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Inquiry: Vector Addition

Purpose: In this inquiry you will examine vector addition.


Solve the first two inquiry questions below and then use the Trinket to check your work. Click Run to test your problems. You can enter the magnitude and angle of three vectors (red, yellow and blue). If you only want to add two vectors enter (0,0) for the blue vector. The resultant magnitude and angle will be printed beneath the vector addition picture. For the second problem, attempt to add the vectors in a different order and see if it affects the resultant.

Inquiry Questions:

  1. A bulldozer pushes a large platform at 15.0 mph due north. A forklift on the platform moves at 14.1 mph at 45.0º N of E. What is the resultant velocity of the forklift? (magnitude and direction)

  2. Find the resultant of the following three vectors:
    • 31.6 mph @ 71.6º
    • 22.4 mph @ 296.6º
    • 28.3 mph @ 135.0º

    Add the 3 vectors in the applet in a different order. Does the resultant change?

  3. A motorboat travels at 8.0 m/s on a heading of 25.0º upstream on a river which is flowing at a rate of 3.0 m/s. What will be the resultant speed and direction of the boat as viewed by someone on the river bank?

  4. An airplane flies in a direction of 280.0º at 200.0 m/s. If the wind has a velocity of 40.0 m/s at 0.00º. Determine the magnitude and direction of the resultant velocity.

  5. If an airplane has a cruising speed of 130.0 mph and the wind velocity is 25.0 mph at 0.00º, calculate the speed of the airplane and the time of flight when it goes from St. Louis to Toledo according to the following map.

The order of vector addition is irrelevant!