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Homework Help: How to solve this vector problem?

  1. Sep 20, 2009 #1
    How to solve this vector problem???

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A car travels 20 km due north and then 35 km in a direction of 60degree west of north. Find the magnitude and direction of a single vector that gives the net effect of the car trip.

    2. Relevant equations

    (vector) R = square root (vector)( A^2 + B^2)

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I found the answer is 40.1 km while the answer says it's 48 km. I don't know how to solve the angle. Help please!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2009 #2

    Andrew Mason

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Re: How to solve this vector problem???

    Try resolving the vectors into their North and West components and adding the components. Then find the length from these perpendicular components.

  4. Sep 20, 2009 #3
    Re: How to solve this vector problem???

    Solve their north and west component? How is that possible? Isn't that given in the problem already?
  5. Sep 20, 2009 #4
    Re: How to solve this vector problem???

    What Andrew Mason is saying is that the components given in the problem are not perpendicular; this is the reason your equation is not working. Try making two perpendicular components, one north and one west (not at an angle west). Then use these in the equation.
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