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CHAPTER ONE
1. Vectors. Examples and Uses.

A Vector is an entity which has both size and direction.

For example, a wind may be described as being of 10 m.p.h. in a northerly


direction. We say its size (or magnitude) is 10 m.p.h. and its direction is north. Other
examples of vectors are a force, tension in a string, velocity of a car, current in a river,
acceleration, momentum and impulse.
It is understood in vector study that the magnitude and direction of a vector will
completely determine the vector. For example the location, temperature etc. of a wind
will have no relevance with regard to its being considered as a vector.
Many other objects can be thought of as vectors with a little imagination e.g.
i) 3 has magnitude 3, direction to the left. ii) an ordered pair (a,b), its magnitude is
said to be how far from the origin it is,
(a,b)
a 2 + b2

i.e.

a 2 + b 2 and its direction is ! where tan ! =

has magnitude 5 and direction 53.13.

b
. This means for example, that (3,4)
a

iii) a complex number a + bi can be thought of as in example ii) as having magnitude


a 2 + b 2 and direction Arctan

b
(angles being measured as usual counterclockwise
a

from positive horizontal axis)


Not all objects are vectors. Age has no notion of direction for example (except
maybe up!) and is consequently not a vector. Kinetic energy, work quantity of heat are
other examples which are not vectors.
1.1 Notation
!
A vector will be written a

!
Its magnitude will be written a . Note that this looks like absolute value. In fact

for real numbers it is. 3 has magnitude 3 (its distance from the origin) because ! 3 = 3.

Saying (3,4) has magnitude 5 is written | (3,4) | = 5 . The arrow over the (3,4) tells us we
are thinking of it as a vector.
!
Note that a is a positive real number and must be distinguished from the vector

!
! !
a itself. It makes little sense to talk about a + a . After all, what does | (3,4) | +5 mean? It

does make sense to talk of 3 + |-3| of course, but this is the exceptional circumstance.

Two vectors are to be said to be equal if and only if


their magnitudes and directions are equal separately.

This means, for example that a northerly wind is never equal to an easterly wind,
regardless of their magnitudes.

Diagrammatically a vector will be represented by


The length of the arrow represents the magnitude of the vector and
the direction of the arrow is the direction of the vector.

N
A

In the diagram the vector has magnitude

45
E

| OA | and direction north-east.

It is easy to confuse the notation with that of early geometry class. There, OA =

! !

AO but here OA ! AO because AO and OA have different directions. In geometry OA


usually means the length of the line segment OA and since the distance from O to A is
the same distance from A to O, then OA = AO. In our vector notation this is the

! !

equivalent of saying | OA | = | AO | which is true.


Position of a Vector is irrelevant.

A 10 m.p.h. northerly wind in Timbuctoo

is identically equal to a 10 m.p.h. northerly wind in Toronto. This is a very important


concept and cannot be overemphasised.
Exercise 1.1

!
1. Find i) | AC |

!
ii) | CA |

! !
! !
ii) Does | DE | = | DF | ?

2. i) Does DE = DF ?

3. If a = b does | a |= | b | ? Is the converse true?


4. Find all pairs of equal vectors represented in the diagram. ABCD is a parallelogram.
A

! !

e.g. DE = EB

! !
Find x so that i) (x,4) = (3,4)
D

5.

ii) | (x,3) | = | (3,4) |

! !
! !
vectors. What is the angle between AB and AC ?

!!!

6. Draw a diagram where | AB | = | AC | = | BC | but none of AB, AC, BC are equal as

Exercise 1.1 Answers


1. i) 5 ii) 5
2. i) No

ii) Yes

3. Yes No

! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

4. AE = EC , DE = EB , AD = BC , AB = DC
5. i) x = 3

ii) x = 4 or 4

6. 60 (in an equilateral triangle)

1.2 Addition of Vectors


To add vectors it is clear that we dont simply add directions and magnitudes
separately. For example, an aeroplane capable of 150 m.p.h. in still air, flying north in an
easterly wind of 50 m.p.h. is certainly not travelling at 200 m.p.h. (or 100 m.p.h. for that
matter) relative to the ground. Addition is best represented diagrammatically.

150 m.p.h.

