Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Help stuck with vector problem.

  1. Oct 1, 2006 #1
    If anyone's got any hints or directions as to how to go about solving this problem, PLEASE help!!!

    An explorer is caught in a whiteout (in which the snowfall is so thick that the ground cannot be distinguished from the sky) while returning to base camp. He was supposed to travel due north for 5.6km, but when the snow clears, he discovers that he actually travelled 7.8km at 50* north of due east. How far and in what direction must he travel no to reach base camp?
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2006 #2
    try drawing a diagram using the given info

    see waht you cna do from there...
  4. Oct 1, 2006 #3
    i've got one, i'm just not sure what i'm looking for afterwards.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2006
  5. Oct 1, 2006 #4
    In my diagram i've got two vectors that i've named A and B. SO do i subtract the two to get the distance between them C?
  6. Oct 1, 2006 #5
    draw the diagram and post it here
  7. Oct 1, 2006 #6
    You should have 2 vectors on an XY-coordinate system. If that's what you got, one shouldn't be directly on the xy-planes, so you're going to have to look for the x and y components for a particular vector. Once you do that, think in respect to the point he should be at to the point he is at.
  8. Oct 1, 2006 #7
    cant just subtract because they are angles to each other
  9. Oct 1, 2006 #8
    i tried drawing the diagram on paint, doesn't look too good but thats what im thinking. Find the distance C

    Attached Files:

  10. Oct 1, 2006 #9
    i've figured out an answer, not sure if its right but if anyone's willing to check here is it: The explorer must travel 12. 61 km. I got 67* but that doesn't entirely make sense now that i look at it. Anyhoo let me know what you think.
  11. Oct 1, 2006 #10
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook