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Vector Addition Model

written by
Andrew Duffy
supported by
the National Science Foundation

This simulation gives students a chance to practice two-dimensional vector addition in an interactive format with immediate feedback. The magnitude and direction of two vectors are given; the students' task is to determine x and y components, length of the two vectors, and the resultant sum. Users may select "Check Answers" to find out if their response is correct, or select "Show Answers" to see the correct values displayed.

SEE ANNOTATIONS (below) for a tutorial on the topic of vector fundamentals, 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 Source Code
The source code zip archive contains an XML representation of the Vector Addition model. Unzip this archive in your EJS workspace to compile and run this model using EJS. download 7kb .zip
Published: April 25, 2010
previous versions

6-8: 11B/M2. Mathematical models can be displayed on a computer and then modified to see what happens.

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.

An editor-recommended tutorial to accompany the "Vector Addition Model". It begins with very simple concept-building, then moves into detailed explanations of the math involved to determine the magnitude of a vector (both the trigonometric and the parallelogram methods).

Duffy, A. (2010). Vector Addition Model [Computer software]. Retrieved January 19, 2017, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9996&DocID=1629

%A Andrew Duffy %T Vector Addition Model %D April 16, 2010 %U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9996&DocID=1629 %O application/java

%0 Computer Program %A Duffy, Andrew %D April 16, 2010 %T Vector Addition Model %8 April 16, 2010 %U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9996&DocID=1629

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A simpler version of the same simulation that gives students fundamental practice in two-dimensional vector addition in which the components are integers.