Home Random Page



The direction of a vector. Let us find the angle between two vectors and .

Consider the inner product


We have

. (*)

Writing the product and absolute values in coordinates, we obtain

. (**)

Example 3. Find an angle between vectors and . By using formula (**), we find


Let us determine a condition for vectors to be perpendicular. Suppose that vectors and are perpendicular, i.e., ; then , and

. (7)

This is the condition for vectors to be perpendicular.


0 y


Consider the angles between a vector and the unit vectors . We denote these angles by

; ; .

Take the product of and any unit vector, say, =


By formula (*), the cosine of the angle a from it is


Similarly the cosines of the other angles are

, , . (8)

These cosines are called the directional cosines of the vector .

The sum of the squared directional cosines equals one:


To prove this, it sufficies to square the cosines by formula (8) and sum them:


Example 5. For what a are the vectors



We use the perpendicularity condition (7) and write the inner product of the given vectors in coordinates:

; , a=10.

Date: 2015-01-02; view: 178

<== previous page | next page ==>
Decomposition of vectors. | Vector Product and Its Properties
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2017 year. (0.019 sec.)