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Homework Help: Finding the y- component of velocity

  1. Oct 23, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A boat moves at an angle of 60° to a horizontal line. The x component of the boat's velocity is 5 m/s. What is its y component of velocity?
    Question 25 answers

    10 m/s

    10 √3 m/s

    5 √3 m/s

    5 m/s

    2. Relevant equations

    How exactly do I find the y-component for this problem?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I originally drew a diagram of a triangle and came up with the equation cos 60=x/5, when I tried to solve for x I got 2.5 m/s. This isn't one of the solutions available so I am thinking I'm not using the correct equation.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2012 #2
    cos 60 should be equal to the vector adjacent to the 60 degree angle divided by the hypotenuse. You're looking for the vector opposite from the angle, so there's a different operation for that.
  4. Oct 23, 2012 #3
    i would start out with a diagram, showing the angle and x and y velocities.

    it makes the trig much easier
  5. Oct 23, 2012 #4
    as your not given the hypotenuse your are only given an angle and the x component you need to use the tangent function


    This then becomes 5 * Tan(60) = the y component you are after.


    I hope that helps and more importantly I hope I am right
    Mr C
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