Direction of Vectors: North vs Northeast

In summary, the difference between saying that a vector's direction is north of east and north east is that "north of east" is a vague and less precise nomenclature used in some introductory physics classes, while "north east" refers to a specific direction of 45 degrees north of east. The former can vary in magnitude while the latter is a fixed angle. This terminology is not commonly used in navigation, where degrees and minutes are typically used to describe a bearing or course.
  • #1
Bassel AbdulSabour
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What's the difference between saying that a vector's direction is north of east and north east?
 
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  • #2
Bassel AbdulSabour said:
What's the difference between saying that a vector's direction is north of east and north east?
Northeast is 45 degrees north of east. 5 degrees north of east is not quite northeast, it is mostly east.
 
  • #3
Bassel AbdulSabour said:
north of east
I haven't come across this phrase in my Nav courses. There is North by North East and there is East by North East, which lie on either side of North East. However, it is more usual to use Degrees and minutes (and decimals of a minute) to describe a bearing or course.
It's a long time since students of navigation were required to "Box the Compass", which is reciting all 32 points of the compass.
 
  • #4
In intro classes, "north of east" means go "north of the eastern direction" (trying to describe a counterclockwise acute angle from the positive x-axis).

side comment:
Then I feel compelled to ask the puzzle...
a hunter travels one mi South, then one mi East, then one mi North and is at the same position the hunter started...
what color bear...?
(then ask if there are other places on Earth where one can do that sequence of steps and end up at the same place).
 
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  • #5
robphy said:
In intro classes, "north of east" means go "north of the eastern direction" (trying to describe a counterclockwise acute angle from the positive x-axis).
The meaning of that nomenclature is very vague. North of East could take you one minute of arc or almost 90 degrees. (Adding a N vector of undefined magnitude)
Which 'intro classes' use it?
 
  • #6
sophiecentaur said:
Which 'intro classes' use it?
It's common nomenclature in the Intro Physics forum. I'm guessing it's part of intro physics classes, before they learn the more rigorous vector polar notation standards.
 
  • #7
No better than “left hand down a bit”
 

1. What is the difference between north and northeast?

North refers to the direction that is directly towards the North Pole, while northeast is the direction that is halfway between north and east.

2. How do you determine the direction of a vector?

The direction of a vector can be determined by using a compass or by measuring the angle between the vector and a designated reference direction, such as north.

3. Can a vector have a direction of both north and northeast?

No, a vector can only have one direction at a time. It can either be north or northeast depending on its angle with the reference direction.

4. What is the significance of knowing the direction of a vector?

The direction of a vector is crucial in understanding its movement and predicting its future position. It also helps in navigation and mapping.

5. Is there a specific notation for denoting the direction of a vector?

Yes, the direction of a vector is often represented by an arrow pointing towards its direction. The angle between the arrow and the reference direction can also be used to represent the direction of the vector.

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