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Minimum distance between two vectors on a graph?

  1. Feb 12, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    This is just a theoretical question so there aren't any values for the variables but there are two vectors with constant velocity. Given their velocity, magnitude, direction how can one calculate the minimum distance between the two vectors.

    Also have to solve graphically

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm currently under the assumption it has to do with slope or something along those lines.
    Input greatly appreciated.


  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Welcome to PF.

    Algebraically you can take the position difference vector as a function of time and determine the minimum.

    Graphically ... just extending the line of action of position vectors doesn't seem to solve the problem you are asking about minimizing the position difference vector. A position graph alone doesn't really account for the rate of change of position as a function of time.
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