You are on page 1of 15

# CHAPTER

Vectors
1.1 VECTOR ANALYSIS—A LANGUAGE OF PHYSICS

1

Physicists have developed their own language for the description of the physical world. The beauty of their language lies in the fact that the physical laws, when expressed in that language are concise, elegant and transparent. Vector is a language in which the laws of mechanics and electro-magnetism have simple appearance. There are many physical quantities, which require magnitude and direction both for their specification. Such quantities are displacement, velocity, force, angular momentum, torque, etc. These are called vector quantities. On the other hand those quantities, which require only magnitude for their specifications, are called scalars. Mass, volume, density, work, energy, pressure etc. are such quantities. In order to differentiate vector from scalar, the former is written in bold face letters or letters with arrow mark over it. Ordinary letter denotes the magnitude of the vector. For example a represents vector whereas a or |a| its magnitude. Graphically, a directed line segment represents a vector. The length of the line represents the magnitude of the vector and the arrow direction of the vector. Two vectors are said to be equal if they have the same magnitude and direction. If two vectors a and b have the same magnitude but opposite direction, then one is said to be negative of the other and we write a = – b.
a a b
Fig. 1.1

b

–b

Let a and b be the two vectors which are to be added. Draw a directed line segment AB such that the length of AB represents the magnitude of vector a and the direction of AB be parallel to a. Now draw another directed segment BC equal to vector b such that the tail of vector BC lies at the head of vector AB as shown in Fig. (1.2). The directed line segment AC represents the vector sum of a and b.

7 COMPONENT OF A VECTOR ALONG SOME SPECIFIED DIRECTION Let OP (= a) be a vector whose component along OQ is to be determined. 1. then the thumb gives the direction of angle of rotation q. The projection of OP on OQ is OP cos a or a cos a. 1.Vectors 3 to the angle q and the direction of rotation is given by right hand rule. and is opposite to that of a if l is negative. 1. O a P a n Q Fig.4 SUBTRACTION OF VECTORS The subtraction of vector b from a is equivalent to the addition of – b to a. The vector AC represents the difference a – b. then the unit vector in the direction of a is defined by n= a a or n = Hence a = an a a …(1.4) 1. The angular velocity w of a rigid body about an axis is a vector quantity whose direction is assigned along the axis of rotation and the sense is given by right hand rule. The product l a is another vector whose magnitude is l times the magnitude of a and the direction is the same as that of a if l is positive. b A a a–b C a –b B Fig.5 MULTIPLICATION OF A VECTOR BY A SCALAR Consider a vector a and a scalar l (positive or negative). The component of a parallel to n is (a cos a)n. To assign direction.4: Subtraction of vectors 1. Draw vector AB equal to a and BC equal to – b.6 UNIT VECTOR n Let a be a vector and a or | a | its magnitude.5 . 1. curl the axis of rotation by right hand fingers such that the fingers follow the sense of rotation and the thumb stretched outward. Let a be the angle between OP and OQ and n the unit vector along OQ.

If the direction of any axis is reversed then the new set of axis constitute left handed coordinate system. (1. The set of three mutually orthogonal lines OX. a3. j.4 Introduction to Mechanics 1. Now take a right handed screw and set its screw parallel to OZ. OB = a2 j. 1. O X Y X Z O L. Let OP = a be a vector whose components along the coordinate axes are to be determined. Then OA = a1 i.6). Now rotate the screw from OX to OY through 90º.7: Cartesian components of a vector . Y Fig. Complete a rectangular parallelepiped with OP as diagonal and edges along the coordinate axes as shown in the Fig. Let us denote the magnitudes of the components in the directions of i. constitute what we call righthanded coordinate system. then the direction in which the screw advances is taken as the positive direction of Z-axis. j and k be unit vector along OX. OC = a3 k Z C P a3 ® a O A a1 a2 D B Y X Fig. These unit vectors are called fundamental system of vectors. Vectors OA. H. as described above. (1.7). k by a1. H.8 RECTANGULAR CO-ORDINATE SYSTEM AND CARTESIAN COMPONENTS OF A VECTOR Let OX. OY and OZ be three mutually perpendicular lines. a2. Similarly by setting the screw parallel to OX axis and rotating it from OY to OZ through 90º we may find the positive direction of X-axis. 1.OY and OZ respectively. and OZ. j and k respectively. With positive directions defined by right-handed screw rule.6 Let i. OY. Z R. OB and OC are the components of vector OP (= a) in the directions of i. Fig.

