1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Vector components question?

  1. Jul 31, 2014 #1
    "Is it possible for a vector that has nonzero magnitude to have a component in some direction that is equal to zero?"
    The answer key said that any vector that has a nonzero magnitude will always have a component of zero length in the direction perpendicular to the vector.

    I'm having trouble visualizing this. Why will the vector always have a component of zero length?
    If anyone could break this down for me it would be much appreciated!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2014 #2

    gneill

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Imagine a vector rising perpendicularly from a line (any given line). What's the projection of that vector onto the line?

    An obvious analogy is the x-y axes of the Cartesian plane. How much "y" lies along the direction of "x"?
     
  4. Jul 31, 2014 #3

    rude man

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Draw a vector A on paper. Now, draw a vector B perpendicular to the A vector, both A and B have their startying ends together. Now draw a vector C from the tip of A to the tip of B. You obviously have C = A + B. How small does B have to be so that A = C?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Vector components question?
Loading...