50 m.p.h.
Wind

Plane
Draw a diagram so that the plane vector and the wind vector are joined together, as
follows:

Plane 150

50
Wind
The dotted vector represents the addition of the wind
and aeroplane vectors. In fact the plane is flying at
158.1 m.p.h. (Pythagoras) in a direction 18.43 west of

150

north relative to the ground.


50

Example

To find the addition of the two vectors in the diagram it is best to redraw the diagram as

10

6
Note that the flow of the arrows is continuous.
The addition of these two vectors produces a vector (called a resultant) whose magnitude
is 10 (Pythagoras). The direction of the resultant depends upon the directions of the
original vectors.
Example

To add

redraw as

a
a +b +c

The dotted line represents the vector a + b + c

Note that it is important that arrows of a , b and c on the diagram be continuous, i.e. if a
person were to walk from the beginning of a to the end of c he would not be stabbed
i.e.
b

Is not a representation of a + b + c
because the person would be
stabbed at the first corner.

Example
An object is being pulled by 3 forces as in the diagram.

10

45

20

25

To find the resultant of these forces draw a new diagram as follows:


20
45
10
25
The dotted line represents the addition of the three vectors. It has magnitude 8.02 lbs in
fact.

Example

B
A

Note that OA + AB = OB regardless of the


positions of O,A,B. An important way of
O

thinking of this is AB = OB ! OA

This is an important idea and will be used often, later on, where O is considered as the
origin.
Exercise 1.2

1.

i) Does AB + BC always equal to AC ?


ii) Does AB + BC + CD always equal to AD ?
iii) Does AB + BC always equal AC ?

2.

Show by diagram that a + b = b + a for all a , b .

3.

Show by diagram that a + b rarely equals a + b .

4.

Find a condition on a and b so that a + b does equal a + b . Is it good


enough that a and b be parallel?

5.

In parallelogram ABCD

B
E

D
Represent each of the following as a single vector.

i) AB + BE
ii) AE + EC
iii) BE + EC
iv) EC + CD + DA
v) BC + EA
vi) AB + AD
vii) DE + BA + EA
viii) AE + DE + BC
6.

True or False?
i) a + b ! a
ii) AB = DC means ABCD is a parallelogram
iii) a + b = a + c means b = c
iv) a + b > a + b
v) . (a + b) + c = a + (b + c)

10

7.
E

OAGCFEDB is a cube.

G
A
O

Express each of the following as a single vector:


i) OA + AG + GC
ii) OB + DE
iii) OC + AD
iv) EA + GF
v) GA + GF + EG
Exercise 1.2 Answers
1.

i) Yes

ii) Yes

iii) No

4.

a and b must be in the same direction. No.

5.

i) AE

ii) AC

vii) CA

viii) AC

6.

i) False

7.

i) OC

iii) BC

iv) EA

v) BE vi) AC

ii) True

iii) True

iv) True

v) True

ii) OF

iii) OF

iv) EB

v) EB

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Example
Parallelogram ABCD
Here

A
E

AB = !CD
1
DE = DB
2
1
AE = AC
2
1
EC = ! CA
2

Example

Here

1
1
AB = ! BA
2
2
1
MN = BC
2
AM =

When subtracting vectors it is best to think of adding (-1) times the vector, e.g.
AB ! CB means AB + (!1)CB which is AB + BC i.e. AC .

Example
A

AB ! CB = AB + BC = AC

C
B

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Example
A

ABCD is a parallelogram.
1
i) AB ! DB = AB ! EB = AB + BE = AE.
2

ii)
D

BC ! DC + ED = BC + CD + ED
1
3
= BD + ED = BD + BD = BD
2
2

Exercise 1.3
A

1.

M,N are mid-points of AB, AC respectively.


Express MN in terms of scalar multiples of
N

AB and AC only.

2.
E

OAGCFEDB is a cube.
i) Express GO in terms of OA, OB, OC
ii) Express CD in terms of OA, OB, OC

G
A
O

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3.