b where q is the angle between them. (1. k = k. the scalar product is commutative.c we can express the vector a as a = (a cos a)i + (a cos b)j + (a cos g)k 2 a1 2 a2 2 a3 2 a1 2 a2 2 a3 2 a1 …(1. b = a1b1+ a2b2 + a3b3 …(1. We have q a a .10). the scalar product is positive and if q lies between p/2 and p. s represents the volume of fluid crossing per sec.b=b. In terms of d. Y and Z-axes respectively then the ratios 2 2 + + + + + a2 + a3 are called the direction cosines of the vector a. we have a = OP = OD + DP = OA + AD + DP = a1 i + a2 j + a3 k Also a2 = OP2 + DP2 = OA2+ AD2+ DP2 = a12 + a22 + a32 If the vector OP makes angles a. Self product: The scalar product of a vector with itself is called self-product.11) …(1.12) …(1. z. i = 0 Dot product of two vectors in component from: Let and a = a1i + a2j + a3k b = b1i + b2j + b3k Then using Eqns.a …(1. cos g = a3 …(1. 1.13) Physical significance of scalar product: If a particle undergoes a displacement d under the influence of a force F then F . a . a . b = ab cos(p/2) = 0 Unit vectors i.7) Fig. b. cos b = a2 .6) 1.7). j = j . through the area. …(1. a = a2 Scalar product of orthogonal vectors: If a and b are orthogonal vectors then their scalar product vanishes. therefore a. the scalar product is negative.8 Since the scalar product of two vector is a scalar. (1.9) …(1.9 SCALAR PRODUCT OF TWO VECTORS The scalar product of two vectors a and b is defined to be the scalar a b cos q.k=1 i . If q is acute.8) That is. b and is referred to as the ‘dot’ product. j and k: From the definition of scalar product we have i.5b) cos a = a1 .5a) …(1. The scalar product is also denoted by a . y. Similarly if v (x. we obtain a . t) represents the velocity of fluid and s an area in the fluid then v .j=k.10) . b = ab cos q … (1. d is defined to be the work done on the particle.9) and (1.Vectors 5 From the Fig. g with X.i=j.

then b a × b = ab n …(1. a and –n form a right handed system. q is the angle between the vectors. The direction in which the screw advances gives the direction of the area.18) 1. i×i=j×j=k×k=0 Fig. j. Now take a right hand screw and set its screw parallel to n. Thus . Thus we have a × b = (a b sin q)n …(1.15) a × b = ( ab sin q ) n Thus vector product is non-commutative.6 Introduction to Mechanics 1.14) Since b.16) n If a product (q = 0) or anti-parallel (q = p).10 VECTOR PRODUCT OF TWO VECTORS The vector product of two vectors a and b is defined to be another vector given by (ab sin q) n where n is a unit vector orthogonal to both a and b and such that a. Let S be plane area and n be unit vector normal to one side of the area. Rotate the screw in the direction in which boundary of the area is traversed.9: Vector product of two vectors i × j = –j × i = k j × k = –k × j = i k × j = –i × k = j …(1. The –n is unit vector normal to the other side. (Fig. b and n form a right handed system. The vector product is denoted by a × b and hence it is also read as ‘cross’ product. 1. Its direction is specified as follows. 1. If a and b are orthogonal. it follows that b × a = (ab sin q)(–n) = –a × b …(1. a The cross product of a vector with itself is zero –n a×a=0 The fundamental system of vectors i. their q cross product vanishes.12).11 VECTOR PRODUCT OF TWO VECTORS IN COMPONENT FORM Let a = a1i + a2j + a3k b = b1i+ b2j + b3k Then a × b = (a1i + a2j + a3k) × (b1i + b2j + b3k) = 0 + a1b2k – a1b3j – a2b1k + 0 + a2b3i + a3b1j – a3b2i + 0 = (a2b3 – a3b2)i + (a3b1 – a1b3)j + (a1b2 – a2b1)k i j a2 b2 k a3 b3 = a1 b1 …(1.17) 1. k satisfy the b×a relations.12 VECTOR AREA Area is regarded as a vector quantity.

