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Mathematically a vector in the plane is just an ordered pair of **real numbers**. Physicists tend to embellish this rather spare **definition** so that their vectors are represented by arrows with direction and magnitude indicating the direction and strength of forces, velocities, and accelerations among other things. Consider a point moving in the xy coordinate plane so that it traces out some curve as the path of its **motion**. As the point moves along this curve, the x and y coordinates are changing as **functions** of time. Suppose that x=f(t) and y=g(t). Now the mathematician will say that the position at any time t is (f(t),g(t)) and will say that the position vector for the point is R(t)=(f(t),g(t)). The physicist will say that the position vector R(t) is an...

This section contains 807 words(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page) |