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Lectures on Vector Algebra

Lectures on Vector Algebra

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Vector Algebra: Class lectures compiled for undergraduate students or any other interested students.
Vector Algebra: Class lectures compiled for undergraduate students or any other interested students.

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07/07/2013

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PBC Lecture Notes in Physics – Vector Algebra & Vector Analysis/ A. Kar Gupta1
Vector Algebra & Vector Analysis
(Combined Lectures, 1
st
Ed.)
Lecture Notes prepared by-
Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta
Physics Department, Panskura Banamali CollegePanskura R.S., East Midnapore, WB, India, Pin-code: 721152
e-mail:kg.abhi@gmail.com,abhijit_kargupta@rediffmail.com,
Lecture-1

Books to be consulted:
1.

Vector Analysis
-

Murray R. Spiegel (Schaum Series, McGraw Hill)
2
.
Mathematical Methods
- Merle C. Potter, Jack Goldberg (Prentice Hall of India)
3
.
Introduction to Mathematical Physic
- Charlie Harper (PHI)
4
.
Mathematical Methods for Physicists
- G. Arfken (Academic Pub., Prism Books Pvt. Ltd.)
5.
Mathematical Physic
- H. K. Dass (S. Chand & Company Ltd.)We begin from the definition of ‘Vector’.
Vector:
A vector is a quantity having both magnitude and direction.
Examples: v
(velocity),
F
(force),
m
(magnetization)
etc.
To express a vector
A
pictorially:
We have to know the coordinates of the starting point, the coordinates of the end pointwith respect to a fixed coordinate system. The arrow (in the picture) indicates the
direction
and the length of it (measured in the coordinate system) is the
magnitude
of thevector.Magnitude of a vector
A
is written as |
A
| (sometimes only
A
).Any vector along the direction of
A
but having unit magnitude is called unit vector.

PBC Lecture Notes in Physics – Vector Algebra & Vector Analysis/ A. Kar Gupta2
Unit Vector:
||ˆ
A Au
=
Null Vector:
Ο
)
,
having magnitude zero.
(Sometimes called Triangle law of addition)
The above law can be extended to add any number of vectors:
The resultant vector (sum of all vectors) always starts from the starting point of the 1
st
vector and ends at the end of the last vector
.
This is the end-to-end distance of a series of ‘walks’ (as directed by the vectors).
Applications:
Any polygon of vectors, a model Polymer, Random Walk
To construct a Vector Algebra:

Arithmetic is mathematical operations (summation, subtraction, multiplicationand division) with Numbers.

Algebra is mathematical operations with symbols.

Therefore, Vector Algebra must be mathematical operations with Vectors.Mathematical operations are to be defined. The ‘unit’ and ‘zero’ entities arealready defined. Some basic rules are to be defined to construct the Algebra.Resultant Vector
A

B B A
+=

PBC Lecture Notes in Physics – Vector Algebra & Vector Analysis/ A. Kar Gupta3
Rules of Vector Algebra:1.
A B B A
+=+

2.
m A Am
=

(Cumulative law for multiplication)
3.
B A B A
++=++
)()(

4.
Amn Anm
)()(
=
(Associative law for distribution)
5
.
An Am Anm
+=+
6.
Bm Am B Am
+=+
)(

(Distributive law for multiplication).
Lecture-2

Let us think of a rectangular Cartesian (right handed) coordinate system:A vector
A
has components
x
A
,
y
A
and
z
A
along x-, y- and z-axes respectively.Therefore, one can write
A j Ai A A
z  y x
) ) )
++=
.Magnitude of
A
is ||
A
=
222
z  y x
A A A
++
.
Z

i
)

j
)

)

X

A

A

B B A B
The three unit vectors along the x-, y- and z-axes are
i
)
,
j
)
and
)
respectively.