M is the mid-point of AE

Let AB, BC, CD, DE be p, q, r, s respectively

q
i) Express BM in terms of p, q, r, s

ii) Express MD in terms of p, q, r, s

p
E
M

4.
A
Let OA = a , let OB = b . C,D are mid-points
of AB, OC respectively.
a

C
i) Express AB in terms of a and b

ii)

Express OD in terms of a and b

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5.
O

R bisects PQ. PS =

1
PQ
3

Let OP = p , OQ = q

i) Express OR in terms of p and q


ii) Express OS in terms of p and q

6.

iii) Express RS in terms of p and q

B
A

C
ABCD is a parallelogram
Let AD = p , DC = q

F is the mid-point of BC
Express the following in terms of p and q

A
D

7.

i) AC

ii) BD

iii) DB

vi) ED

v) FD

vi) FE

Draw a geometric figure illustrating the idea:


2( a + b ) = 2a + 2b

8.

True or False?
i) 2a = 2 a
ii) ! 3a = 3 a
iii) a + b " a ! b
iv) a + b = a ! b implies b is the zero vector

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v) ma = n b implies a =

n
b (assume m 0)
m

vi) ma + n b = pc implies a +

n
p
b = c (assume m 0)
m
m

vii) a + b = a + c implies b = c
viii) r a + s a = (r + s) a for any scalars r and s

9.

i) What is the magnitude of

1
a

a?

ii) What is the angle between a and b if

iii) What is the angle between a and b if


10.

1
a

a+

a+

1
b
1
b

b =2

b = 2

Forces of magnitude 5, 10 and 10 act along different edges of a rectangular


3-dimensional brick. Find the magnitude of their resultant.

11.

D,E,F are the mid-points of the sides BC, AC and AB respectively in triangle
ABC. Show that AF + BD + EA equals the zero vector, i.e. has magnitude
zero.

12.

ABCDEF is a regular hexagon. Show that DE + FA = EF .

13.

In quadrilateral ABCD AB = s DC where s is some positive scalar. What can


you say about the figure ABCD? What happens if s = 1?

14.

Let ! be the angle between a and b (see diagram)

!
a

i) Express a + b in terms of a , b and


cos ! .

!
b

ii) Express a ! b in terms of a , b and


cos ! .

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Exercise 1.3 Answers

1.

1
1
AC ! AB
2
2

2.

! OA ! OC, OA + OB + OC

3.

i)

4.

i)

b!a

ii)

1
1
a+ b
4
4

5.

i)

1
1
p+ q
2
2

ii)

2
1
p+ q
3
3

6.

i)

p+q

ii)

p!q

iv)

1
1
p! q
2
2

v)

1
1
1
1
p+ q + r + s
2
2
2
2

ii)

1
1
1
1
p+ q + r ! s
2
2
2
2

iii)
iii)

1
p!q
2

q!p

1
vi) ! q
2

7.

!
2b
!
b

!
a

!
a

8.

i)T

ii) T

9.

i) 1

ii) 0 iii) 90

10.

15

13.

Trapezoid, parallelogram
!2 !2
a + b = a + b + 2a b cos!

14.

a !b =

iii)F

iv) F

!2 !2
a + b ! 2a b cos"

v) T

vi) T

vii)T viii)T

1
1
p! q
6
6

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1.4 Geometry Proofs Using Vectors

To prove ABCD is a parallelogram it suffices to show AB = DC because this


guarantees that AB is both parallel and equal to DC in length. (see P. 2)
Note that it also guarantees the coplanarity of A, B, C, D.
Example
To prove that if diagonals of a quadrilateral bisect each other then the quadrilateral is a
parallelogram.
Proof
A

B
E

We know that AC and DC bisect each other at E.


Hence: AE = EC and EB = DE

! AE + EB = EC + DE
! AB = DE + EC = DC
! ABCD is a parallelogram.
Example
To prove that the line segment joining the mid-points of two sides of a triangle is
parallel to the third side and equal in length to one half of it.

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A
Given !ABC with D,E mid-points of
AB and AC respectively.

E
D

DE = DA + AE
1
1
= BA + AC
2
2
1
= (BA + AC)
2
1
= BC
2

! DE is parallel to BC and equal to one half of BC.


