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Chapter Three Notes
Physics 195
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VECTORS
In 1dimension, we could specify distance with a real
number, including + or  sign. e.g.,
a = g
In 2or 3dimensions, we need more than one number to
specify the distance:
To illustrate this, consider the
position vector
r
in 2
dimensions.
Example
: Where is UCSD?
Choose origin at SDSUSDSU
Choose coordinates of distance (miles),
and normal directions (NS,EW)
In this case
r
is a vector that points about
15 miles northwest.
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VECTORS
There are two common ways of indicating that
something is a vector quantity:
Boldface notation:
A
Arrow notation:
Unit Vector
is a vector having
length 1 and no units specify a
direction
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VECTORS
The components of
r
are its
(x,y,z)coordinates
r = (r
,r
,r
)= (x,y,z)
Consider this in 2D (since it’s easier to
draw):
= x = r cos
θ
= y = r sinθ
where
r = 
r
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Used to describe the position of a point in
space.
Coordinate system consists of.
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2011 for the course PHYS 195 taught by Professor Anderson during the Fall '07 term at San Diego State.
 Fall '07
 Anderson
 Physics

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