a {ax , ay , az } 1.1
Norm[a] a2 2 2
x + ay + az 1.2
a ax ay az
, ,
Norm[a] a2x + a2y + a2z a2x + a2y + a2z a2x + a2y + a2z
a {ax , ay , az }
Norm[a] a2x + a2y + a2z
a u
a
Norm[a]
u
a Norm[a] a 1.3
1 Vectors.nb 3
i , j ,
k vectors
It is sometimes convenient to define unit vectors along the axes:
i {1, 0, 0}
j {0, 1, 0} 2.1
k {0, 0, 1}
In this way, we can define any vector as a weighted sum of these unit vectors
v i vx + j vy + k vz
v {1, 0, 0} vx + {0, 1, 0} vy + {0, 0, 1} vz
v {vx , vy , vz } 2.2
4 1 Vectors.nb
Visualisation
vx
vy
vz
1 Vectors.nb 5
Dot/Scalar product
Dot product of two vectors returns a scalar
a.b ax bx + ay by + az bz
The scalar is the product of the lengths and the cosine of the angle between:
a.b Cos Norm[a] Norm[b] 3.1
a,b
From (3.1), the dot product with a unit vector represents the projection of the other vector into the
direction of the unit vector
Norm[b] 1
a.b Cosa,b Norm[a]
From (3.1) the dot product with a normal vector results in zero
a,b
2
a.b 0 3.2
From (3.1) the dot product with parallel vector results in product of lengths.
a,b 0
a.b Norm[a] Norm[b] 3.3
From (3.1) the dot product with parallel unit vector results in length of vector
a,b 0, Norm[b] 1
a.b Norm[a] 3.4
6 1 Vectors.nb
Projection of Vectors
Consider that we wish to find a vector
c representing the projection of vector
a onto b . We know
that
uu
c a.b b 4.1
u
We can substitute for the unit vector b
u
b
b
Norm[b]
b
a. b
Norm[b]
c
Norm[b]
a.b b
c 4.2
Norm[b]2
1 1
Norm[b]2 b.b
c a.bb
4.3
b.b
is a scaled version of b
We see that c , with factor a.b
b.b
1 Vectors.nb 7
Visualisation 2D
u
a
b
u u u
c =
a .b b
8 1 Vectors.nb
Cross Product
Cross product of two vectors returns a vector
 az by + ay bz
ab az bx  ax bz 4.1
 ay bx + ax by
The cross product vector is normal to both original vectors and represents the area of the parallelo
gram between the vectors.
u
a b Norm[a] Norm[b] Sin a b 4.2
a,b
From (4.2) the cross product with a normal vector results in vector with length of product
a,b
2
u
a b Norm[a] Norm[b] a b 4.3
From (4.2) the cross product with a parallel vector results in zero
a,b 0
ab 0 4.4
ab ba 4.5
a b + c a b + a c 4.6
12 1 Vectors.nb
Visualisation
ax , a y
az
bx , b y
bz
1 Vectors.nb 13
Answer
The area (in consistent units) is given by the magnitude of the cross product of two adjacent sides of
the a parallelogram:
A Normv1 v2
A 0.27
14 1 Vectors.nb
Answer
The velocity is given by the cross product of angular velocity and radius vectors, where
r is defined
as displacement from a point on the axis of rotation to the circumference.
v r 19.1
The radius vector can be construed as a vector normal to the axis of rotation. We can construct a
normal vector using a cross product:
raz
r z] 19.2
Norm[a
where
a is the axis vector and
z is an arbitrary vector used to construct the normal.
Substituting values:
r (0.8 ({2,  1,  5}  { 3, 4, 8}) {0, 0, 1}) /
Norm[({2,  1,  5}  { 3, 4, 8}) {0, 0, 1}]
r { 0.565685,  0.565685, 0.} 19.4
a
Norm[a]
(38 ({2,  1,  5}  { 3, 4, 8})) / Norm[{2,  1,  5}  { 3, 4, 8}]
{12.839,  12.839,  33.3814} 19.5
v { 18.8834, 18.8834,  14.5257} 19.6
] r
Norm[v
{ 18.8834, 18.8834,  14.5257}, r 0.8, 38
v
True
16 1 Vectors.nb
Answer
The moment can be found directly from the cross product:
M Fs 20.1
F { 10,  6, 0}, s {2, 4, 0}  {11, 6, 0}
M { 10,  6, 0} ({2, 4, 0}  {11, 6, 0})
M {0, 0,  34} 20.2
link
M
F
1 Vectors.nb 17
Answer
The velocity is the cross product of the angular velocity vector and the radius vector. The radius
vector is a displacement from a point on the axis of rotation to the point of interest.
v r 17.1
In this case:
{20, 1,  8}, r {3, 5, 2}
v {42,  64, 97} 17.2
Note that the cross product automatically takes into account the calculation of the perpendicular
distance from the axis of rotation to the point of interest.
