Workout: Adding multiple vectors


Vectors and Adding vectors.


To working with vectors, go to the PhET simulation Vector Addition. Turn on the grid. Your screen should look like the image at the right. 

Answer these questions

  1. You take a walk in the park for 15 steps using a compass that points 25º North of East. How would you use the simulation to represent your path? 
  2. Explain why the same representation works for illustrating this different scenario: You drive at 15 miles/hour using a compass that points 25º North of East.
  3. Express the resulting displacements as the sum of two vectors: one pointing in the x-direction and one point in the y-direction. Describe your vectors.
  4. How do the "Style 1, 2, and 3" representations compare to what you did in part 3? What are the differences among these representations?
  5. Write another scenario using different units that could also be represented the same way.
  6. In the simulation, a vector is described by four measurements: |R|, θ, Rx, and Ry. Put a vector in the work area, and then investigate to make sense of what these four things represent. In your investigation, use a wide variety of vector measurements and all three styles of Component Displays. Then, describe in your own words what the measurements represent and what “component” means.


Dave Buehrle, Fall 2016

Article 313
Last Modified: April 23, 2019