13_1dvectors - Lesson 13: Vectors in One Dimension Up to...

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Lesson 13: Vectors in One Dimension Up to this point we have been focusing on the number crunching sort of questions you can do in physics. In this chapter the focus will start to be shifted toward more complicated problems that might not always be solved by just “plugging numbers into a formula.” For this reason, we will start to use vector diagrams as a way to organize our information and to help us solve our problems. As we start to use these diagrams, keep in mind that we are drawing diagrams that truly represent the motion of the object. As we learned back in Lesson 8 , just about anything you measure in Physics can be divided into two categories: scalars and vectors . Scalars : Any measurement that is given as a single number, and nothing else. It has magnitude , but no direction. Vectors: A measurement that is given as a number and a direction. It has magnitude and direction . We often use arrows to represent vectors. In fact, for the rest of the course you should see them as being interchangeable; an arrow in a diagram is a vector. When you have several of these vectors drawn together, you have a vector diagram. Although vector diagrams are drawn for different reasons in different kinds of problems, the rules that govern how they are drawn are always the same. Vector Drawing Rules 1. The vector is drawn pointing in the direction of the vector . This is probably the key feature of what makes a vector a vector. .. direction . If an object is moving East, you better make sure that the arrow points East. Always remember that when a direction is written down with the magnitude of a measurement, the direction should appear in square brackets. 2.
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This note was uploaded on 12/02/2011 for the course PHYSICS 235 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

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13_1dvectors - Lesson 13: Vectors in One Dimension Up to...

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