Vector Operations

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Introductory Tip-to-Tail Vector Addition Problem

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Key Questions

  • Forces acting on any object change its movement.

    The change depends on the strength and directions of forces and on the way the object moved before forces acted upon it.

    To determine the result of forces acting on an object at any moment we have, first of all, add forces together according to the rules of adding the vectors (the rule of parallelogram). The resulting force is the source of acceleration of an object towards the direction of this force. The absolute value of the acceleration depends on the magnitude of the resulting force and the mass of an object.

    If, for example, the resulting force directed along the way the object is moving, it will continue moving along the same trajectory, but accelerating on its way.

    If the resulting force directed against the movement, the object will decelerate.

    If the resulting force acts at an angle to a trajectory of an object, it will deviate from that trajectory. The degree of deviation depends on the strength and direction of the resulting force and the mass of an object. The greater the mass - the less deviation from the trajectory would be observed.

    The best way to get deeper into this is to solve a few concrete problems with given movement and mass of an object and the forces acting upon it.

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