# Directions of Vectors

## Main Question or Discussion Point

What's the difference between saying that a vector's direction is north of east and north east?

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Dale
Mentor
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.

sophiecentaur
Gold Member
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.

robphy
Homework Helper
Gold Member
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).

sophiecentaur
Gold Member
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?

berkeman
Mentor
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.

sophiecentaur