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Homework Help: Vector equations help

  1. Jan 28, 2008 #1
    I'm just starting out physics and I'm currently trying to do vector equations. I actually have a question about a couple of problems.

    The first is a plane flies 55 degrees northeast for 243km. How far north did the plane fly north? How far east did the plane fly?

    I started out making a triangle, with the hypotenuse being 243 km and the angle as 55 degrees. I thought I could use sin and cos to figure out the two missing sides, but I'm not sure how to apply the degree with one side length...

    I did sin(55)=a/243 but I'm not sure where to go from here.

    My second question is a flight of geese fly at 72 degrees southwest at 23km/hr for winter. With what speed were the geese flying south? With what velocity were the geese flying west?

    Once again, I made a triangle with 72 as the degree and 23 km/hr for the hypotenuse. I think my problem is the same as the first. Not knowing how to get the missing side length.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2008 #2
    I am not quite so sure what you mean by missing side length. You solved for one side, in the first problem you found the north side, the north "vector." The the other side, the east vector, is the same with a different trig function, right?
  4. Jan 29, 2008 #3
    Yeah. I was able to figure it out. I just had to multiply the length I got with the angle.
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