Exercise 1.4
1. ABCD is a quadrilateral in which AC = BD. M, N, O, P are mid-points of AB,
BC, CD, DA respectively. Show that MNOP is a rhombus.
2. In triangle ABC, D, E, F are mid-points of AB, BC, AC respectively. Medians
AE, BF, CD are concurrent at point O.
Prove OD + OE + OF = OA + OB + OC
3. ABCD is a parallelogram. E, F lie on diagonal BD so that BF = ED. Show, using
vectors, that AFCE is a parallelogram.
4. Let A, B, C, D be four non-coplanar points. Let M, N, O, P be mid-points of AB,
BC, CD, DA respectively. Show MNOP is a parallelogram.
5. ABCD is a quadrilateral. M, N are mid-points of diagonals BD and AC
respectively.
Show AB + AD + CB + CD = 4 NM
(Hint: - express NM in four different ways and add)

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1.5 Geometric Applications of Vectors


Example
Let P, Q, R be three collinear points and O be any point not on the line.
Let Q divide PR in the ratio ! :1- !
P

i.e.

PQ
= ! . This means that PQ = !PR
PR

Note : OQ = OP+ PQ
= OP+ !PR
= OP+ !(OR " OP)

= !OR + (1" !) OP

For example if Q divides PR into the ratio

3
3 2
3
: then PQ = PR (i.e. ! = ) and hence
5
5 5
5

3
2
OQ = OR + OP.
5
5

Note that the scalar

3
multiplies OR (not OP as one might at first think) i.e. there
5

is a cross-over effect of the scalars. A good way to think of this is to imagine ! as being
nearly equal to 1

e.g. let ! =

7
. Q is then close to R.
8
1
Q 8 R

7
8

i.e. OQ is nearly equal to OR hence


1
7
OQ = OP + OR
8
8

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In particular if Q is the mid-point of PR then OQ =

1
1
OP + OR
2
2

Note that the converse is also true; namely that if OQ = mOP + n OR where m + n = 1
then P, Q, R are collinear. Furthermore if m or n is negative the converse statement is still
true. For example, if OQ = 3OP ! 2OR then this can be easily rearranged to
1
2
OP = OQ + OR . It is best to do this because this rearrangement avoids all difficulties
3
3

related to external division and immediately tells you that P is the point which is between
the other two.
Exercise 1.5
1. If AC +

2
3
DA = AB find out which three points are collinear and which point is
5
5

between the other two.


2.
X

4
7

3
7

Z
Write OY in terms of OX and OZ

!!!"
!!!"
!!!"
3. 3OP = mOR ! 2OQ. Find m, a scalar, so that P, Q, R are collinear. Determine
which point is between the other two.

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4.
A
F,D are mid-points of AB, CF
respectively. CE: EB =
F

1 3
: .
4 4

Let AC = a and AB = b

D
B
C

Express in terms of a and b .


i) BD

ii) DE

Make a geometric deduction concerning DE.

1
5. OP = 2OA + OR and OA = mOQ + n OR
2

P, Q, R are collinear. Find m + n.


6. If OP = !5OQ + 6OR explain why P, Q, R are collinear and find the ratio into
which R divides PQ.
7. Show that if G is the centroid of triangle ABC and O is any point that
1
1
1
OG = OA + OB + OC
3
3
3

(Hint: medians of a triangle intersect at a point dividing medians in the ratio


2 1
: )
3 3

8. Convince yourself that if O,P,Q, R are four points such that P, Q, R are collinear,
then mOP + n OQ + pOR = O where m + n + p = 0.

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9.
D
C

Let ABCD be a tetrahedron whose centroid


is G. If O is any point show that

OG =

1
1
1
1
OA + OB + OC + OD
4
4
4
4

Hint: - G is intersection of four line segments joining vertices to centroids of opposite


faces but it turns out to be better to use the fact that G is also the intersection of the three
line segments joining mid-points of opposite edges.
You might like to show the truth of the hint using vector methods.
10. Let ABCD be a square whose centroid is G. Let O be any external point. Show
!!!" 1 !!!" !!!" !!!" !!!"
that OG = (OA + OB + OC + OD)
4
11. i) Show that in any triangle ABC
GA + GB + GC = O where G is the centroid.

ii) Show that in any tetrahedron ABCD


GA + GB + GC + GD = O where G is the centroid.

12. Investigate whether OG =

1
(OA 1 + OA 2 + ....OA n ) where A1, A2, A3 An is a
n

regular n-gon whose centroid is G and where O is any point. Does it make any
difference if the n-gon is not regular?

