Some Important Points about
Notation and Definitions We need notation for labeling
vectors: A vector is denoted by a bold-face letter, and its length is denoted by the
same letter without the bold face.
B |
B |
A vector, with magnitude and direction |
The magnitude of the vector B. |
We now need to introduce a definition: The sum of two or
more vectors is another vector called the resultant vector.
Vector addition for two vectors A and B is
simply denoted A + B. Therefore, the equation C
= A + B simply means "C is the
resultant vector obtained by adding vector A to vector B."
Vector subtraction of vector B from vector A is simply
denoted A - B.
There are three ways to add vectors. Each method will be illustrated using
Java applets in the following pages. Naturally, all three methods must produce the
same result.
- The parallelogram method.
The head-to-tail and parallelogram methods are actually identical, as a Java
applet will later demonstrate. They only provide a rough description of the
resultant vector, but they are very easy to apply. The component method is used in
those situations where exact, numerical information about the resultant vector is
required. |