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Assignment 4, Solutions

Problem 4/ p. 813. Write each vector’s expression as a single vector. In other words
perform the vector’s operations.
−−→ −−→ −→ −→ −→ −→ −→ −→ −−→
Solution. (a) P Q + QR = P R; (b)RP + P S = RS; (c) QS − P S = QP ;
−→ −→ −−→ −−→
(d)RS + SP + P Q = RQ;
Problem 6/ p. 813. Copy the vectors a and b in the figure and use them to draw the
following vectors.
(a) a + b; (b) a − b; (c) 2a
1
(d) − b; (e) 2a + b; (f ) b − 3a.
2
Solution. Let a = (2, 3) and b = (7, 3.5). Then we give a graphical solution to the problem
using only sum of vectors and multiplication of a vector by a scalar. Another solution is
possible in some of the examples by using subtraction of vectors.
(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

1
(e)

Problem 14/ p. 813. Find the sum of the given vectors and illustrate it geometrically.
Solution. We have
(−2, −1) + (5, 7) = (3, 6)
and here is the geometry of the problem

Problem 32/ p. 814. Ropes 3 m and 5 m in length are fastened to a holiday decoration
that is suspended over a town square. The decoration has a mass of 5 kg. The ropes,
fastened at different heights make angles of 52◦ and 40◦ with horizontal. Find the tension
in each wire and the magnitude of each tension.
Solution. Denote by T1 and T2 the two tension forces corresponding to the ropes of length
3 m and 5 m. Then
T1 = −|T1 | cos(52◦ )i + |T1 | sin(52◦ )j
T2 = |T2 | cos(40◦ )i + |T2 | sin(40◦ )j
T1 + T2 = W j = mgj = 5 · 9.81j = 49.05j,
where W is the weight of the decoration in N, m is the mass of the decoration in kg, and g
is the gravity acceleration.
From here
[−|T1 | cos(52◦ ) + |T2 | cos(40◦ )]i + [|T1 | sin(52◦ ) + |T2 | sin(40◦ )]j = 49.05j

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and
−|T1 | cos(52◦ ) + |T2 | cos(40◦ ) = 0
|T1 | sin(52◦ ) + |T2 | sin(40◦ ) = 49.05
Then trivially, solving the above linear system with respect to |T1 | and |T2 | we obtain the
magnitudes of the tension in each wire
49.05 × cos(52◦ )
|T2 | = = 30.19N
sin(92◦ )

49.05 × cos(40◦ )
|T1 | = = 37.56N
sin(92◦ )
and from here the tensions in each wire is

T1 = −37.56 cos(52◦ )i + 37.56 sin(52◦ )j = −23.12i + 29.6j

T2 = 30.19 cos(40◦ )i + 30.19 sin(40◦ )j = 23.12i + 19.41j.


Problem 8/ p. 820. Find a · b, where a = 4j − 3k and b = 2i + 4j + 6k.
Solution.
a · b = (4j − 3k) · (2i + 4j + 6k
= 8j · i + 16j · j + 24j · k − 6k · i − 12k · j − 18k · k = 16 − 18 = −2.

Problem 10/ p. 820. Find a · b, where |a| = 3, |b| = 6 and the angle between a and b
is 45◦ .
Solution. We have


√ 2 √
a · b = |a||b| cos(45 ) = 3 6 = 3 3 ≈ 5.1962.
2
Problem 14/ p. 820. A street vendor sells a hamburgers, b hot dogs, and c soft drinks
on a given day. He charges 2$ for a hamburger, 1.50$ for a hot dog, and 1$ for a soft drink.
If A = ha, b, ci and P = h2, 1.5, 1i, what is the meaning of the dot product
Solution. The dot product

A · P = P · A = 2a + 1.5b + c

is the profit of the vendor for that day.


