You are on page 1of 24

ALGEBRAIC VECTORS

Number Pair Notation


To represent a vector numerically, we do this in a very similar manner as
coordinate points, i.e. we split the vector movement into a horizontal followed
by a vertical component.
Example
a is 2 squares to the right followed by
3 squares up.
We write this as

a=

b=

2
3

d=

2
3

2
3

Page

c=

2
3

Addition and Subtraction of Numerical Vectors.

Consider

1
3

followed by

4
2

The equivalent is

Note also that

1
3

5
1
4
2

5
1

When we add or subtract numerical vectors, simply add or subtract the


corresponding components:

Example:

2
3
2
3

1
4

1
4

2 (1)
(3) 4

2 (1)
(3) 4

When we multiply vectors by a number simply multiply each component by


that number:

Example:

2x

2
3

2 x 2
2 x (3)

Page

4
6

Exercise 3

1.

2
3

1
4

4. If u =

3
4

3
9

2
5

5.

2.
1
3

, v=

6
8

and w =

6.

3
10

2
1

2
4

3.

1
2

, find (a) u + v
3
7

7.

5
7

(b) u + v + w
a
b

c
d

8. Find x:

(a) x +

9. u =

1
2

2
3

and v =

3
1

(a) 3u + 3v

10. p =

3
1

and q =

(a) 3(p + q)

5
7

(b) x -

2
3

5
7

, find

(b) 3(u + v)
1
5

(c) 5u - 5v

, find
(b)

(c) 2(p - 2q) + 3p

Page

(d) 5(u - v)

Unit Vector Notation


This is another method of writing the components of a vector in an easier
form.

We write a unit horizontal movement which in numerical form would be


as i.

We write a unit vertical movement which in numerical form would be

1
0

0
1

as j.

Combinations of horizontal and vertical movements are written as


combinations if i's and j's.
2
3

Example:

= 2i + 3j

Multiplying, adding and subtracting vectors in i, j form is the same as that in


numerical form - simply combine the appropriate components.

Example:

In numerical form

3
2

In i, j form

(3i - 2j) + (4i - j) = 7i - 3j

4
1

7
3

Exercise 4

1. u =

3
2

and v =

(a) 2u + 5v

2. u =

2
2

,v=

1
3

(a) 2v + u

3. a =

5
2

,b=

(a) 3b - c

4
1

4
3

. Find in component form and in terms of i and j


(b) 4u - 3v

and w =

2
1

. Find in component form and in i, j form:

(b) 3v - w

and c =

2
1

(c) 2w - u

. Find in component form and in i, j form:

(b) b - 2a

4. Given that p = 2i - 3j and q = i + 5j, find :


Page

(c) 3c - 4b

(a) 2p + q

(b) p - 3q

(c) 3p + 2q

(d) 2(p + q)

(e) -4p - q

(f) 2p - 4q

Position Vectors
This is the vector from the origin to a given point.
Example:

If A is the point (3,4)


y

4
3
2
1
O

OA or a is the position vector of A and a =

3
3
4

= 3i + 4j.

Note that the coordinates of A are the components of its position vector.
We can use the position vectors of two points to find the vector joining the two
points.

Example:

If A is (6,1) and B is (5,-4), find AB.

Page

y
A

a
O

x
b
B
a = 6i + j
b = 5i - 4j

Looking at this triangle of velocities we have


A

a
O
b
B

AB = -a + b = b - a
This rule can be used to find the vector joining any two points if we know the
coordinates of the points and hence their position vectors.
In words, the rule states that the vector from one point to another is the
position vector of the SECOND point minus the position vector of the FIRST
point.
For the above example, AB = b - a
= (6i + j) - (5i - 4j)

= i + 5j or

Example:

1
5

P is (5,2); Q is (-2, -3). Find PQ.


p = 5i + 2j
PQ

q = -2i - 3j

=q-p
Page

= (-2i - 3j) - (5i + 2j)


= -7i - 5j

Page

Exercise 5
1. P is the point (2,3) and Q is the point (7,5). Write down the position vectors
of OP and OQ in component form. Calculate the components of the vector
PQ.

