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EM Lecture Notes Chapter 1 Griffiths

EM Lecture Notes Chapter 1 Griffiths

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- 1 -
Chapter 1. Vector Analysis
1.1. Introduction
This chapter will give an introduction to vector analysis. A
vector
, or displacement, has a
direction
and a
magnitude
. The following vector notations will be used in this course:1.
 A
: the vector
 A
2.
 A
: the magnitude of vector
 A
The
opposite
of a vector
 A
is a vector with the same magnitude as
 A
but pointing in a directionopposite to that of 
 A
. The opposite of vector
 A
is written as
-
 A
.There are four different vector operations that we will be using in this course: vectoraddition, vector multiplication by a scalar, the dot product of two vectors, and the cross productof two vectors. We will start Chapter 1 by discussing these four vector operations in some detail.
1.1.1. Vector Addition
Two vectors
 A
and
 B
can be added. The result of this operation is a new vector
(seeFigure 1.1a). Using vector notation we can write vector addition as follows:
 AB
+=
Vector addition is
commutative
. This means that the order in which two vectors are added doesnot affect the result (see Figure 1.1). The commutative properties of vector addition can bewritten as
 ABCBA
+==+
To subtract vector
 B
from vector
 A
is equivalent to adding the opposite of vector
 B
to
 A
. Inother words:
 ABAB
-=+-
( )
 
- 2 -
 A BC = A + BC = B + A A B
a)b)
Figure 1.1. Vector Addition.1.1.2. Multiplication by a scalar
A vector can be multiplied by a scalar. If the scalar
a
is a positive number (see Figure 1.2a)than the result of the multiplication of the vector
 A
by
a
is a new vector with a magnitude equalto
aA
and a direction equal to the direction of 
 A
. If the scalar
a
is a negative number (seeFigure 1.2b) than the result of the multiplication of the vector
 A
by
a
is a new vector with amagnitude equal to
aA
and a direction opposite to the direction of 
 A
.
 AaA (a > 0) AaA (a < 0)
a)b)
Figure 1.2. Vector multiplication.
Scalar multiplication is
distributive
. This means that the result of the multiplication of thevector sum of vector
 A
and
 B
by a scalar
a
is equal to the vector sum of 
aA
and
aB
:
 
- 3 -
aABaAaB
+
( )
=+
1.1.3. Dot product of two vectors
 A B
Figure 1.3. The scalar product of two vectors.
The dot product, also called the
scalar product
, is defined as
 ABAB
∑=◊◊
cos
where
 
is the angle between vectors
 A
and
 B
(see Figure 1.3). The dot product is
commutative
which means that the order of the vectors
 A
and
 B
does not effect the result of the dot product. In other words:
 ABBA
=
The dot product is also
distributive
:
 ABCABA
+
( )
=∑+∑
The dot product will be frequently used to determine whether two vectors
 A
and
 B
areperpendicular. When
 A
and
 B
are perpendicular the angle
 
is equal to 90
. The definition of the dot product shows that in this case the dot product between
 A
and
 B
is equal to zero.
1.1.4. Cross products of two vectors
The cross product of two vectors
 A
and
 B
is a third vector
. The vector
isperpendicular to both
 A
and
 B
, and has a length equal to
CABAB
=¥=◊◊
sin

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