A vector is a directed line segment used to represent a vector quantity.


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1 Chapters and 6 Introduction to Vectors A vector quantity has direction and magnitude. There are many examples of vector quantities in the natural world, such as force, velocity, and acceleration. A vector is a directed line segment used to represent a vector quantity. Examples: a b Vectors do not have a fixed position in the coordinate plane, so they can be translated (moved) without changing their meaning. To add vectors geometrically, translate the second vector so that it starts at the end of the first vector. The vector sum goes from the start of the first vector to the end of the second. Don t forget to draw the arrow! Example: a + b b a Vectors can be represented numerically. In this class we will write the numeric form of a vector in two ways: 3 a = 7 column form b = 4i j + k component form. To add vectors numerically, just add the corresponding components. Example: Add vectors v = 3i 4 j and w = i + j. v + w = 8i j
2 A scalar is a number. It has magnitude but no direction. Vectors can be multiplied by scalars. Examples: p p m = 6i + j + k m = 3i + j + k A position vector is a vector that starts at the origin (0, 0). Example: y p x Vector p drawn as a position vector. The magnitude (length) of a vector can be calculated using the Pythagorean Theorem. Example: d = 3i + j d = 3 + d 3 = 9 + = 34 Example: Find the length of c = i 4 j. c = + ( ) ( 4) = = 0
3 A displacement vector is a vector between two points. Example: Draw the displacement vector from A(, 3) to B(7, ). Then write vector AB in component form. 4 A B Vector AB = 6i j To find a displacement vector numerically, subtract the coordinates: end point minus start point Example: Find the displacement vector from C( 3,, ) to D(4,, 7). CD = ( 4 ( 3) ) i + ( ) j + ( 7 ( ) ) k = 7i 7 j + 8k A unit vector is a vector that is one unit long. Example: Determine whether or not each of the following vectors is a unit vector: 3 4 a) v = i + j b) w = i + j c) m = i + j v = + =.4 w = + = 0.7 ( ) ( ) w = + = = 3 4 ( ) ( ) v is not a unit vector. w is not a unit vector. m is a unit vector. To find a unit vector parallel to a given vector, divide the vector by its length. Example: Find a unit vector parallel to a = 3i + 8 j a = = 73 a 3 8 u = = i + j a 73 73
4 Chapters and 6 The Dot Product One way of multiplying two vectors is to find the dot product. The dot product of vectors a and b is written a b. To find the dot product of two vectors, multiply the corresponding components and add them up. Example: Find the dot product of a = 3i j 4k and b = i + j k. a b = ( ) ( )( ) ( )( ) = = 8 The dot product is also called the scalar product because the result is a scalar, not a vector. The dot product is used to find the angle between two vectors when they are placed tailtotail. The formula is: θ a cosθ = a b a b b Example: Find the angle (in degrees) between 3 c = 7 and d =. c d = 3( ) + ( ) + 7( ) = 6 c = = 9 ( ) d = + + = 30 6 cosθ = ( ) θ = cos
5 Vectors are perpendicular when the angle between them is a right angle. Numerically, vectors are perpendicular if and only if their dot product equals zero (since cos90 = 0 ). Example: Show that vectors g = i j k and h = 6i + j 3k are perpendicular. g h = = 0 ( ) ( )( ) ( )( ) Example: Find the value of k so that vectors perpendicular. ( ) ( )( ) ( )( ) a = and 3 a b = k = 9 3k 9 3k = 0 3k = 9 k = 3 b = 0 k are Vectors are parallel when they have the same direction (or opposite directions). Numerically, vectors are parallel if and only if they are scalar multiples of each other. Example: Find the value of k so that vectors parallel. c = 8 k and 3 d = are = 3( 4) and 8 = ( 4) so ( ) k = 4 = 4
6 Chapters 7 Vector Equations of Lines You already know how to write the Cartesian equation, y = mx + b, of a line if you know the slope and any point on the line. Lines can also be defined by vector equations. To write the vector equation of a line you need to know a point on the line and the direction vector for the line (a vector parallel to the line). The general form of the vector equation of a line is r = a + tb where a is the position vector to a point on the line, b is the direction vector for the line, t is an arbitrary scalar (the independent variable) and x r = y (the dependent variable). z Example: Write a vector equation of the line passing through (, ) and parallel to 3i j. 3 r = + t Example: Write a vector equation of the line passing through (, 3, 7) and parallel to i j + k. r = 3 t + 7 Example: Write a vector equation of the line passing through the points A(,, ) and B( 3,, ) a direction vector is AB = 3 so an equation is r = t + 3
7 When you know the vector equation of a line, you can find points on the line by choosing any number for t and plugging it in to the equation. Example: Write down three points on the line when t =, the point is (4, 4, 3) when t =, the point is (, 6, ) when t =, the point is (7, 3, 4) 3 r = t + (Remember these are just a few examples you can pick any number you want for t!) If two vector lines intersect, you can find the point of intersection by setting the equations equal to each other, solving for one of the independent variables, and then plugging back in to the equation to get the coordinates of the point. 3 6 Example: The lines r = + t and r = + s 3 4 the point P. Find the coordinates of P. intersect at + 3t = 6 s 3 t = 4s ( ) ( ) x = + 3 = y = 3+ = 4 + 6t = 4s ( 3 t 4s) = + 8t = 7 8t = 8 t = The coordinates of P are (, )
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