pls explain the law of addition of vectors

Asked by  | 14th Oct, 2009, 04:06: PM

Expert Answer:

Let's consider only one direction, the horizontal direction.

If the displacement is 5m to the right and after that point it's 4m farther right. Hence the total displacement is 9 m and to the right from starting point. But if instead of 4m going farther to the right it was 4 m to the left. Then the total displacement would be 1 m to the right from starting point.

We can extend this simple rule to more than one direction. And we can easily see that displacement in one direction is independent of the displacement in another direction. For example, if we add the vertical direction to our already considered horizontal direction. then the object can move in vertical direction as well and horizontal but now we have to specify how far it's in horizontal direction i.e. it's x coordinate and how far it's in the vertical direction i.e. y coordinate. The line joining this point to origin and having an arrow towards the point is what we call as vector. So when we add two vectors we add their components in horizontal and vertical direction.

The same reasoning translate into the traingle law or the equivalently the parallelogram law of vector addition.





Answered by  | 16th Oct, 2009, 08:47: PM

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