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Also, what is a unit vector e used for? Why do we need to multiply a vector U by this unit vector? If the problem provides me w/ an arrow and vector U = 50 Newtons. Why do I need to multiply it by e? I dont gett it.

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- Thread starter CinderBlockFist
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- #1

- 86

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Also, what is a unit vector e used for? Why do we need to multiply a vector U by this unit vector? If the problem provides me w/ an arrow and vector U = 50 Newtons. Why do I need to multiply it by e? I dont gett it.

- #2

jcsd

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- #4

Galileo

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When you're only interested in the magnitude, you use [itex]|\vec U|[/itex].

In mathematics it's more commonly called the 'length' or the 'norm' of the vector and written [itex]||\vec U||[/itex].

Likewise, when you are not interested in the magnitude but only in the direction of the vector, use the unit vector of [itex]\vec U[/itex]. It's a vector with length 1 and points in the direction of [itex]\vec U[/itex].

Every vector [itex]\vec U[/itex] can be written as [itex]\vec U=|\vec U|\vec e[/itex], where |[itex]\vec U[/itex]| is the magnitude of the vector and [itex]\vec e[/itex] is the unit vector in the direction of [itex]\vec U[/itex].

- #5

jcsd

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The unit vector in the direction of U is U/|U|.

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Thanks guys

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