18 1 Vectors.nb
Answer
The velocity is the cross product of the angular velocity vector and the radius vector. The radius
vector is a displacement from a point on the axis of rotation to the point of interest.
v r 17.1
In this case we have to find the radius vector as a difference between two points.
{20, 1,  8}, r {3, 5, 2}  {1, 1, 2}
v {32,  16, 78} 17.2
1 Vectors.nb 19
Triple Products
Scalar Triple Product
Scalar triple product is the volume of the parallelepiped having the three vectors for edges.
It is also useful for rotating a vector out of a cross product:
a.b c c.a b 5.1
a.b c b.c a 5.2
Note the standard order of operations: The cross product is performed first.
a b c a.c b  a.b c 5.3
20 1 Vectors.nb
a bc 7.1
d b.c 7.2
Dot Product
In the case of the dot product, this is readily apparent by noting that the dot product will result in a
scalar equation, and we are unable to solve for the individual components.
d bx cx + by cy + bz cz 7.3
Cross Product
In the case of the cross product, we note that two vectors b and
c define a plane, so that it will
always be possible to select a set of cartesian coordinates such that the third coordinate is zero for
both these two vectors:
 bz cy + by cz
a bz cx  bx cz
 by cx + bx cy
{bz 0, cz 0}
0
0
a 7.3
 by cx + bx cy
Again, only one nontrivial equation is represented by the cross product, and we cannot solve for the
individual components. However, note that unlike the dot product, here we have one equation, and
only two unknown components of c.
1 Vectors.nb 21
d b.c
Starting with this, if we know the direction of vector c as a unit vector we can solve for the magnitude
d b.c
u
d b. c c
u
d c b.c
c d u 9.1
b.c
u
c b
c
1 Vectors.nb 23
cb
c
cb
u u
c.b b
cb
u u
b.b
1
1
u u
b.b
uu
cb c.b b 18.1
c2 c2b + c2b
u
cb c.b
u
2
c2 c.b + c2
b 18.2
u
2
cb c2  c.b 18.3
We have a choice regarding the direction of this component of the vector, with the constraint that it
must be perpendicular to b. We can construct this using a cross product with any other nonparallel
:
vector, a
u
cb cb a b 18.4
c cb + cb
u u u
c c.b b + cb a b
uu u u
2
c c.b b + c2  c.b ab 18.5
d u
c.b
b
u
u
2
c db + c2  d a b
18.6
b b2
u
b 1 1
b ,
b b 2
b.b
u
db d2
c + c2  ab
b.b b.b
1 Vectors.nb 25
26 1 Vectors.nb
Answer
We can use result (9.1)
d
c
u
b.c
In this case, the known speed is d, which is the projected speed towards the officer
95 1000
d
60 60
d 26.3889 14.1
The vector b will be a unit vector pointing from the car to the officer:
u
bb
c ud 14.2
u
b.c
The unit vector b is found from the geometry:
b 5  50
3 5
b { 45,  2}
u 45 2
b  ,
2029 2029
u
b { 0.999014,  0.0444006} 14.3
u
The unit vector
c points along the road:
c { 2, 0.8}
u
c { 0.928477, 0.371391} 14.4
d
c
u u
b.c
u u
d 26.3889, b { 0.999014,  0.0444006}, c { 0.928477, 0.371391}
c 28.9647 14.5
c 104.273
1 Vectors.nb 29
Answer
Fc A
20
15 000, A
1002
Fc 30 15.1
We wish to apply the result (9.6), where
c is the force to be found, b is a vector along the beam, d is
u
the component of the force along the beam, and a b is a unit normal to b.