it is acted upon by a force F whose magnitude and direction is given by equation F = q (v × B) …(1. Similarly if p is the linear momentum of a particle whose position vector is r. 1.10 Geometrical Significance of a × b: The magnitude of area of parallelogram whose sides are the vectors a and b is ab sin q. Thus the magnitude of the cross product a × b represents the area of the parallelogram whose adjacent sides are the vectors a and b. 1.11: (a) Moment of force.13 LORENTZ FORCE When a charged particle carrying charge q is fired into a magnetic field of strength B with velocity v.12: Lorentz force 1.Then the cross product r × F is defined to be the torque or the moment of the force about the origin 0. t=r×F O r O r L=r×p F p (a) (b) Fig. Let F be the force acting on a particle located at point r referred to origin 0. . 1. which is the magnitude of a × b. (b) Angular momentum F = q(v × B) B v Fig. then r × p is defined to be the angular momentum of the particle about origin.Vectors 7 S = Sn n n b q bsinq a Fig.19) This force is called the Lorentz force.

b × c = b . Thus [a a c] = [b b c] = [a c c] = 0 The scalar triple product of unit vectors is unity.b×c=c.14 SCALAR TRIPLE PRODUCT Let a. j × k = 1 .8 Introduction to Mechanics 1.c The above relation shows that the dot and cross operations can be interchanged in scalar triple product.a×b or a.23) Making use of the properties of determinants we can show that a .a × b Taking the first and last terms we have a.b¥c=a¥b. If any vector in the scalar triple product repeats then scalar triple product vanishes.21) Similarly we can show that b1 b . b ¥ c = a1(b2c3 – b3c2) + a2(b3c1 – b1c3) + a3 (b1c2 – b2c1) a1 a2 b2 c2 a3 b3 c3 …(1. a × b = a1 b1 …(1. c × a = c1 a1 And c1 b2 c2 a2 b3 c3 a3 …(1.20) = b1 c1 …(1. If a = a1i + a2j + a3k b = b1i + b2j + b3k c = c1i + c2j + c3k i j k b3 c3 Then b × c = b1 b2 c1 c2 = (b2c3 – b3c2) i + (b3c1 – b1c3) j + (b1c2 – b2c1) k a .22) c2 a2 b2 c3 a3 b3 c . b × c is scalar and is called scalar triple product. [i j k] = i . A product of the form a . b and c three non-zero and non-coplanar vectors. c × a = c . It is also written as [a b c].