2. Repeat question 1 for the points P(0, -1) and Q (4,2).

3. A is the point (4,0)


B is the point (6,2)
C is the point (-2, 1).
(a) Find a, b and c.
(b) Find AB, BC and CA.

4. A is (4, 0), B is (-3, 1), C is (0, -6) and D is (1, -3).


For each of these points find its position vector in terms if i and j.

Page

Answers
Exercise 3

1.

1
1

5.

1
4

9. (a)

2.

6.

3
2

5
3

7.

12
3

10. (a)

3.

12
12

(b)

12
3

(b)

1
3

6
5

4. (a)

a c
b d

8. (a)

(c)

10
15

(c)

11
25

3
4

2
7

(b)

(b)

7
10

(d)

10
15

0
6

Exercise 4

1. (a)

26
11

2. (a)

0
8

3. (a)

14
2

, 26i + 11j

, 8j

4. (a) 5i - j

(b)
1
8

(b)

, i + 8j

, -14i + 2j

(c)

(b)

(b) -i - 18j

0
17

6
5

(c) 8i + j

, -17j
6
0

, 6i

, 6i + 5j

(c)

(d) 6i + 4j

(e) -9i + 7j

Exercise 5

1. OP =

2
3

, OQ =

7
5

, PQ =

5
2

0 4 4
2. 1 , 2 , 3

3. (a)

4
0

4. a = 4i

6 2
, 2 , 1

b = -3i + j

10
7

2 8 6
(b) 2 , 1 , 1

c = -6j
Page

d = i - 3j

, -10i + 7j
(f) -26j

Page

Magnitude or Length of a Vector.

Consider a =

3
4

a
4
3
We write the length of a as | a |.
We can use Pythagoras's Theorem to find the length of a.
| a | = (32 + 42) = 5

In general, if p =

a
b

= ai + bj then | p | = (a2 + b2)

Exercise 1
1. Write down the lengths of the following, leaving in square roots where
necessary.

(a)

2
1

(e)

3
2

(b)

1
8

(f)

4
3

(c)

4
7

(d)

12
5

2. State whether the following is true or false:


(a) If |u| = |v| then u = v
(b) If u = v then |u| = |v|
3. Calculate the magnitude of the vector PQ is P and Q are the points:
(a) (5, 0) and (10, 4)

(b) (7, 4) and (1, 12)

(c) (-1, -1) and (-5, -6)

(d) (4, -1) and (-3, -4)

Page

Answers
Exercise 1
1. (a) 5

(b) 65

2. (a) F

(b) T

3. (a) 41

(b) 10

(c) 65

(d) 13

(c) 41

(d) 58

Page

VECTORS IN CARTESIAN AND POLAR FORM


Vectors can be represented mathematically in two ways: Cartesian form
(horizontal and vertical components), and polar form (magnitude and
direction).
A vector is represented by a straight line whose length is proportional to the
magnitude of the vector, and with an arrow pointing in the direction in which
the vector is acting.
c

The vector ac can be represented in polar form by the magnitude of ac acting


at an angle to the horizontal.
This is written

ac = | ac |

It can also be represented in Cartesian (or rectangular) form as a horizontal


component ab (or x) and a vertical component bc (or y).
ab = |ac| cos
bc = |ac| sin
For example, a displacement of 5 metres at an angle of 30 o to the horizontal
can be represented in polar form as 5 30o
and in Cartesian form as 5 cos 30o = 4.33 horizontally
5 sin 30o = 2.5 vertically.
So the vector 5 30o can be said to be the resultant of 4.33 horizontally plus
2.5 vertically.
This is written as (4.33, 2.5)
Page

Vectors in Cartesian form can also be converted to polar form as follows:


If the vector ac is represented in Cartesian form as x horizontally and y
vertically then
|ac| = (x2 + y2)
and = tan-1 (y/x)
For example, the resultant of a force 6 kN horizontally and a force of 4 kN
vertically is a force of
(36 + 16) = 7.21 kN
at an angle of tan-1 (2/3) = 33.82o
This is written as 7.21 33.82o

TUTORIAL
Q1. Determine by calculation the magnitude and direction of the force F in
each of the following, and hence express in polar form:
a)

horizontal component of 6N and a vertical component of 8N.

b)

horizontal component of 7N and a vertical component of 3N.

c)

x-component of 8.5N and y-component of 6.4N.

d)

x-component of 12.3N and y-component of 7.9N.

