Unit vectors Definition and 5 Discussions

In mathematics, a unit vector in a normed vector space is a vector (often a spatial vector) of length 1. A unit vector is often denoted by a lowercase letter with a circumflex, or "hat", as in



{\displaystyle {\hat {\mathbf {v} }}}
(pronounced "v-hat").The term direction vector is used to describe a unit vector being used to represent spatial direction, and such quantities are commonly denoted as d; 2D spatial directions represented this way are numerically equivalent to points on the unit circle.
The same construct is used to specify spatial directions in 3D, which are equivalent to a point on the unit sphere.

The normalized vector û of a non-zero vector u is the unit vector in the direction of u, i.e.,







{\displaystyle \mathbf {\hat {u}} ={\frac {\mathbf {u} }{|\mathbf {u} |}}}
where |u| is the norm (or length) of u. The term normalized vector is sometimes used as a synonym for unit vector.
Unit vectors are often chosen to form the basis of a vector space, and every vector in the space may be written as a linear combination of unit vectors.
By definition, the dot product of two unit vectors in a Euclidean space is a scalar value amounting to the cosine of the smaller subtended angle. In three-dimensional Euclidean space, the cross product of two arbitrary unit vectors is a third vector orthogonal to both of them, whose length is equal to the sine of the smaller subtended angle. The normalized cross product corrects for this varying length, and yields the mutually orthogonal unit vector to the two inputs, applying the right-hand rule to resolve one of two possible directions.

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  1. TGV320

    I Dot product of unit vectors

    HI, I am studying linear algebra, and I just can't understand why "Unit vectors u and U at angle θ have u multiplied by U=cosθ Why is it like that? Thanks
  2. O

    What's the use of unit vectors?

    Homework Statement: Hallo. Can somebody explain to me what's the importance-use of unit vector in the below (second) equation? Why isn't the first equation just enough to describe r? What's the reason for unit vector to even exist? Homework Equations: in the photos
  3. Zack K

    Location of charged particle given magnitude of position

    Homework Statement A charged particle has an electric field at ##\langle -0.13, 0.14, 0 \rangle## m is ##\langle 6.48\times10^3, -8.64\times10^3, 0 \rangle## N/C. The charged particle is -3nC. Where is the particle located? Homework Equations ##\vec E=\frac 1 {4π\varepsilon_0} \frac q {|\vec...
  4. Deadawake

    Unit vectors! Easy but tricky

    Actually that's very easy question but I have some difficult to understand the logic behind . So-"The initial velocity of an object (m/s) is Vi=1i+5j+2k. And the final velocity is Vf=3i+5j+7k. What was the change in speed of the object?"X Solution - |Vf|-|Vi| = √(32+52+72)-√(12+52+22) = 3.63...
  5. B

    Statics: Dimensionless Unit Vector

    Homework Statement Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution So I began by subtracting. (205-160)=55 i (495+128)=623 j Both of these vectors are in the positive direction. So if I divide the vector by its magnitude I should get an answer of 1 in the positive direction for both i and...