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Vector Addition Patterns Model

written by
Andrew Duffy
supported by
the National Science Foundation

This item is a Java simulation that illustrates the tail-to-tip method of adding vectors. As students adjust lengths and angles of two vectors, the resultant vector and components are displayed. Students can also set rotation rates and watch the vectors spin, tracing out interesting patterns on the screen.

SEE ANNOTATIONS (below) for a tutorial on the topic of vector addition, recommended by The Physics Front editors.

This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To run the simulation, simply click the Java Archive file below. To modify or customize the model, See Related Materials for detailed instructions on installing and running the EJS Modeling and Authoring Tool.

Please note that this resource requires
at least version 1.5 of
Java (JRE).

Vector Addition Patterns Model Source Code
The source code zip archive contains an XML representation of the Vector Addition Patterns model. Unzip this archive in your EJS workspace to compile and run this model using EJS. download 6kb .zip
Published: April 25, 2010
previous versions

9-12: 11B/H2. Computers have greatly improved the power and use of mathematical models by performing computations that are very long, very complicated, or repetitive. Therefore, computers can reveal the consequences of applying complex rules or of changing the rules. The graphic capabilities of computers make them useful in the design and simulated testing of devices and structures and in the simulation of complicated processes.

This editor-recommended interactive tutorial from The Physics Classroom give explicit support to students in two methods for doing vector addition: 1) the Pythagorean Theorem and trigonometric method, and 2) the head-to-tail method using a scaled vector diagram. The second link below goes to a Physics Classroomproblem set on vector addition, with answers solutions available for display. The Physics Classroom: Vector Addition Tutorial (html)

A. Duffy, Computer Program VECTOR ADDITION PATTERNS MODEL (2010), WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10011&DocID=1645).

Duffy, A. (2010). Vector Addition Patterns Model [Computer software]. Retrieved August 16, 2017, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10011&DocID=1645

%0 Computer Program %A Duffy, Andrew %D April 16, 2010 %T Vector Addition Patterns Model %8 April 16, 2010 %U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10011&DocID=1645

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