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## Name: ________________________( ) Class: _______________

Resolution of vectors

Vectors are often resolved in two components: the vertical component and the
horizontal component.

F
v
F

F
h

Example: Find the horizontal and vertical and components of the 500 N.

y

F
y
F = 500 N

40
o
O X
Horizontal component of F, F
x

To find the horizontal component:

Step 1: Drop a perpendicular from the 500 N force to the x-axis
Step 2: Calculate the horizontal component as illustrated below:
F
x
=cos 40

F

F
x
=F cos 40
o

Therefore, the horizontal component of F, F
x
=F cos 40
o

To find the vertical component:

Step 1: Drop a perpendicular from the 500 N force to the y-axis
Step 2: Calculate the vertical component as illustrated below:
F
y
=sin 40
o

F

F
y
=F sin 40
o

Therefore, the vertical component of F, F
y
=F sin 40
o
Figure shows how in two dimensions vector F is split
into its two components F
v
and F
h.

The two components, taken together, have exactly the
same effect as the single vector F.

The magnitude of the two components are given by
F
h
=F cos

F
v
=F sin

2
Example: Find the resultant of the four forces shown.

In the horizontal direction to the left, the total force is given by:
(545N x cos 24
o
) +(425N x cos 15
o
) (500N x cos 40
o
) 330N x cos 27
o
=498N +411N 383N 294N
=232N

In the vertical upwards direction, the total force is given by:
(545N x sin 24
o
) - (425N x sin 15
o
) +(500N x sin 40
o
) (330N x sin 27
o
)
=222N +321N 110N 150N
=283N

Using Pythagorass theorem,
F
2
=232
2
+283
2
F =366 N
and tan =232/283
=39.3
o

The resultant force F therefore has a magnitude of 366 N inclined in a direction 39
o
to
the left of vertically upwards.

Questions

1.

500 N

545N

24
o
40
o
425N 15
o
27
o
330N

F 283 N

232N
4.5 N 4.5 N

40
o
40
o

A lamp is suspended from two wires as shown in
the diagram. The tension in each wire is 4.5 N

a. Calculate the magnitude of the resultant force
exerted on the lamp by the wires.

b. What is the weight of the lamp? Explain your
3
2.
O

tug A

3. A body of mass 10 kg is sliding down a slope inclined at 30
o
to the horizontal at
a constant speed as shown below. Taking g as 10 m/s
2
, calculate

a. the component of the weight along the inclined plane, hence the force needed to stop
the object from sliding,
b. the reaction force R.

R
mg
Component of the weight
along the inclined plane
30
o
Two tugs A and B pull a ship a long the
direction XO. Tug A exerts a force on the ship of
3.0 x 10
4
N at an angle of 15
o
to XO. Tug B
pulls with a force of 1.8 x 10
4
N at and angle to
XO.

a. Find the angle for the resultant
force on the boat to be along XO;

(Hint: when the resultant force is along XO,
the component of the resultant force in the
direction perpendicular to XO is zero.)

b. Find the value of this resultant force.
18 kN
30 kN
15
o
tug B
X

4
4. A microphone of mass 500 g is hung from the ceiling by a wire.

a. What is the tension in the wire?

b. A horizontal force F pulls the wire to make an angle of 30
o
with the vertical as shown in
the figure below.

Calculate
(i) the new tension in the wire,
(ii) (ii) the magnitude of F.