u u
db b2 c2  d2 a b
c +
b b
u u u
c F, d Fc , c F, a b b
z
u u
u
bz b2 F2 F2
F c + Fc b
15.2
b b
u
We can calculate b and b (note we are using 3element vectors)
b {0, 0, 0}  {2, 0.5, 0}
b { 2,  0.5, 0} 15.3
b Norm[b]
b 2.06155 15.4
u
b { 0.970143,  0.242536, 0.} 15.5
u
b 2.06155, b { 0.970143,  0.242536, 0.}, 15.6
u
Fc 30, F 120, z {0, 0, 1}
F { 43.0071, 112.029, 0.} 15.7
u u u
u
b
z
zb
u u u
zb b2 F2 F2
F c + Fc b
15.8
b b
F {14.7718,  119.087, 0.} 15.9
Fup
cantilever
beam
built in
Fdown
1 Vectors.nb 31
a bc 22.1
We know that c must lie in the plane perpendicular to a . Thus, it can be decomposed into compo
nents parallel and perpendicular to b within this plane.
c cb + cb
u u
c cb cb + cb cb 22.2
32 1 Vectors.nb
We know the magnitude of the cross product and can solve for the magnitude of
c
Normb c b c Sin[]
Normb c a
a b c Sin[]
c a Csc[] 22.3
b
The length of the adjacent and opposite of the triangle having c as hypotenuse are then:
cb a Cot[] , cb a 22.4
b b
u u
a cb
+ a Cot[] cb
c 22.5
b b
The perpendicular unit vector can be found by crossproduct of
a and b , which we know are
perpendicular:
u u
cb a b
u ab
cb
Norma b
Norma b a b
u
cb ab 22.6
ab
u b u ab
cb , cb
b ab
ab a Cot[] b
c +
b2 b2
ab a Cot[] b
c + 22.7
b.b b.b
Visualisation
Note that the vector
c stays in the quadrants required to ensure the correct direction of the cross
product, even for >
1 Vectors.nb 33
34 1 Vectors.nb
a bc 23.1
which is normal to
Let us assume now that we know a vector n c.
We can cross product both sides as follows:
a n b c n 23.2
a n  n.c b + n.b c 23.3
is perpendicular to
However, because n c
n.c 0
a n n.b c 23.4
:
We can solve this for c
an
c 23.5
n.b
c , b normal
In many cases, we know that
c and b are normal:
ab
c 23.6
b.b
1 Vectors.nb 35
Visualisation
nx , n y
36 1 Vectors.nb
a bc 24.1
In this case we assume we know the magnitude of c but not the direction.
We have a previous result for this, if the angle betweeen b and c is known:
ab a Cot[] b
c + 24.2
b.b b.b
Cot[] cb 24.3
cb
From pythagoras:
cb c2  c2b
c2 c2
b
Cot[] 24.4
cb
cb c Sin[] 24.5
But from the definition of cross product, we can make the substitution
a
c Sin[]
b
cb a 24.6
b
Substituting for the perpendicular length in our equation for Cot[] gives
 ab2 + c2
2
b
Cot[]
a
2 2 2
Cot[] a +b c 24.7
a
2 2 2
a b b  a + b c
c +
b.b b.b
a2 a.a, b2 b.b
.a
+c2 b.b
b a
ab
c + 24.8
b.b b.b
b
We see that this is a vector with components in the b and a directions.
Visualisation
Interaction with the system below (with fixed length can only be calculated
a ) will show that c
.
sufficiently large magnitude of b and c
38 1 Vectors.nb
bx , b y
c
1 Vectors.nb 39
Answer
We know the moment is the cross product of the force and displacement from application of force to
point of the moment:
M Fd 16.1
We want to get this into the form
a b c with unknown c . We can do this by inverting the direc
tion of b:
M dF 16.2
We can now use result (8.51) to find F
Cot Norm[a
ab b,c
]b
c +
b.b b.b
a  M, b d, c F
Md Cot NormM d
F + d,F
16.3
d.d d.d
d,F 15 , M {20, 2, 0}, d {0, 0,  5}
2 2
F ,  4,  101 2 + 3
5 5
F {0.4,  4.,  15.0027} 16.4
1 Vectors.nb 41
Visualisation
42 1 Vectors.nb
Answer
For a radius vector defined from the axis of rotation to the point of interest, we know that:

v r 18.1
a bc
ab
c
b.b
, b
c , a  v r
)r
(v
18.2
r.r
Substituting values
{120, 30, 2}, r 121
v  7, , 57
5
u
Norm[],
Norm[]
u
1.9851, { 0.215528, 0.889042,  0.403921} 18.4

v r
a b c b
10.1
a b c b
a  b.c b + b.b c
10.2
a  b.c b + b.b c
If vectors b and c are perpendicular the first term on the right hand side reduces to zero, so we can
solve for
c
a b.b c
c a
10.3
b.b
1 Vectors.nb 45
Answer
The acceleration under these conditions is given by:
a r 21.1
where
r is a radius vector pointing from the accelerometer towards the centre of rotation.
