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Defining a displacement vector not touching the origin

  1. Oct 24, 2014 #1
    zQCV1Ts.png

    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

    HallsofIvy

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    Yes, you are confusing "vector" with a specific interval, "the last x meters of a tower".
     
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