero vectors. 8. u v u v Proof. We give an idea of a proof for some of these properties. 1. We see why this is true for a 3D vector. A general proof is similar. Suppose that u = a, b, c. Then, by definition u u = a 2 + b 2 + c 2 Also by definition, u = a 2 + b 2 + c 2
2 20 CHAPTER 1. VECTORS AND THE GEOMETRY OF SPACE Thus u 2 = a 2 + b 2 + c 2 = u u 2. Left as an exercise. 3. Left as an exercise. 4. Left as an exercise. 5. Left as an exercise. 6. Consider figure 6. Using the law of cosines, we see that u v 2 = u 2 + v 2 2 u v cos θ Thus 2 u v cos θ = u v 2 + u 2 + v 2 = ( u v) ( u v) + u u + v v = ( u u 2 u v + v v ) + u u + v v = u u + 2 u v v v + u u + v v 2 u v cos θ = 2 u v Hence u v = u v cos θ 7. If the vectors are perpendicular, then the angle θ between them is 90. Thus, cos θ = 0. The result follows from property 6. Conversely, if u and v are two nonzero vectors such that u v = 0 then u v cos θ = 0. Since u = 0 and v = 0 ( u and v are two nonzero vectors), it must be that cos θ = 0 thus θ = 90 hence u v.
3 1.3. DOT PRODUCT From 6, we see that since cos θ 1. u v = u v cos θ = u v cos θ u v Remark 37 We can also use the dot product to prove the triangle inequality u + v u + v. Using the fact that u u = u 2, we have u + v 2 = ( u + v) ( u + v) = u u + 2 u v + v v using properties of the dot product = u u v + v 2 u u v + v 2 property of absolute value u u v + v 2 by property 8 above u + v 2 ( u + v ) 2 Since both u + v and u + v are positive, we can take the square root on both side of the last equality to obtain the result. Remark 38 Property 6 in proposition 36 can also be used to determine how close two nonzero vectors are to pointing in the same direction. Given two nonzero vectors u and v, consider P, the plane passing through the origin and perpendicular to u. v will be on the same side of P as u if and only if u v > 0 because in that case, the angle between the two vectors will be less than 90 and its cosine will be positive. Remark 39 Property 7 in proposition 36 is also very important, it gives us a quick way to check if two vectors are perpendicular. Another term for perpendicular is orthogonal. We define the zero vector 0 = (0, 0,...) to be orthogonal to every vector. Remark 40 It is important to understand that when we talk about the angle between two vectors, we are talking about the smallest positive angle between them in other words an angle θ such that 0 θ π. We illustrate some of these properties with examples. Example 41 Suppose that the length of a vector u is 2, the length of a vector v is 3 and they make an angle of 135 as shown in figure Find u v. u v = u v cos 135 ( ) 2 = (2) (3) 2 = 3 2
4 22 CHAPTER 1. VECTORS AND THE GEOMETRY OF SPACE Figure 1.11: Compute u v if u = 2 and v = 3 Example 42 What is the angle in degrees between u = 1, 1, 1 and v = 2, 1, 0? From the formula u v = u v cos θ, we can compute cos θ and therefore θ. First, let us compute the various quantities needed. u v = (2) (1) + (1) (1) + (1) (0) = 3 u = = 3 v = = 5 It follows that ( ) u v θ = cos 1 u v = cos = 39.23
5 1.3. DOT PRODUCT Projections Figure 1.12: proj a b and orth a b It often happens that we need to decompose a vector into components that are parallel and perpendicular to a given vector. Or, as shown in figure 1.12, given two nonzero vectors a and b, one needs to find the projection of b onto a and the projection of b onto a vector perpendicular to a. Let us denote proj a b the projection of b onto a, comp a b the component of b along a (also known as the scalar projection of b onto a) and orth a b the projection of b onto a vector perpendicular to a.let us call α the angle between a and b. Then, we have: cos α = comp a b b Therefore comp a b = b cos α Using Property 6 in proposition 36, we can write b a b comp a b = a b (1.4) It follows that comp a b = a b a
6 24 CHAPTER 1. VECTORS AND THE GEOMETRY OF SPACE To find proj a b, we simply multiply comp a b by a unit vector in the direction of a a. Such a vector is and therefore a Finally, orth a b = b proj a b and therefore proj a b a b = 2 a (1.5) a orth a b = a b b 2 a (1.6) a Example 43 Find the scalar projection and vector projection of b = 1, 1, 2 onto a = 2, 3, 1. Let us first compute the various quantities involved. a b = a = = 3 ( 2) = 14 Therefore and comp a b = 3 14 proj 3 a b = 2, 3, Applications The dot product has many applications including: 1. Use it to see if two nonzero vectors are perpendicular. Recall that two nonzero vectors are perpendicular if and only if their dot product is Use it to compute the angle between two vectors. From the formula u v = u v cos θ, if we are given u and v, we have θ = cos 1 u v u v 3. Use it to quickly determine if the angle between two vectors is acute (between 0 and 90 degrees) or obtuse (between 90 and 180 degrees). Given u and v, if the angle between them is acute, then u v > 0 and if it is obtuse, u v < 0.
