Education Technology

Vector Components

Published on 07/15/2011

Activity Overview

In this lesson, students will first explore the relationship between the magnitude and direction of a vector and the components of the vector. Students will then explore how two vectors are added to produce a resultant vector.

Objectives

  • Students will explore the relationship between a vector and its components.
  • Students will explore how two vectors may be combined to produce a resultant vector.
  • Students will be able to calculate the resultant of two vectors which are added.

Vocabulary

  • clockwise
  • collinear
  • component
  • counterclockwise
  • parallel
  • perpendicular
  • quadrant
  • resultant
  • magnitude and direction

About the Lesson

This lesson first explores the relationship between the magnitude and direction of a vector and the components of the vector. It then explores how two vectors are added to produce a resultant vector. Vector addition progresses from collinear vectors to perpendicular vectors and finally to general vectors.
As a result, students will:

  • Describe how the magnitude and direction of a vector determine its components.
  • Calculate the magnitude and direction of the resultant vector when two perpendicular vectors are added.
  • Determine the resultant vector when two general vectors are added by using the components of the vectors.