<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
In this section you will:
  • View vectors geometrically.
  • Find magnitude and direction.
  • Perform vector addition and scalar multiplication.
  • Find the component form of a vector.
  • Find the unit vector in the direction of  v .
  • Perform operations with vectors in terms of  i  and  j .
  • Find the dot product of two vectors.

An airplane is flying at an airspeed of 200 miles per hour headed on a SE bearing of 140°. A north wind (from north to south) is blowing at 16.2 miles per hour, as shown in [link] . What are the ground speed and actual bearing of the plane?

Image of a plan flying SE at 140 degrees and the north wind blowing

Ground speed refers to the speed of a plane relative to the ground. Airspeed refers to the speed a plane can travel relative to its surrounding air mass. These two quantities are not the same because of the effect of wind. In an earlier section, we used triangles to solve a similar problem involving the movement of boats. Later in this section, we will find the airplane’s groundspeed and bearing, while investigating another approach to problems of this type. First, however, let’s examine the basics of vectors.

A geometric view of vectors

A vector    is a specific quantity drawn as a line segment with an arrowhead at one end. It has an initial point    , where it begins, and a terminal point    , where it ends. A vector is defined by its magnitude    , or the length of the line, and its direction, indicated by an arrowhead at the terminal point. Thus, a vector is a directed line segment. There are various symbols that distinguish vectors from other quantities:

  • Lower case, boldfaced type, with or without an arrow on top such as v , u , w , v , u , w .
  • Given initial point P and terminal point Q , a vector can be represented as P Q . The arrowhead on top is what indicates that it is not just a line, but a directed line segment.
  • Given an initial point of ( 0 , 0 ) and terminal point ( a , b ) , a vector may be represented as a , b .

This last symbol a , b has special significance. It is called the standard position    . The position vector has an initial point ( 0 , 0 ) and a terminal point a , b . To change any vector into the position vector, we think about the change in the x -coordinates and the change in the y -coordinates. Thus, if the initial point of a vector C D is C ( x 1 , y 1 ) and the terminal point is D ( x 2 , y 2 ) , then the position vector is found by calculating

A B = x 2 x 1 , y 2 y 1 = a , b

In [link] , we see the original vector C D and the position vector A B .

Plot of the original vector CD in blue and the position vector AB in orange extending from the origin.

Properties of vectors

A vector is a directed line segment with an initial point and a terminal point. Vectors are identified by magnitude, or the length of the line, and direction, represented by the arrowhead pointing toward the terminal point. The position vector has an initial point at ( 0 , 0 ) and is identified by its terminal point a , b .

Find the position vector

Consider the vector whose initial point is P ( 2 , 3 ) and terminal point is Q ( 6 , 4 ) . Find the position vector.

The position vector is found by subtracting one x -coordinate from the other x -coordinate, and one y -coordinate from the other y -coordinate. Thus

v = 6 2 , 4 3 = 4 , 1

The position vector begins at ( 0 , 0 ) and terminates at ( 4 , 1 ) . The graphs of both vectors are shown in [link] .

Plot of the original vector in blue and the position vector in orange extending from the origin.

We see that the position vector is 4 , 1 .

Got questions? Get instant answers now!
Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Questions & Answers

x exposant 4 + 4 x exposant 3 + 8 exposant 2 + 4 x + 1 = 0
HERVE Reply
x exposent4+4x exposent3+8x exposent2+4x+1=0
HERVE
How can I solve for a domain and a codomains in a given function?
Oliver Reply
ranges
EDWIN
Thank you I mean range sir.
Oliver
proof for set theory
Kwesi Reply
don't you know?
Inkoom
find to nearest one decimal place of centimeter the length of an arc of circle of radius length 12.5cm and subtending of centeral angle 1.6rad
Martina Reply
factoring polynomial
Noven Reply
what's your topic about?
Shin Reply
find general solution of the Tanx=-1/root3,secx=2/root3
Nani Reply
find general solution of the following equation
Nani
the value of 2 sin square 60 Cos 60
Sanjay Reply
0.75
Lynne
0.75
Inkoom
when can I use sin, cos tan in a giving question
duru Reply
depending on the question
Nicholas
I am a carpenter and I have to cut and assemble a conventional roof line for a new home. The dimensions are: width 30'6" length 40'6". I want a 6 and 12 pitch. The roof is a full hip construction. Give me the L,W and height of rafters for the hip, hip jacks also the length of common jacks.
John
I want to learn the calculations
Koru Reply
where can I get indices
Kojo Reply
I need matrices
Nasasira
hi
Raihany
Hi
Solomon
need help
Raihany
maybe provide us videos
Nasasira
about complex fraction
Raihany
Hello
Cromwell
a
Amie
What do you mean by a
Cromwell
nothing. I accidentally press it
Amie
you guys know any app with matrices?
Khay
Ok
Cromwell
Solve the x? x=18+(24-3)=72
Leizel Reply
x-39=72 x=111
Suraj
Solve the formula for the indicated variable P=b+4a+2c, for b
Deadra Reply
Need help with this question please
Deadra
b=-4ac-2c+P
Denisse
b=p-4a-2c
Suddhen
b= p - 4a - 2c
Snr
p=2(2a+C)+b
Suraj
b=p-2(2a+c)
Tapiwa
P=4a+b+2C
COLEMAN
b=P-4a-2c
COLEMAN
like Deadra, show me the step by step order of operation to alive for b
John
A laser rangefinder is locked on a comet approaching Earth. The distance g(x), in kilometers, of the comet after x days, for x in the interval 0 to 30 days, is given by g(x)=250,000csc(π30x). Graph g(x) on the interval [0, 35]. Evaluate g(5)  and interpret the information. What is the minimum distance between the comet and Earth? When does this occur? To which constant in the equation does this correspond? Find and discuss the meaning of any vertical asymptotes.
Kaitlyn Reply
The sequence is {1,-1,1-1.....} has
amit Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Algebra and trigonometry. OpenStax CNX. Nov 14, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11758/1.6
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Algebra and trigonometry' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask