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5. VECTOR PRODUCT OF TWO VECTORS
Synopsis:
1.
ˆ ˆ The cross product of two vectors a and b is a vector and is defined as | a | . | b | sinθ.n , where n is ˆ the unit vector perpendicular to the plane containing a and b such that a , b , n form a right handed system.

2.

Let F be a force directed along a line. Let O be a point (origin). Let OP = r be the position vector of any point P on the line of action of F . Then rxF gives the moment of the force F about the point O.
a x b = O ⇔ either a = O (or) b = O (or) a is parallel to b .
i j If a = a1i + a 2 j + a 3 k , b = b1i + b 2 j + b 3 k , then a x b = a1 a 2 b1 b 2 k a3 b3

3.

4.

5. 6.

If a x b ≠ b x a but a x b = - b x a (i.e., cross product is anti commutative) If i , j, k is a orthonormal triad of unit vectors forming a right handed system then i xj = -jx i ; jxk = - k xj = i ; k x i = - i xk = j and i x i = j xj = k xk = 0 . Unit vector perpendicular to the both the vectors a and b is ±
axb | axb |

7.

.
a xb

8.

If a and b are the adjacent sides of a parallelogram then vector area of the parallelogram is and area = | a x b | sq.units. If a and b are two adjacent sides of a triangle then area of the triangle is
1 | axb | 2

9.

sq.units.

10. If a , b , c are the vertices of a triangle then the area of the triangle is
11. The points a , b , c are collinear if a x b + b xc + cx a = 0 .

1 | b xc + cxa + a x b | sq.units. 2

12. If a , b , c are the position vectors of the points A, B, C then the perpendicular distance from C to

the straight line AB is

| b xc + c x a + a x b | |b−a|

or

| ACx AB | | AB |

.
(l1l 2 + m1m 2 + n1n 2 )
2 ∑ l1 ∑ l 2 2

13. If l1, m1, n1 and l2, m2, n2 are the direction ratios of a straight line then cosθ = 14. For every vector i) a xa = 0 ii) | a x b |=| b x a |

.

iii) a x(b + c) = a xb + a xc cross product is left distributive over vector addition iv) ( a + b )xc = a xc + b xc cross product is right distributive over vector addition
15. For any two vectors a and b , ( a x b ) 2 + ( a.b ) 2 =| a |2 | b |2

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