Problem 20/ p. 821. Find the angle between the vectors a = i + 2j − 2k and b = 4i − 3k.
First, find an exact expression and then approximate to the nearest degree.
Solution. Let us denote the angle between the given vectors by θ. We have

a · b = |a||b| cos(θ)

3
a · b = [i + 2j − 2k] · [4i − 3k = 4 + 6 = 10
q √ q √
|a| = 1 + 2 + (−2) = 9 = 3; |b| = 42 + 02 + (−3)2 = 25 = 5
2 2 2

and from here


a·b 10 2
cos(θ) = = = , 0◦ ≤ θ ≤ 180◦ .
|a||b| 15 3
Finally,
θ = arccos(2/3) = 48.1897 ≈ 48◦ .
Problem 40/ p. 821. Find the scalar and the vector projections of b onto a, where
a = i + j + k and b = i − j + k.
Solution. By using the ready formulas on page 819 we compute
a·b 1−1+1 1
compa b = = √ =√ .
|a| 3 3
a·b 1−1+1
proja b = 2
a = √ 2 (1, 1, 1) = (1/3, 1/3, 1/3).
|a| ( 3)
Problem 52/ p. 821. Find the angle between a diagonal of a cube and a diagonal of one
of its faces.
Solution. Suppose that the cube has the points (0, 0, 0) and (1, 1, 1) as opposite vertices.
Then the one the diagonals of the face on the xy− plane has endpoints (0, 0, 0) and (0, 1, 1).
The angle θ between the vectors (1, 1, 1) and (0, 1, 1) satisfies
(1, 1, 1) · (0, 1, 1) 2
cos(θ) = √ √ =√
12 2 2
+1 +1 0 +1 +1 2 2 2 6
and from here, taking into account that 0 ≤ θ ≤ 180◦ we obtain

θ = arccos(2/ 6) ≈ 35.26◦ .

Problem 5/ p. 828. Find the cross product a × b for a = i − j − k and b = 21 i + j + 12 k


and verify that the cross product obtained is orthogonal to both a and b.
Solution. Following the definition of a cross product we have

i j k
1 3
a×b= 1 -1 -1 = i − j + k.


1/2
2 2
1 1/2

In order to show that the vector [cross product of a×b] is orthogonal to a and b we compute
the corresponding dot products.
1 3
 
a · (a × b) = (i − j − k) · i − j + k = 1/2 + 1 − 3/2 = 0
2 2

4
and from here, a and a × b are orthogonal.
Analogously,
1 1 1 3
   
b · (a × b) = i+j+ k · i − j + k = 1/4 − 1 + 3/4 = 0
2 2 2 2
and from here, b and a × b are orthogonal, also.

Problem 12/ p. 828. Find the vector, not with determinants, but by using properties of
cross product.
Solution.
(i + j) × (i − j) = i × i − i × j + j × i − j × j = 2j × i = −2k.
Problem 34/ p. 829. Find the volume of the parallelepiped determined by the vectors
a = i + j − k , b = i − j + k, c = −i + j + k.
Solution. We compute the triple scalar product

-1 1 1

c · [a × b] = 1 1 -1 = −2 − 2 = −4


1 -1 1

and the volume V of the parallelepiped is the absolute value of the triple product

|c · [a × b]| = | − 4| = 4.

Problem 42/ p. 829. Let v = 5j and let u be a vector of length 3 that starts at the origin
and rotates in the xy− plane. Find the maximum and the minimum value of the length of
the vector u × v. In what direction does u × v points.
Solution.
|u × v| = |u||v| sin(θ) = 15 sin(θ), 0 ≤ θ ≤ π
and from here the maximum value of the length of the vector u × v we have for θ = π/2,
i.e., for u = ±3i and the minimum value for θ = 0; π, i.e., u = ±3j.
By using the right-hand rule, u × v points the direction of k (positive direction) if u vary
from −3j to 3j in the counterclockwise direction. In this continuous move of u the length of
u × v vary from 0 at u = −3j and increasing to maximum 15 at u = 3i and again decreasing
to 0 at u = 3j. Next, if u vary from 3j to −3j in a counterclockwise direction, the vector
u × v points the direction of −k (negative direction).