Then a ¥ (b ¥ c) lies in the plane containing b and c. n bc sin q = (a .b+ba. 1. if the scalar triple product of three nonvanishing vectors is zero.24) Thus the scalar triple product a . a × (b × c) = a a . c) b – g (a . b) a – (c . c) and b = –g (a . b. 1. c) b – (a . and c as co-terminus edges. (1. construct a parallelepiped as shown in the figure. b and c are coplanar. Conversely. d . b) Substituting the value of a and b in eqn. we obtain a ¥ (b ¥ c) = g (a . c Left hand side is zero by virtue of property of scalar triple product. b + b a . j)i – g (j . b) c For special case a = c = j and b = i we have j ¥ (i ¥ j) = g (j .15). d = – {c × (a × b)} . i)j g=1 Hence a ¥ (b ¥ c) = (a .13 the volume of the parallelepiped formed by vectors a. b ¥ c = a .25) 1. no solid figure can be formed from these vectors and hence the volume of the parallelepiped is zero. b and c. Therefore a ¥ (b ¥ c) may be expressed as a linear combination of b and c. d = –[(c . a Now n a .16 SCALAR PRODUCT OF FOUR VECTORS: (a × b) . b ¥ c equals Fig. then the vectors will be coplanar. n) (bc sin q) b = (a cos a) (bc sin q) a = Volume of the parallelepiped q c …(1. b) c …(1. (c × d) where m = a × b = (m × c) . a) b] .c=0 a b = g ( say ) or a . d = {(a × b) × c} .Vectors 9 Geometrical meaning of scalar triple product Taking a. Hence a × (b × c) = a b + b c where a and b are unknown constants. Therefore aa.15 VECTOR TRIPLE PRODUCT The vector product b ¥ c is orthogonal to b and c. Let n be unit vector normal to the plane containing b and c. (c × d) = m . b Then a = g (a .c = a . (c × d) (a × b) . If the three vectors a. Multiplying the above equation with a scalarly we have a .

a¢ = b . d) – (c . b and c.18 RECIPROCAL SYSTEM OF VECTORS If a.d …(1. b¢. 1. c) d = [a b d] c – [a b c] d Putting c × d = m. b.27) [dbc] a + [dca] b + [dab]c [abc] …(1. a) b – (m . c) d = (a × b . b. c] [a. …(1. b. c and a¢. b) (a . c] [a. then the vectors a¢. b. b¢. d) = a . b and c are three non-coplanar vectors. c¢ = c . d) c – (a × b . c¢ are two sets of reciprocal vectors then (1) a . b¢ = c .26) 1.28) This relation expresses the fact that any vector such as d can be written as linear combination of any three non-coplanar vectors a. c¢ = a¢ = [a.10 Introduction to Mechanics = (c . b) a = (c × d .b a. b¢ = . c] are called the reciprocal system of vectors. a) b – (c × d . a¢ = b .d b . c] = 1/[a¢.c c . b¢ and c¢ defined by b¥c c¥a a¥b . c¢] .29) Properties of reciprocal system of vectors If a. where m = a × b = (m . we have (a × b) × (c ×d) = (a × b) × m = – m × (a × b) = (m . c¢ = b . b¢ = 0 (3) a × a¢ + b × b¢ + c × c¢ = 0 (4) [a.17 VECTOR PRODUCT OF FOUR VECTORS (a × b) × (c × d) (a × b) × (c × d) = m × (c × d). b. a) (b . b¢ = a . c¢ = 1 (2) a . b) a = [c d a] b – [c d b] a Equating the two expressions obtained in two ways we have [a b d] c – [a b c] d = [c d a] b – [c d b] a [c d b] a – [c d a] b + [a bd] c – [a b c] d = 0 The above equation can be written as d= …(1. d) c – (m . a¢ = c .

