Calculating the phase of the sum of two vectors

  • Thread starter cstrieder
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  • #1
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Hi,

suppose I have two vectors, one in the i direction and the other in j direction, i is horizontal and j vertical.

The first vector Vi = 5i and the second vector Vj = 2j.

If we sum this vectos it results in one vector that have module and phase.

I found the module by Vij = ( 5^2 + 2^2 ) ^ (1/2) = 5.3852.

But what about the phase?

I think it was atan(y/x), but in case y=0 or x=0, it let me in troubles.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
dx
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Your vector is 5i + 2j, so x = 5 and y = 2.
 
  • #3
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Hi dx,

I want to know how to calculate the angle(phase) between 5i and 2j...
 
  • #4
HallsofIvy
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The vector, with tail at (0,0) and head at (5, 2) forms a right triangle with "opposite side" 2 and "near side" 2 so [itex]tan(\theta)= 2/5[/itex], so [itex]\theta= arctan(2/5)[/itex] and lies between 0 and [itex]\pi/2[/itex] since the components are both positive.

Yes, The vector xi+ yj has angle given by arctan(y/x) (with the quadrant determined by the sign of y and x). If x= 0, then obviously the vector lies along the y axis so [itex]\theta= \pi/2[/itex] or [itex]\theta= 3\pi/2[/itex] depending on whether y is positive or negative.
 
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  • #5
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When I have only 2j, what is the phase?

-pi/2 or pi/2

?

Why?
 
  • #6
HallsofIvy
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When I have only 2j, what is the phase?

-pi/2 or pi/2

?

Why?
[itex]\pi/2[/itex]. The "phase angle" is measured counter-clockwise from the positive [itex]\vec{i}[/itex] axis. [itex]\pi/2[/itex] points along the positive y-axis while [itex]-\pi/2[/itex] points along the negative y-axis.
 
  • #7
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Thanks for your reply HallsofIvy,

I have one more question,

If I have [tex]-5i[/tex], so the phase vector is [tex]\pi[/tex], correct?

And in case I have [tex]5i[/tex], so the phase vector is [tex]-\pi[/tex], or zero?
 
  • #8
HallsofIvy
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NO! As I said before, the "phase" angle of 5i is [itex]\pi/2[/itex] and the "phase" angle of -5i is [itex]-\pi/2[/itex], not "[itex]\pi[/itex]" or "[itex]-\pi[/itex]".
 
  • #9
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Hi HallsofIvy,

can you provide me some referece, so I can study this by my self.

I fill I need to study.

If you can provide online reference it was better.

Thanks
 

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