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Math Help - velocity components

  1. #1
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    velocity components

    I posted one question already this morning and I have just one more I need help with:

    "A current is flowin at 1 m/s in the direction 30 degrees east of due north. what are the velocity components in the (a) east direction and (b) north direction?"

    the answers given are: a= 1* cos60 = .5 and b= 1* sin60 = .86

    what I can't understand is why the answers use 60 instead of the 30 degrees stated in the question???

    the illustration accompanying this problem looked like a right angle with the current closer to the y axis so 90-30 is 60 but I still don't know why 60 is used and not 30/

    thanks for any help
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  2. #2
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    Re: velocity components

    Quote Originally Posted by willowthewisp View Post
    I posted one question already this morning and I have just one more I need help with:

    "A current is flowin at 1 m/s in the direction 30 degrees east of due north. what are the velocity components in the (a) east direction and (b) north direction?"

    the answers given are: a= 1* cos60 = .5 and b= 1* sin60 = .86

    what I can't understand is why the answers use 60 instead of the 30 degrees stated in the question???

    the illustration accompanying this problem looked like a right angle with the current closer to the y axis so 90-30 is 60 but I still don't know why 60 is used and not 30/

    thanks for any help
    It's because when dealing with a co-ordinate system, the angles are measured in the anticlockwise direction of the positive x axis.
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    Re: velocity components

    thanks a lot!
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