1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    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!

Displacement Problem I can't figure out

  1. Oct 6, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A person walks 21m east and then walks 34m at an angle 47 degrees north of east.
    What is the magnitude of the total displacement?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm not sure how you would go about finding the answer:confused: Help anyone?:tongue:
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2009 #2
    I believe this is a problem which would require some knowledge of vectors to solve. since that is the case, draw the path he take and take the starting point to be 0. To calculate the total displacement, just draw a straight line from the starting point to the endpoint.
  4. Oct 7, 2009 #3
    I know that displacement is the distance from the starting point to the ending point, but I'm not exactly sure how I would find it in that problem. I don't think I could use the trig formulas (sin, cos, and tan) because we're not dealing with a right triangle here. (Or does it matter?) So how would I find the answer?
  5. Oct 7, 2009 #4
    Why ain't we dealing with right angle triangle? Like I said draw the path he took
  6. Oct 8, 2009 #5
    Okay, so I draw the path. . . . then what? :confused:Would I subtract 21m from 34m to get the displacement?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook