Physics 163

Unit 3: Motion in Two-Dimensions

Problem Set A

Overview:

Problem Set A targets your ability to use right angle trigonometry and vector addition principles to analyze physical situations involving displacement vectors and to interpret and solve such word story problems. There are about five skills or conceptual understandings which you will need to have a solid grasp of in order to be successful on Problem Set A:

2. One convention commonly used for expressing the direction of vectors is the counter-clockwise from east convention. The direction of a vector is represented as the counter-clockwise angle of rotation which the vector makes with due East. The use of this convention can be reviewed at The Physics Classroom.
3. Vectors which are added at right angles to each other will sum to a resultant vector which is the hypotenuse of a right triangle. The Pythagorean theorem can be used to relate the magnitude of the hypotenuse to the magnitudes of the other two sides of the triangle. The angles within the right triangle can be determined from knowledge of the length of the sides using SOH CAH TOA. These basic principles of right triangle trigonometry can be reviewed at The Physics Classroom.
4. A vector which makes an angle with to one of the axes can be projected onto the axes to determine its components. SOH CAH TOA can be used to resolve such a vector and determine the magnitudes of its x- and y- components. The method of vector resolution can be reviewed at The Physics Classroom.
5. The order in which vectors are added does not effect the magnitude or direction of the resultant. This principle can be reviewed at the Multimedia Physics Studios.

View Sample Problem Set.