Conceptual Understanding in Introductory Physics XXXII: Practice With Simple Vector Comptuation

This question is a numerical version of the previous question.

For a given arbitrary vector quantity \mathbf{a}, calculate the following quantities. Use a different vector quantity for each student, and have them do the calculations in a programming language in real time (like GlowScript) to demonstrate coding proficiency. Additionally, these calculations can be done very efficiently using the language’s vector manipulation commands compared to doing them by hand. If you aren’t using computation (and you should be, by the way) then have student do the calculations by hand on the fly. That will reveal much about their proficiency.

  • the magnitude of \mathbf{a}
  • the direction of \mathbf{a}
  • the angle between \mathbf{a} and any or all of the x-axis, y-axis, or z-axis
  • the opposite of \mathbf{a}
  • \frac{2}{3}\mathbf{a}
  • the magnitude of \frac{2}{3}\mathbf{a}
  • the direction of \frac{2}{3}\mathbf{a}

Feedback welcome!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.