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Three-dimensional vectors can also be represented in component form. The notation $\text{v}=\u27e8x,y,z\u27e9$ is a natural extension of the two-dimensional case, representing a vector with the initial point at the origin, $\left(0,0,0\right),$ and terminal point $\left(x,y,z\right).$ The zero vector is $0=\u27e80,0,0\u27e9.$ So, for example, the three dimensional vector $\text{v}=\u27e82,4,1\u27e9$ is represented by a directed line segment from point $\left(0,0,0\right)$ to point $\left(2,4,1\right)$ ( [link] ).
Vector addition and scalar multiplication are defined analogously to the two-dimensional case. If $\text{v}=\u27e8{x}_{1},{y}_{1},{z}_{1}\u27e9$ and $\text{w}=\u27e8{x}_{2},{y}_{2},{z}_{2}\u27e9$ are vectors, and $k$ is a scalar, then
If $k=\mathrm{-1},$ then $k\text{v}=\left(\mathrm{-1}\right)\text{v}$ is written as $\text{\u2212}\text{v},$ and vector subtraction is defined by $\text{v}-w=v+\left(\text{\u2212}\text{w}\right)=v+\left(\mathrm{-1}\right)\text{w}.$
The standard unit vectors extend easily into three dimensions as well— $\text{i}=\u27e81,0,0\u27e9,$ $\text{j}=\u27e80,1,0\u27e9,$ and $\text{k}=\u27e80,0,1\u27e9$ —and we use them in the same way we used the standard unit vectors in two dimensions. Thus, we can represent a vector in ${\mathbb{R}}^{3}$ in the following ways:
Let $\overrightarrow{PQ}$ be the vector with initial point $P=(3,12,6)$ and terminal point $Q=\left(\mathrm{-4},\mathrm{-3},2\right)$ as shown in [link] . Express $\overrightarrow{PQ}$ in both component form and using standard unit vectors.
In component form,
In standard unit form,
Let $S=\left(3,8,2\right)$ and $T=\left(2,\mathrm{-1},3\right).$ Express $\overrightarrow{ST}$ in component form and in standard unit form.
$\overrightarrow{ST}=\u27e8\mathrm{-1},\mathrm{-9},1\u27e9=\text{\u2212}\text{i}-9\text{j}+\text{k}$
As described earlier, vectors in three dimensions behave in the same way as vectors in a plane. The geometric interpretation of vector addition, for example, is the same in both two- and three-dimensional space ( [link] ).
We have already seen how some of the algebraic properties of vectors, such as vector addition and scalar multiplication, can be extended to three dimensions. Other properties can be extended in similar fashion. They are summarized here for our reference.
Let $\text{v}=\u27e8{x}_{1},{y}_{1},{z}_{1}\u27e9$ and $\text{w}=\u27e8{x}_{2},{y}_{2},{z}_{2}\u27e9$ be vectors, and let $k$ be a scalar.
Scalar multiplication: $k\text{v}=\u27e8k{x}_{1},k{y}_{1},k{z}_{1}\u27e9$
Vector addition: $\text{v}+\text{w}=\u27e8{x}_{1},{y}_{1},{z}_{1}\u27e9+\u27e8{x}_{2},{y}_{2},{z}_{2}\u27e9=\u27e8{x}_{1}+{x}_{2},{y}_{1}+{y}_{2},{z}_{1}+{z}_{2}\u27e9$
Vector subtraction: $\text{v}-\text{w}=\u27e8{x}_{1},{y}_{1},{z}_{1}\u27e9-\u27e8{x}_{2},{y}_{2},{z}_{2}\u27e9=\u27e8{x}_{1}-{x}_{2},{y}_{1}-{y}_{2},{z}_{1}-{z}_{2}\u27e9$
Vector magnitude: $\Vert \text{v}\Vert =\sqrt{{x}_{1}{}^{2}+{y}_{1}{}^{2}+{z}_{1}{}^{2}}$
Unit vector in the direction of v: $\frac{1}{\Vert \text{v}\Vert}\text{v}=\frac{1}{\Vert \text{v}\Vert}\u27e8{x}_{1},{y}_{1},{z}_{1}\u27e9=\u27e8\frac{{x}_{1}}{\Vert \text{v}\Vert},\frac{{y}_{1}}{\Vert \text{v}\Vert},\frac{{z}_{1}}{\Vert \text{v}\Vert}\u27e9,$ if $\text{v}\ne 0$
We have seen that vector addition in two dimensions satisfies the commutative, associative, and additive inverse properties. These properties of vector operations are valid for three-dimensional vectors as well. Scalar multiplication of vectors satisfies the distributive property, and the zero vector acts as an additive identity. The proofs to verify these properties in three dimensions are straightforward extensions of the proofs in two dimensions.
Let $\text{v}=\u27e8\mathrm{-2},9,5\u27e9$ and $\text{w}=\u27e81,\mathrm{-1},0\u27e9$ ( [link] ). Find the following vectors.
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