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Unformatted text preview: Physical Sciences 2 Harvard University, Fall 2007 Vectors Almost all you need to know about vectors is explained in Chapter 3 of Giancoli, but we thought this handout might be useful to you anyway. It contains a bit of clarification about notation, as well as some supplementary material. 1 Notation Giancoli’s notation for vectors is not ideal, so we will not be conforming 100% to the textbook’s notation. In particular, the use of boldface notation to denote a vector is terribly confusing to most students, mostly because it’s awfully hard to write in boldface by hand. (And it’s been confusing students for generations, but unfortunately it somehow came to be an accepted way of writing things.) For this reason, in PS2 we will strive to stick to the following important rules for vector notation: 1. Any symbol with an arrowhead over it denotes a vector quantity, e.g. ~ A, ~ B,~u,~v . 2. Any symbol without an arrowhead over it denotes a quantity which is not a vector (i.e. it’s probably a scalar). There is only one exception to this rule: unit vectors will be denoted with a “hat” instead of an arrowhead, e.g. ˆ ı, ˆ , ˆ k . In particular, we will not be using different fonts (bold or otherwise) to attempt to distinguish between vectors and scalars. Now, given a vector quantity ~v , we will sometimes want to talk about the magnitude of ~v . The clearest way of referring to the magnitude (which is a scalar) is by writing...
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This note was uploaded on 03/29/2012 for the course LS 2 taught by Professor Andrewa.biewener,petert.ellison,anddaniele.lieberman during the Fall '10 term at Harvard.
 Fall '10
 AndrewA.Biewener,PeterT.Ellison,andDanielE.Lieberman

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