Results 1 to 4 of 4

Math Help - What are unit vectors used for and how?

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Joined
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    5

    What are unit vectors used for and how?

    So I've been trying to understand the purpose of unit vectors. I know it's to convert the magnitude of a vector to 1. The purpose of it is supposedly to find direction.

    But why does the unit vector find direction? How does converting a vector to have a magnitude of 1 give you information about the direction?
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  2. #2
    MHF Contributor

    Joined
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    18,615
    Thanks
    1578
    Awards
    1

    Re: What are unit vectors used for and how?

    Quote Originally Posted by astroidea View Post
    So I've been trying to understand the purpose of unit vectors. I know it's to convert the magnitude of a vector to 1. The purpose of it is supposedly to find direction.

    But why does the unit vector find direction? How does converting a vector to have a magnitude of 1 give you information about the direction?
    That is simply false.

    Unit vectors are used to set a standard.
    Much like the number one on a number line.
    They set one standard unit of length.
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Joined
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    5

    Re: What are unit vectors used for and how?

    So is it basically a counting tool for vectors of a given direction? So that you know the unit magnitude of each dimension of a vector for a given direction? Why is this useful?
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  4. #4
    MHF Contributor

    Joined
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    18,615
    Thanks
    1578
    Awards
    1

    Re: What are unit vectors used for and how?

    Quote Originally Posted by astroidea View Post
    Why is this useful?
    I point you to the topic directional derivatives.
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

Similar Math Help Forum Discussions

  1. help with unit vectors
    Posted in the Advanced Algebra Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: September 18th 2011, 04:46 PM
  2. [SOLVED] Unit Vectors
    Posted in the Math Topics Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: April 23rd 2011, 12:00 PM
  3. Unit Vectors
    Posted in the Pre-Calculus Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: June 8th 2010, 06:22 PM
  4. unit vectors
    Posted in the Calculus Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: June 4th 2008, 03:03 PM
  5. Unit Vectors
    Posted in the Geometry Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: February 5th 2007, 01:02 PM

Search Tags


/mathhelpforum @mathhelpforum