7 1.3. DOT PRODUCT Given a vector and a plane perpendicular to it, use it to determine if a second vector is on the same side of the plane or the opposite side. If the two vectors are on the same side of the plane, the angle between them will be acute. If they are on opposite sides, it will be obtuse. So, we can use the technique describe above. 5. Use it to find the projection of a vector onto another one. 6. Use it to compute the work done by a force acting on an object and displacing it. In physics, the work W done by a force F moving an object along the displacement vector r is defined to be the product of the component of F along r by the magnitude of the displacement (see figure 6). This gives us: W = (comp r F ) r = F r r = F r r We illustrate that last application with an example. Example 44 A crate is displaced by 8m up a ramp by a constant force F of 200N applied at an angle of 25 degrees to the ramp. Find W, the work done.
8 26 CHAPTER 1. VECTORS AND THE GEOMETRY OF SPACE Let D be the displacement vector. Then D = 8 and F = 200. W = F D = D F cos 25 = (8) (200) cos N.m 1450J Note that in the metric system, distances are in meters (m), forces are in Newton (N), work is expressed in Joules (J) Problems 1. Prove that the normal to the line ax + by + c = 0 (in 2D) is a, b (hint: Find 2 points on the line, deduce what a vector parallel to the line is. From there, find a vector perpendicular to it). 2. For each problem below, find the following: v u, v, u The cosine of the angle between u and v. comp v u proj v u (a) v = 2 i 4 j + 5 k and u = 2 i + 4 j 5 k (b) v = 10 i + 11 j 2 k and u = 3 j + 4 k (c) v = 5 j 3 k and u = i + j + k (d) v = 5 i + j and u = 2 i + 17 j 3. Find the angle between u = 2 i + j and v = i + 2 j k. 4. Find the angle between u = 3 i 7 j and v = 3 i + j 2 k. 5. Find the measures of the angles of the triangle whose vertices are A = ( 1, 0), B = (2, 1) and C = (1, 2). 6. Let α, β, and γ be the direction angles of v = a i + b j + c k a (a) Show that cos α = v, cos β = b, and cos γ = v c v and cos2 α+ cos 2 β + cos 2 γ = 1. These are called the direction cosines. (b) Show if v = a i + b j + c k is a unit vector then a, b, c are the direction cosines.
9 1.3. DOT PRODUCT Show that the diagonals of a rhombus (parallelogram with sides of equal length) are perpendicular. 8. Prove that a parallelogram is a rectangle if and only if its diagonals are equal in length. 9. A gun with muzzle velocity of 1200ft/s is fired at an angle of 8 above the horizontal. Find the horizontal and vertical components of the velocity. 10. Find an equation of the line through P (2, 1) perpendicular to v = 1, Find an equation of the line through P ( 2, 7) perpendicular to v = 2, Find an equation of the line through P ( 2, 1) parallel to v = 1, Find an equation of the line through P (1, 2) parallel to v = 1, Find the work done by the force F = 5 i when it moves an object from the origin to the point (1, 1) where distances are in meters. 15. Using the fact that the acute angle between intersecting lines which are not perpendicular is the same as the angle between their normals, find the acute angle between the lines 3x + y = 5 and 2x y = Using the fact that the acute angle between intersecting lines which are not perpendicular is the same as the angle between their normals, find the acute angle between the lines 3x y = 2 and x 3y = 1.
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