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6 Page1 of 7
Lecture no.6
Applications of Products of vectors
1) Angle formed by two given vectors:
B A
B A
B A B A

= ¬ =  cos cos
2) Magnitude of a vector:
2
A A A A A A A =  ¬ =  or A A A  =
3) i If
A
∕∕
. .
= = ¬ B A or B m A B
where m is a scalar quantity.
ii If A ┴ B ¬ 0 =  B A
4) A unit vector
.
n
perpendicular to both vectors A & B is given by
B A
B A
n
×
×
=
.
5) Area of the parallelogram:
Lecture no.6 Page2 of 7
6) Area of a triangle:
Example 1:
Evaluate: i) AB AD
ii) CD BC 
iii) DB AC  and the angle between
AC and DB.
Solution:
i)
28 ) 2 / 1 ( 8 7 60 cos = × × = = 
o
AB AD AB AD
ii)
28 ) 2 / 1 ( 8 7 120 cos ÷ = ÷ × × = = 
o
CD BC CD BC
iii)
15 7 8
) ( ) (
) ( ) (
2 2
2 2
2 2
= ÷ = ÷ =
÷  +  ÷ =
÷  + =
+  + = 
AD AB
AD AB AD AB AD AB
AD AB AD AB
CB DC BC AB DB AC
Lecture no.6 Page3 of 7
We now have to find
DB AC &
, so we will use the formula:
A A A  =
i.e.
13
7 60 cos 7 8 2 8 2
) ( ) (
2 2
2 2
= ¬
+ × × × + = +  + =
+  + =  =
AC
BC BC AB AB
BC AB BC AB AC AC AC
o
Similarly,
57
7 120 cos 7 8 2 8 2
) ( ) (
2 2
2 2
= ¬
+ × × × + = +  + =
+  + =  =
DB
CB CB DC DC
CB DC CB DC DB DB DB
o
The angel between the diagonals is therefore,
o
BD AC
BD AC
2 . 81
57 13
15
cos = ¬
×
=

=
Lecture no.6 Page4 of 7
Example 2:
Given three vectors:
k j i C k j i B k j i A + + = + ÷ = + ÷ = 2 & 4 12 3 , 2 2
Evaluate: i) B A× ii) C B A × × ) ( iii)
C B A  × ) (
Solution:
i)
k j i
k j i
B A 18 5 4
4 12 3
1 2 2 ÷ ÷ =
÷
÷ = ×
ii)
k j i
k j i
k j i k j i C B A
13 22 31
1 2 1
18 5 4
) 2 ( ) 18 5 4 ( ) (
÷ ÷ = ÷ ÷ =
+ + × ÷ ÷ = × ×
iii)
) 2 ( ) 18 5 4 ( ) ( k j i k j i C B A + +  ÷ ÷ =  ×
= 4(1)5(2)18(1) = 24

Example 3:
A force F of magnitude 5 130 N is parallel to the normal to the plane containing
& AB AC ,where A(0 , 0 ,2) , B(3 ,4 ,10) & C(4,4,0).
Solution:
Since F is perpendicular to & AB AC then it will be in the direction of the
cross product of them, so we write
k j i k k j i AB a b AB 12 4 3 ) 2 ( ) 10 4 3 ( ÷ + = ÷ ÷ + = ¬ ÷ =
k j i k j i AC a c AC 2 4 4 ) 2 ( ) 4 4 ( ÷ + = ÷ + = ¬ ÷ =
k j i
k j i
AC AB 4 42 40
2 4 4
12 4 3 ÷ ÷ =
÷
÷ = ×
Lecture no.6 Page5 of 7
The unit vector
.
n
perpendicular to both & AB AC is therefore given by
5 26
4 42 401
4 42 40
4 42 401
4 42 401
4 42 401
2 2 2
k j i k j i
k j i
k j i
AC AB
AC B A
n
÷ ÷
=
+ +
÷ ÷
=
÷ ÷
÷ ÷
=
×
×
=
.
Hence
k j i
k j i
n F F F F 20 210 200
5 26
4 42 401
5 130 ÷ ÷ =
÷ ÷
× = = =
. .
# 20 210 200 k j i F ÷ ÷ =
Lecture no.6 Page6 of 7
The scalar triple product:
z
y x
y x
y
z x
z x
x
z y
z y
z y x
y x
y x
z x
z x
z y
z y
z y x
z y x
z y x
C
B B
A A
C
B B
A A
C
B B
A A
k C j C i C k
B B
A A
j
B B
A A
i
B B
A A
k C j C i C
B B B
A A A
k j i
C B A
+ ÷ =
+ + 


.

\

+ ÷ =
+ +  =  ×
) (
) (
i.e.
The scalar triple product represents the volume of a parallelepiped whose sides are
C B A & ,
.
Accordingly the volume of a prism and of a pyramid will be as shown below:
Parallelepiped Prism Pyramid
V = C B A  × V =
C B A  ×
2
1
V =
C B A  ×
6
1
z y x
z y x
z y x
C C C
B B B
A A A
C B A =  ×
Lecture no.6 Page7 of 7
Example 4:
Evaluate the volume of a pyramid whose vertices are:
A(2,3,2), B(7,4,10), C(1,1,1) and D(0,1,0).
Solution:
k j i k j i k j i AB a b AB 12 9 ) 2 3 2 ( ) 10 4 7 ( + ÷ + ÷ = ÷ + ÷ + + ÷ = ¬ ÷ =
k j i k j i k j i AB a c AC 3 2 ) 2 3 2 ( ) ( + ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ = ÷ + ÷ + + = ¬ ÷ =
k j i k j i j AD a d AD 2 2 2 ) 2 3 2 ( + ÷ ÷ = ÷ + ÷ = ¬ ÷ =
V =
C B A  ×
6
1
=
AD AC AB  ×
6
1
=
6
1
2 2 2
3 2 1
12 1 9
÷ ÷
÷ ÷
÷
V=
6
1
{9(2)1(4)+12(2)}= 7⅔ cubic units
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