# The Dot and Cross Product

http://ltcconline.net/greenl/courses/107/vectors/dotcros.htm

The Dot and Cross Product
The Dot Product

Definition
We define the dot product of two vectors v = ai + b j and w = ci + d j to be v . w = ac + bd

Notice that the dot product of two vectors is a number and not a vector. For 3 dimensional vectors, we define the dot product similarly:

Dot Product in R3
If v = ai + b j + ck and w = d i + ej + fk then v . w = ad + be + cf

Examples: If v = 2 i + 4j and w = i + 5j then

v . w = (2)(1) + (4)(5) = 22

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w = ||v|| ||w|| cos q Two vectors are called orthogonal if their angle is a right angle.The Dot and Cross Product http://ltcconline. We see that angles are orthogonal if and only if v.net/greenl/courses/107/vectors/dotcros.w cos q = ||v || ||w|| so that v .w = 0 Example To find the angle between v = 2i + 3j + k and w = 4i + j + 2k we compute: and and 2 of 9 12/2/2011 9:44 AM .k and i + 2j The Angle Between Two Vectors We define the angle theta between two vectors v and w by the formula v.htm Exercise Find the dot product of 2i + j .

a cos a = ||v|| 2. w = 8 + 3 + 2 = 13 Hence Direction Angles Definition of Direction Cosines Let v = ai + b j + ck be a vector.net/greenl/courses/107/vectors/dotcros. and let g be the force of gravity acting on it. c cos g = ||v|| Projections and Components Suppose that a car is stopped on a steep hill.htm v . b cos b = ||v|| 3. then we define the direction cosines to be the following: 1. We define 3 of 9 12/2/2011 9:44 AM .The Dot and Cross Product http://ltcconline. We can split the vector g into the component that is pushing the car down the road and the component that is pushing the car onto the road.

r and s such that r is parallel to v and s is perpendicular to v .htm Definition Let u and v be a vectors.v projvu = ||v||2 Notice that this works since if we take magnitudes of both sides we get that v u. v = ||u|| ||v|| cos q = ||u|| = ||v|| ||projvu || hence u. Then u can be broken up into two components.The Dot and Cross Product http://ltcconline. r is called the projection of u onto v and s is called the component of u perpendicular to v.v | |projvu|| = ||v ||2 ||v|| 4 of 9 12/2/2011 9:44 AM . We see that ||u|| ||v|| ||projvu || u .net/greenl/courses/107/vectors/dotcros.v ||projvu || = ||v|| We can calculate the projection of u onto v by the formula: u.

8j) = -98j and the displacement vector is v = (5 .The Dot and Cross Product http://ltcconline.3) j = 3i + 4j The work is the dot product W = F v = (-98j) (3 i + 4j) = (0)(3) + (-98)(4) = -392 Notice the negative sign verifies that the work is done against gravity. Torque Suppose you are skiing and have a terrible fall.2) i + (7 . .7)? Solution We have that the force vector is F = ma = (10)(-9.htm and the right hand side simplifies to the formula above. With proper bindings your bindings will release and your ski will come off. The direction is correct since the right hand side of the formula is a constant multiple of v so the projection vector is in the direction of v as required. The bindings 5 of 9 12/2/2011 9:44 AM .3) to the point (5. To find the vector s. Your body spins around and you ski stays in place (do not try this at home). PQ Example Find the work done against gravity to move a 10 kg baby from the point (2. notice from the diagram that projvu + s = u so that s = u . .net/greenl/courses/107/vectors/dotcros. Hence.projv u Work The work done by a constant force F along PQ is given by W = F . it takes 392 J of work to move the baby.

but also produces the direction that is perpendicular to both the force and the direction of the leg. 6 of 9 12/2/2011 9:44 AM . The Cross Product Between Two Vectors Definition Let u = ai + bj + ck and v = d i + ej + fk be vectors then we define the cross product v x w by the determinant of the matrix: We can compute this determinant as = (bf .10j + 8 k If you need more help see the lecture notes for Math 103 B on matrices.3k v = 4j + 5k Solution We calculate = 17i .bd) k Example Find the cross product u x v if u = 2 i + j .ce) i + (cd .af) j + (ae .net/greenl/courses/107/vectors/dotcros. To compute it we use the cross produce of two vectors which not only gives the torque. This force is called torque.htm recognize that a force has been applied.The Dot and Cross Product http://ltcconline.

u = 2i .k. Find the torque. Then ||u x v|| = Area of the Parallelogram and the direction of u x v is a right angle to the parallelogram that follows the right hand rule Note: For i x j the magnitude is 1 and the direction is k.net/greenl/courses/107/vectors/dotcros.2k.htm Exercises Find u x v when A. u = 3i + j .j + 2k Notice that since switching the order of two rows of a determinant changes the sign of the determinant. B. Exercise Find j x k and i x k Torque Revisited We define the torque (or the moment M of a force F about a point Q) as M = PQ x F Example A 20 inch wrench is at an angle of 30 degrees with the ground.4 j . A force of 40 pounds that makes and angle of 45 degrees with the wrench turns the wrench. hence i x j = k. v=i-k v = 3i .The Dot and Cross Product http://ltcconline. Solution 7 of 9 12/2/2011 9:44 AM . we have u x v = -v x u Geometry and the Cross Product Let u and v be vectors and consider the parallelogram that the two vectors make.

2> Solution We find v = <0.3 i .htm We can write the wrench as the vector 20 cos 30 i + 20 sin 30 j = 17.net/greenl/courses/107/vectors/dotcros.3 i + 10 j and the force as -40 cos 75 i .2.The Dot and Cross Product http://ltcconline.40 sin 75 j = -10.38.3> 8 of 9 12/2/2011 9:44 AM . we find the triple product: Volume = u . (v x w) This can be found by computing the determinate of the three vectors: Example Find the volume of the parallelepiped spanned by the vectors u = <1.3> w = <0.0.1. v. and w. the torque is the magnitude of their cross product: = -564 inch pounds Parallelepipeds To find the volume of the parallelepiped spanned by three vectors u.6 j hence.

The Dot and Cross Product http://ltcconline.htm Back to the Vector Page Back to the Math 107 Home Page Back to the Math Department Home Page e-mail Questions and Suggestions This site has had visitors since February 26. 2001 9 of 9 12/2/2011 9:44 AM .net/greenl/courses/107/vectors/dotcros.