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Math Help - Adding vectors.

  1. #1
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    Adding vectors.

    Got a lesson with vector addition and I need help with the last question.

    17. Two forces with magnitudes 8 N and 11 N act on a large object. The angle between the forces is 30^o.
    a) Draw a diagram to represent the combine effect of the forces.
    b) Calculate the magnitude of the resultant force.

    I have no idea on to do both. I drew a free body diagram and then used c^2 = a^2 + b^2. But that was correct. Then I used my law of cosines and that didn't work. Then I used my law of sines and that didn't work.

    Could someone help me with a diagram. I think that will be best for me because I cannot interpret the question correctly.
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  2. #2
    Forum Admin topsquark's Avatar
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    Have you tried the component method to add the vectors?

    -Dan
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    We were not taught that yet. We're only 2 days in the course learning new stuff. The only thing that we know is that we have to add them together. However, I get the wrong answer of 5.7 N while the book claims it is 18.4 N.
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  4. #4
    Forum Admin topsquark's Avatar
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    Vecotrs

    Try the Law of Cosines again.

    -Dan
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Adding vectors.-vectors.bmp  
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    Quote Originally Posted by topsquark View Post
    Try the Law of Cosines again.

    -Dan
    Thank you. I tried that, however, forgot that two negatives make a positive. Lulz! Thanks. However, how why is it 150^o than 30^o? Why did we have to take 180 and substract the given angle? Wouldn't it the 30 degress be where the 150 degrees is?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barthayn View Post
    However, how why is it 150^o than 30^o? Why did we have to take 180 and substract the given angle? Wouldn't it the 30 degress be where the 150 degrees is?
    The 30 degree angle is betwen the two vectors when they are arranged tail to tail. Vectors are added head to tail ... the 8N vector was translated up to the position shown in topsquark's excellent diagram. The interior angle of the resulting triangle is 150 degrees.

    Last edited by skeeter; February 8th 2011 at 03:46 PM. Reason: add diagram
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    Adding vectors.

    Adding two vectors A and B graphically can be visualized like two successive walks, with the vector sum being the vector distance from the beginning to the end point. Representing the vectors by arrows drawn to scale, the beginning of vector B is placed at the end of vector A. The vector sum R can be drawn as the vector from the beginning to the end point
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