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Thread: Quick Question about Vector Notation

  1. #1
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    Quick Question about Vector Notation

    I'm currently in the 4th week or so of my "Calculus 3/Multivariable Calculus" class and I learned about 2 ways to multiply vectors, the cross product and the dot product.

    I often see this kind of notation though in my book (assume a, b, and c are vectors and not scalars) where it'll be something like (a x b)c. How do I multiply the cross product of vector a x b to c when I don't know which kind of multiplication to use?

    Thanks for your time and help.
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  2. #2
    Rhymes with Orange Chris L T521's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterTheBohemian View Post
    I'm currently in the 4th week or so of my "Calculus 3/Multivariable Calculus" class and I learned about 2 ways to multiply vectors, the cross product and the dot product.

    I often see this kind of notation though in my book (assume a, b, and c are vectors and not scalars) where it'll be something like (a x b)c. How do I multiply the cross product of vector a x b to c when I don't know which kind of multiplication to use?

    Thanks for your time and help.
    I think they're referring to $\displaystyle \left(a\times b\right)\cdot c$. Otherwise, that wouldn't really make sense since you can't use regular multiplication when "multiplying" vectors.

    Also, note that $\displaystyle \left(a\cdot b\right)c$ is valid since $\displaystyle a\cdot b$ is a scalar.

    Does this help? If not, please post back.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Chris. I just needed someone else to think "That doesn't make sense." I must have just misread my professor's writing or something, because I understand the concept of how you can't cross multiply a vector and a scalar.
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