1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Defining a displacement vector not touching the origin

  1. Oct 24, 2014 #1

    In the diagram let the magnitude of the vector BC and OA are 'x'. I am confused with this part. Vectorially we don't say that the vector BC is ##-x##, because ##-x## is represented by OA. Then how do we represent BC?

    It's said a the position of a vector doesn't matter, I mean one can shift it in any way unless their magnitude and direction are changed, is it applicable to a displacement vector? As in the case above we just can't shift the vector ##-x## to BC and call it ##-x##. For instance in the case of a ball thrown from a tower. If we take the origin as the top of the tower, we can always say the last ##x## meters of the tower. Am I confusing any concept?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yes, you are confusing "vector" with a specific interval, "the last x meters of a tower".
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Defining a displacement vector not touching the origin