We can apply (10.3) as
r and are normal to each other:
a
c
b.b
c r, b
r a
21.2
.
2 2 2
a { 1,  2, 2}, 10 , 20 , 30
7 7 7
r  1 ,  1 , 1
21.3
400 200 200
The position is given by the subtraction of this vector from the origin:
s r
s 1 , 1
, 1
21.4
400 200 200
46 1 Vectors.nb
Vector Differentiation
A vector may be specified as a function of a parameter, t:
v[t] {vx [t], vy [t], vz [t]} 22.1
v [t] {vx [t], vy [t], vz [t]} 22.2
The vector may also be specified as a product of magnitude and direction, both of which may
depend on the parameter
u
v[t] v[t] v [t] 22.3
u
u
v [t] v [t] v [t] + v[t] v [t] 22.4
The first addend on the right hand side represents change in length of the vector, without change in
direction.
The second addend on the right hand side represents change in direction, without change in length.
Note that these two addends are perpendicular vectors.
48 1 Vectors.nb
u + u
u
Proof
Consider an arbitrary unit vector, by components
u
v[t] vx [t] vx [t]2 + vy [t]2 + vz [t]2 , 23.1
vy [t] vx [t]2 + vy [t]2 + vz [t]2 ,
vz [t] vx [t]2 + vy [t]2 + vz [t]2
Simplifying (23.2)
u
u
v[t].v [t] vx [t] vy [t]2 vx [t]  23.4
vx [t] vy [t] vy [t] + vz [t] (vz [t] vx [t]  vx [t] vz [t])
vx [t]2 + vy [t]2 + vz [t]2 2 + vy [t]  vx [t] vy [t] vx [t] +
vx [t]2 vy [t] + vz [t] (vz [t] vy [t]  vy [t] vz [t])
vx [t]2 + vy [t]2 + vz [t]2 2 + vz [t]  vx [t] vz [t] vx [t] +
vx [t]2 vz [t] + vy [t] ( vz [t] vy [t] + vy [t] vz [t])
vx [t]2 + vy [t]2 + vz [t]2 2
Simplifying this:
u
u
v[t].v [t] 0 23.5
50 1 Vectors.nb
a[t].b[t] a[t].b [t] + a [t].b[t] 11.1
a[t] b[t] a[t] b [t] + a [t] b[t] 11.2
1 Vectors.nb 51
Summary of Results
Vector written as product of magnitude scalar and unitvector direction
u
a Norm[a] a
Dot Products
Dot product in terms of angle between vectors
a.b Cosa,b Norm[a] Norm[b]
a.b 0
a.b Norm[a] Norm[b]
Dot product with a unit vector, b
a.b Norm[a]
Cross Products
Cross product in terms of angle between vectors
u
a b Norm[a] Norm[b] Sina,b a b
u
a b Norm[a] Norm[b] a b
ab 0
ab ba
a b + c a b + a c
1 Vectors.nb 53
a.b c c.a b
a.b c b.c a
a b c a.c b  a.b c
Pythagoras Theorem
Sine Rule
d b.c
u
If direction of
c is known as c
d
c
u
b.c
If magnitude of
c is known as c
u u
db b2 c2  d2 a b
c +
b b
u
where the vector a b is a vector normal to b but requires a further constraint
a bc
If direction is known as an angle between b and
c
Cot Norm[a
ab b,c
]b
c +
b.b b.b
an
c
n.b
If b and
c are known to be normal
ab
c
b.b
If the magnitude of
c is known
ab  a.a + b.b Norm[c]2 b
c +
b.b b.b
a b c b
a b c b
If b and
c are known to be normal
a
c
b.b
Differentiation
Differentiation of a vector by components
v [t] {vx [t], vy [t], vz [t]}
u u
v [t] v
[t] v [t] + v[t] v [t]
a[t].b[t] a[t].b [t] + a [t].b[t]
a[t] b[t] a[t] b [t] + a [t] b[t]