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A two-dimensional vector v is determined by two points in the plane: an initial point P (also called the “tail” or basepoint) and a terminal point Q (also called the “head”). We write The length or magnitude of v, denoted is the distance from P to Q.

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Vector terminology: Two vectors v and w of nonzero length are called parallel if the lines through v and w are parallel. Parallel vectors point either in the same or in opposite directions. A vector v is said to undergo a translation when it is moved parallel to itself without changing its length or direction. The resulting vector w is called a translate of v. Translates have the same length and direction but different basepoints. In many situations, it is convenient to treat vectors with the same length and direction as equivalent, even if they have different basepoints. With this in mind, we say that v and w are equivalent if w is a translate of v.

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Every vector can be translated so that its tail is at the origin. Therefore, Every vector v is equivalent to a unique vector v 0 based at the origin.

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Components of a vector (needed to work algebraically): where P = (a 1, b 1 ) and Q = (a 2, b 2 ), are the quantities The pair of components is denoted The vectors v and v 0 have components The length of a vector in terms of its components (by the distance formula) is The zero vector (whose head and tail coincide) is the vector

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The components determine the length and direction of v, but not its basepoint. Therefore, two vectors have the same components if and only if they are equivalent. Nevertheless, the standard practice is to describe a vector by its components, and thus we write Although this notation is ambiguous (because it does not specify the basepoint), it rarely causes confusion in practice. To further avoid confusion, the following convention will be in force for the remainder of the text:

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Determine whether are equivalent, where What is the magnitude of v 1 ? Compute the components v 1 and v 2 are not equivalent

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Sketch the vector and the vector v 0 equivalent to v based at the origin. has terminal point Q = (1 + 2, 4 − 3) = (3, 1), located two units to the right and three units down from P. The vector v 0 equivalent to v based at O has terminal point (2, −3). The vectors v and v 0 have the same components but different basepoints.

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We now define two basic vector operations: Vector Addition and Scalar Multiplication. The vector sum v + w is defined when v and w have the same basepoint: Translate w to the equivalent vector w’ whose tail coincides with the head of v. The sum v + w is the vector pointing from the tail of v to the head of w’.

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We now define two basic vector operations: Vector Addition and Scalar Multiplication. Alternatively, we can use the Parallelogram Law: v + w is the vector pointing from the basepoint to the opposite vertex of the parallelogram formed by v and w. To add several vectors, translate the so that they lie head to tail.

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The sum v = v 1 + v 2 + v 3 + v 4.

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Vector subtraction v − w is carried out by adding −w to v. Or, more simply, draw the vector pointing from w to v, and translate it back to the basepoint to obtain v − w.

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Vector addition and scalar multiplication operations are easily performed using components. To add or subtract two vectors v and w, we add or subtract their components.

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Similarly, to multiply v by a scalar λ, we multiply the components of v by λ. λv points in the same direction as if λ > 0, and in the opposite direction if λ < 0. Vectors v and 2v are based at P but 2v is twice as long. Vectors v and −v have the same length but opposite directions.

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Vector Operations Using Components (i) v + w = (ii) v − w = (iii) λv = (iv) v + 0 = 0 + v = v We also note that if P = (a 1, b 1 ) and Q = (a 2, b 2 ), then components of the vector are conveniently computed as the difference

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THEOREM 1 Basic Properties of Vector Algebra For all vectors u, v, w and for all scalars λ,

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A linear combination of vectors v and w is a vector rv + sw where r and s are scalars. If v and w are not parallel, then every vector u in the plane can be expressed as a linear combination u = rv + sw. The parallelogram whose vertices are the origin and the terminal points of v, w and v + w is called the parallelogram spanned by v and w. It consists of the linear combinations rv + sw with 0 ≤ r ≤ 1 and 0 ≤ s ≤ 1.

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A vector of length 1 is called a unit vector. Unit vectors are often used to indicate direction, when it is not necessary to specify length. The head of a unit vector e based at the origin lies on the unit circle and has components where θ is the angle between e and the positive x-axis. The head of a unit vector lies on the unit circle.

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Unit vector in the direction of v. We can always scale a nonzero vector v = to obtain a unit vector pointing in the same direction:

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Find the unit vector in the direction of v = It is customary to introduce a special notation for the unit vectors in the direction of the positive x- and y-axes: The vectors i and j are called the standard basis vectors. Every vector in the plane is a linear combination of i and j:

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For example, Vector addition is performed by adding the i and j coefficients. For example, (4i − 2j) + (5i + 7j) = (4 + 5)i + (−2 + 7)j = 9i + 5j CONCEPTUAL INSIGHT It is often said that quantities such as force and velocity are vectors because they have both magnitude and direction, but there is more to this statement than meets the eye. A vector quantity must obey the law of vector addition (Figure 18), so if we say that force is a vector, we are really claiming that forces add according to the Parallelogram Law. In other words, if forces F 1 and F 2 act on an object, then the resultant force is the vector sum F 1 + F 2. This is a physical fact that must be verified experimentally. It was well known to scientists and engineers long before the vector concept was introduced formally in the 1800s.Figure 18

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When an airplane traveling with velocity v 1 encounters a wind of velocity v 2, its resultant velocity is the vector sum v 1 + v 2.

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THEOREM 2 Triangle Inequality For any two vectors v and w, Equality holds only if v = 0 or w = 0, or if w = λv, where λ ≥ 0.

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