Basics of vectors for AQA GCSE Maths
This page covers the following topics:
1. Vector basics
2. Column vectors
3. Equal vectors
Vector is a quantity with both a magnitude and a direction. In textbooks, vectors are denoted by a BOLD letter such as v. As it is hard to write bold letters in pen or paper, written work often uses different notation such as v, v, arrow or AB(arrow). The order of letters and arrows in the last example is important - in this case it tells us that the vector is going from point A to point B.
Column notation (column vectors) and horizontal bracket notation (row vectors) can be used to express vectors. Horizontal bracket notation has no commas between the components, and should not be confused with coordinates.
Equal vectors are vectors which have the same magnitude and direction, regardless of where they are located. Say we have a vector r, then the negative vector −r has the same magnitude as r, but points in the opposite direction.
What is the magnitude and the direction of the vector shown?
magnitude = 5, x direction
Which of the following are ways in which you can denote a vector as?
1) a (bold)
2) a (underlined)
3) 𝑎 ⃗
4. (𝐴𝐵) ⃗
All of them are ways in which you can denote vectors.
What is another correct way in which we can denote vector v?
From the image shown, what label would you give the vector next to the question mark?
Consider the following diagram (of a parallelogram). Vector r is the vector from C to A. What is the vector from D to B?
Note that the vector from C to A and the vector from D to B travel in the same direction, and also cover the same distance. Therefore they are equal vectors, so vector r also travels from D to B; DB = r.
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