CrossProduct - The Cross-Product We live in a...

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The Cross-Product We live in a three-dimensional universe. Those three dimensions can be distinguished as right/left, up/down, and forward/back, or as ±x , ±y , and ±z , each being perpendicular to the other two. The cross-product is a function akin to multiplication that takes vectors along two dimensions and yields a quantity in the third by the Right-Hand Rule (RHR). Generically, the cross-product acting on a pair of vectors is written ! A ! ! B . The result will be a vector, not a simple scalar value like the dot-product would yield. If you happen to know the magnitudes of the two vectors and the angle between them, the cross product can be computed using |A||B| sin θ . The direction is then found from RHR. For instance, suppose the pair of vectors shown occur in a problem and you are asked to find “A-cross-B”. The magnitude would be (6)(3) 30°=9 . The direction going from ! A
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2012 for the course PHYS 131 taught by Professor Tibbets during the Spring '11 term at Cuyamaca College.

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