b¢. c ¢ ] Similarly other relations can be proved. c]3 [a. c]2 [a. b = (2) (–3) + (1) (–2) + (–1) (2) = –10 . b ¢. b¢ = 1.a)c . c]. b¢ ¥ c¢ = = b¥c c¥a a¥b (b ¥ c). b. c]3 2 1 a . b. b¢. b¢ = a . c] b¢ ¥ c¢ a [ ¢. b. b. b [ . c] 2 = [a. c] Similarly other relations can be proved. b)c = [a. c¢] and c = (a¢ × b¢)/[a¢. b = –3i – 2j + 2k.c ¥ a =0 [a.a)b [a. c ] b . b. (3) a × a¢ = b × b¢ = c × c¢ = \ (4) a ¥ (b ¥ c) (a . b. b. c] a ¥ a¢ + b ¥ b¢ + c ¥ c¢ = 0 a¢. b )a .(c ¥ a) ¥ (a ¥ b) [a. b. c] a = a = a a ¢. c] then a = (b¢ × c¢)/[a¢. c] [a. c] [a. c¢] Proof (1) Similarly (2) Now a. c . c)b . b. c¢]. c] [a. c] (c . c] and c¢ = (a × b)/[a. SOLVED EXAMPLES Example 1: If a = 2i + j – k. find (1) a . b. b¢ = (c × a)/[a. c] (b . b. b. c] [a. b¢. Solution: (1) a . a¢ = a . [a. c¢ = 1 a .(a . b. c] (c ¥ a) ¥ (a ¥ b ) (5) \ b¢ × c¢ = a= [a. b. b = (c¢ × a¢)/[a¢. b. b.(b .Vectors 11 (5) If a¢ = (b × c)/[a.c)a [a.(c . c] ¥ = = . b. c ¢ [ ] [a.b ¥ c =1 [ a. b. b (2) angle between the vectors (3) a × b (4) Unit vector normal to the plane of a and b (5) magnitude of the area of the parallelogram formed by vectors a and b. b ¢. b .

19k. a ¥ (b ¥ c) and (a ¥ b) ¥ c. 4.k -3 -2 2 a¥b = 2 (4) Unit vector normal to the plane of a and b is n= a ¥ b -j . b)/a b = – (10/÷102) i j k (3) a ¥ b = 2 1 -1 = . Find a .j . 2) to point (2. 5) under the influence of a constant force i – 3j + 8k. What is its angular momentum about the origin? Solution: i j k Angular momentum J = r ¥ p = 1 -1 1 = -3i + 5 j + 7k 2 5 -3 Example 5: If a = i + 2j + k. Solution: Displacement d = (2i + 4j +5k) – (i + j +2k) = i + 3j + 3k Work done = F . 4. Solution: 1 2 1 a . b ¥ c. c = 3i + k. Calculate the work done on the particle. Calculate the torque exerted on the particle about the origin. 4 -1 -1 Example 4: A particle at point r = i – j + k has linear momentum 2i + 5j – 3k.k = a¥b 2 Area of parallelogram a ¥ b = 2 units Example 2: A particle is displaced from point (1. 5) and is acted upon by a force 4 i – j – k. b × c = -2 3 4 = 22 3 0 1 . Solution: Position vector of the particle r = 3i + 4j + 5k i j k Torque t = r × F = 3 4 5 = i + 23j . d = (i – 3j +8k) . b = –2i + 3j + 4k. (i +3j +3k) = 16 units Example 3: A particle is located at point (3.12 Introduction to Mechanics (2) cos q = (a . 1.

c]. Solution: (a + b) . b. Example 8: Prove that (a × b).b×c+b. If a = 2i – j + k. b. Example 9: Show that the vectors a = 2i + j – k. (a – b). c. b. (c + a)] = 2 [a. c) b – (a .(b × c) × (c × a) = (a × b). (a –3b + 2c) . c] [a. c . find a . c) a c × (a × b) = (c . b) c b × (c × a) = (b . b × c = -3 -2 2 = 0 -1 2 -2 Hence the given vectors are coplanar.c×a = 2 a . (b + c). b = –3i – 2j + 2k. c. b. c] = [a. a) c – (b× c . b . b = i + 2j – 3k. b) a = 4b + 2a = – 6i + 16j + 18k. b) c =4b–8c = –32 i + 12j + 8k (a × b) × c = – c × (a × b) = (c .(b × c) × (c × a) = [a. PROBLEMS 1.Vectors 13 a × (b × c) = (a . b. c]2. c)a = [b. c = – 3i + 2j + k. b) a – (c . (a + 2b – 3c) . Solution: Scalar triple product of vectors 2 1 -1 a . c]c \ (a × b). a) c – (b . a) b Adding we get the desired result. b. b. b. c)a = (b × c . c) b – (a . a]c – 0 = [a. c = i + 2j – 2k are coplanar.(a + b) . a) c – (m . (b + c) × (c + a) = (a + b) . c] = [a. Solution: a × (b × c) = (a .c]2 Solution: (b × c) × (c × a) = m × (c × a) where m = b × c = (m . a. b × c = 2 [ a. Example 7: Prove that [(a + b). a) b – (c . Example 6: Show that a × (b × c) + b × (c × a) + c × (a × b) = 0. c].b. (b – c). (b × c + b × a + c × a) =a.c[a. (b + c) .

