How can I calculate the magnitude of displacement?

1 Answer
May 29, 2018


#"Please study the animations and drawings carefully."#


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  • think of a point P on the curvilinear path that moves from point A to point B.
  • The movement of the P point can be described by a reference point.

  • That reference point is O (0,0).

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  • The coordinates of points A and B are #(x_1, y_1) #and #(x_2, y_2)# respectively.

  • Now let's draw a vector pointing to the first position of the P point. This vector is the position vector.

  • As the dot moves, the length and direction of the vector change.

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  • We describe the change in the position of the point P with a vector because the displacement takes place in a certain direction.

  • This vector is represented by green color.

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  • the magnitude of the displacement vector (green) can be calculated by various methods.

  • We can use the Pythagorean theorem in the ABC triangle.

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  • #|o|=sqrt((x_2-x_1)^2+(y_2-y_1)^2)#