Q2. Determine by calculation the x and y Cartesian components of the


following vectors:
a)

8 35o

b)

21 83o

c)

6.5 54o

d)

15.8 65o

e)

12.4 42o

f)

16 28o

Page

ANSWERS
Q1.

a) 10 53.1o

b) 7.6 23.2o

c) 10.6 37o

a) (6.55, 4.59)

b) (2.56, 20.84)

c) (3.82, 5.26)

d) (6.68, 14.3)

e) (9.21, 8.30)

f) (14.13, 7.51)

d) 14.6 32.7o
Q2.

Page

DotProduct
Thesearevectors:

Theycanbemultipliedusingthe"DotProduct"

Calculating
YoucancalculatetheDotProductoftwovectorsthisway:

ab=|a||b|cos()
Where:
|a|isthemagnitude(length)ofvectora
|b|isthemagnitude(length)ofvectorb
istheanglebetweenaandb
Sowemultiplythelengthofatimesthelengthofb,thenmultiplybythecosineof
theanglebetweenaandb

ORyoucancalculateitthisway:

Page

ab=axbx+ayby
Sowemultiplythex's,multiplythey's,thenadd.
Bothmethodswork!

Example:Calculatethedotproductofvectorsaandb:

ab=|a||b|cos()
ab=1013cos(59.5)
ab=10130.5075...
ab=65.98...=66(rounded)
ab=axbx+ayby
ab=65+812
ab=30+96
ab=66
Bothmethodscameupwiththesameresult(afterrounding)
Alsonotethatweusedminus6forax(itisheadinginthenegativexdirection)

Page

RightAngles
Whentwovectorsareatrightanglestoeachotherthedotproductiszero.

Example:calculatetheDotProductfor:

ab=|a||b|cos()
ab=|a||b|cos(90)
ab=|a||b|0
ab=0
ab=axbx+ayby
ab=1212+169
ab=144+144
ab=0
Thiscanbeahandywaytofindoutiftwovectorsareatrightangles.

Page

ThreeorMoreDimensions
Thisallworksfinein3(ormore)dimensions,too.

Example:Findtheanglebetweenthefollowingvectors:

Wehave3dimensions,sodon'tforgetthezcomponents:
ab=axbx+ayby+azbz
ab=94+28+710
ab=36+16+70
ab=122

Nowfortheotherformula:
ab=|a||b|cos()
Butwhatis|a|?Itisthemagnitude,orlength,ofthevectora.Wecanuse
Pythagoras:

|a|=(42+82+102)

|a|=(16+64+100)

|a|=180

Likewisefor|b|:

Page

|b|=(92+22+72)

|b|=(81+4+49)

|b|=134

Andweknowfromthecalculationabovethatab=122,so:
ab=|a||b|cos()
122=180134cos()
cos()=122/(180134)
cos()=0.7855...
=cos1(0.7855...)=38.2...
TheDotProductgivesascalar(ordinarynumber)answer,andissometimescalled
thescalarproduct.

Page

Page

Page

Page

VECTOR CROSS PRODUCT

The SCALAR (DOT) PRODUCT is calculated using the following formula:


a . b=|a||b|cos

symbol instead of a DOT.

The magnitude of the resultant vector is given by |a b|=|a||b|sin


Note this is similar to the Dot product formula, except sin is used instead
of cos.
EXAMPLE
If |a|=12 , and |b|=10 , and the angle between the vectors is 40o, find
the magnitude of the cross product.

|a b|=|a||b|sin , so |a b|=1210 sin 40 =77.1

EXERCISE
Calculate the CROSS PRODUCT magnitude for the following vectors:
1.
2.

|a|=10 , |b|=3 , =23


|a|=1.4 , |b|=0.433 , =2

[ |a b|=11.7 ]
[ |a b|=0.0212

|a|=4 , |b|=1 , =5
|a|=4 , |b|=1 , =90
|a|=2.34 , |b|=9.34 , =13.3

[ |a b|=0.349 ]
[ |a b|=4 ]
[ |a b|=5.03 ]

]
3.
4.
5.

Page