Let A (t + d t) – A (t) = dA.3) to point (3. Find the volume of the parallelepiped whose adjacent sides are 3i – j – k. 3. i + k are coplanar? 10. is called the derivative of vector A with respect to t and is denoted by. i – j + k. VECTOR CALCULUS 1. find a ¥ b. -aj + k. For what value of a the vectors 5i + 6j – k and 2i + (3 + a)j – ak are orthogonal. It is acted upon by a force 2i – 4j + 8k. 11.14 Introduction to Mechanics 2. Obtain a set of vectors reciprocal to the three vectors –i + j + k. What is its angular momentum about origin at the instant its position vector is (i + j + k) m? 8. A(t + dt) dA = A(t + dt) – A(t) A(t) O Fig. unit vector normal to the plane of a and b.A(t ) = lim = lim dt Æ 0 d t dt dt dt Æ0 (1. 5. 6. The derivative of a vector is also a vector. b = i +2j + 3k. k are self-reciprocal system of vectors.A(t ) = lim dt Æ 0 dt dt provided it exists. j. A particle of mass 2 kg is moving with velocity 5i + 4j – 2k m/s. 4. Show that i × (a × i) + j × (a × j) + k × (a × k) = 2a.2.5) under the action of forces 2i + j + 3k and 3i – 4j – 2k. and i + j – k 12. area of the parallelogram whose adjacent sides are a and b. The limit of the quotient dt Æ 0 lim dA A(t + dt ) . Find the angle between vectors a = 5i – 4j + 2k and 4i + 3j + 2÷5k. Find the work done by the force.30) . The position vector of a particle is 4i – 3j + k. A particle moves from point (1. (a + b) ¥ (a – b). Find the moment of the force about origin.14 Thus dA dA A(t + dt ) . 1. 2i +2j + 3k. dA/dt. – i + j + k. 7. b ¥ a. 9.2.19 DIFFERENTIATION OF VECTORS If to each value of some scalar t there corresponds a vector A then A is said to be vector function of scalar variable t and is denoted by A (t). Let A (t) and A (t + d t) represent the vector function corresponding to the scalar variables t and t + d t respectively. For what value a the vectors i + 2j – 3k. Show that i. If a = 2i +3j – 4k.

The displacement dr of the particle is given by dr = r (t + dt) – r(t) The limit of the quotient dr/dt as dt tends to zero is called the velocity v of the particle v = lim dt Æ0 and is denoted by v= dr dt dr dx dy dz = i + j +k dt dt dt dt dv r =  dt …(1.31) A(t) = A1(t) i +A2(t) j +A3(t) k Time derivative of position r(t ) of a moving particle Let r(t) and r(t + dt) be the position vectors of the particle at time t and t + dt. c is a constant vector.38) …(1. dc =0 dt dkA dA = k dt dt …(1.35) …(1.37) …(1.32) The acceleration of the particle is a= …(1.20 RULES OF VECTOR DIFFERENTIATION In the following A and B are vector functions of scalar variable t.Vectors 15 If A1(t).33) 1. and j is a scalar function.36) …(1.39) d (A ± B) dA dB ± = dt dt dt d jA dA dj +A = j dt dt dt dB dA d ( A ◊ B) = A ◊ + ◊B dt dt dt dB dA d ( A ¥ B) = A ¥ + ¥B dt dt dt .34) …(1. A2(t) and A3(t) are the components of vector A then dA dA1 dA dA i + 2 j+ 3 k = dt dt dt dt …(1.