Simple vector problem

  • Thread starter computerex
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  • #1
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Homework Statement



If a force vector has a magnitude of 4.82 newtons and points 42.3 degrees south of east, then what is its x-component?

Homework Equations



x = |v| cos(theta)
y = |v| sin(theta)

The Attempt at a Solution



Since the problem states that the vector's deviation is 42.3 degrees south of east, the actual angle is the sum of 90 degrees and 42.3 degrees, 132.3 degrees. Then to find the x component I multiply the length of the vector, and the cosine of the angle. However the answer that I get, -3.24392032 is not right. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
CompuChip
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Try drawing the picture on paper.
In which direction is the vector pointing? What direction corresponds to theta = 0 and in which direction (clock-wise or counter-clockwise) does it increase and in which direction does it decrease?
Then what is the angle you need to use?
 
  • #3
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I am an idiot. Thank you.
 
  • #4
CompuChip
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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If that makes you an idiot, we're all idiots from time to time.

You did learn a lesson though: always draw a picture before you start calculating. Just remember that for the rest of your life / academic career (whichever is longer).
 

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