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Exercise 1.5 Answers


1. B C D
2. OY =

3
4
OX + OZ
7
7

3. m = 5. P R Q
4. i)

1
3
a! b
2
4

ii)

1
a . DE is parallel to AC.
4

1
4

5. m + n =

6. Because OR =

1
5
OP + OQ.
6
6

5 1
:
6 6

12. i) True

ii) Yes, conjecture is now false. (You might like to think about the

possibility of an irregular n-gon in n 1 space having the required property.)


1.6 More Geometric Applications with Vectors
Example
In the diagram below BD and CE are drawn so that
A
CD : DA =
3
5

5
6

2
5

and
BE: EA =

D
F

1 5
:
6 6

1
6

2 3
:
5 5

Find BF: FD and CF : FE

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Method

Let AB = a and AC = b. Join AF.


Let BF: FD = m:1 m and CF: FE = n: 1 n
Since B F D are collinear and using A as an external point
5
AF = m( b) + (1 ! m)a
6

Similarly since E- F- C are collinear


3
AF = (1 - n)b + n ( a )
5

In equations and we equate the scalars of a and b separately then we would have a
solution for m and n. Later on we shall see that this is the only solution.

i.e.

5
m = 1 n (equating scalars of b in and )
6

and 1 m =

3
n (equating scalars of a in and )
5

Solving these equations by elementary algebraic methods yields n =


i.e. F divides BD into ratio

4 1
:
5 5

F divides CD into ratio

1 2
:
3 3

1
4
and m = .
3
5

25

Exercise 1.6
1.
A

In triangle ABC, D and E are on AC


and AB respectively so that AD: DC =

3
5

4
7

3 2
4 3
:
and AE:EB = :
5 5
7 7

3
7

2
5

Find i) BF:FD

ii) CF: FE

2.
A
In triangle ABC, D and E are on AC
and AB respectively so that D is the
mid-point of AC and BE:EA =
E

1 2
:
3 3

D
F

C
Find

i) BF:FD

and

ii) CF:FE

3. 2 OP + OQ = mOR and P, Q, R are collinear.


Find m. Which point is between the other two and into what ratio does it divide
the line segment?

26

4. If ma + n b + pc = O and m + n + p = 0 show that c ! a and b ! c are parallel


vectors.
5.
A
In triangle ABC, BD and CE are
medians intersecting at F.

D
F

B
i) Prove that CF: FE =

C
2 1
2 1
: and BF: FD = :
3 3
3 3

ii) Join AF and extend to point G on BC. Show that AG is a median and hence
deduce medians of a triangle are concurrent.
6. True or False? ( means implies)
i) a = b a = b
ii) a + b = b + a
iii) a = b a = b
iv) a ! b = b ! a
v) a + b = a ! b
vi) a = m b a and b are parallel
vii) ( AB = BC and AD = BC) ABCD is a rhombus
viii) m( a ! b ) = ma ! m b
ix) a ! (b ! c) = (a ! b) + c

27

x) If a = 3 and b = 4 and a + b = 5 then a is perpendicular to b .


xi) If a = 3 and b = 4 then a + b < 7
xii) a > 0 for all a
xiii) m b = m b for all scalars m.
xiv) AB = CD AC = BD
7.
A

B
ABCD is a square. E, F are mid-points
of AB and AD respectively.
Find DP: PE.

F
P

8. Three forces act on a body so that it is in equilibrium (i.e. resultant is zero vector).
The magnitude of the forces are 7, 3, and 8 units. Find the angle between lines of
directions of the smallest and largest force.
9.
A
In the diagram, F is the mid-point of
2
3

EC and BE: EA =
1
2

D
F

1
3

1
2

1 2
:
3 3

Find BF: FD and AD: DC

28

10.
A

B
ABCDEF is a regular hexagon.
CD = x and DE = y

Find AD in terms of x and y

x
E

Exercise 1.6 Answers

1. i)

15 8
:
23 23

ii)

14 9
:
23 23

2. i)

1 1
:
2 2

ii)

3 1
:
4 4

3. m = 3, P R Q.
6. i)F

ii) T

R divides PQ into ratio of

iii) T iv) T

xii) T xiii) False (m < 0)

7.

2 3
:
5 5

8. 120
9.

2 1
3 1
: and :
3 3
4 4

10. 2 x ! 2 y

v) F

vi) T

1 2
:
3 3

vii) T viii) T ix) T

x) T

xi) T