Lectures on Physics has been derived from Benjamin Crowell's Light and Matter series of free introductory textbooks on physics. See the editorial for more information....

Finding the components from the magnitude and angle

Given that the straight-line distance from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is 370 km, and that the angle θ in the figure is 38 , how can the x and y components of the Δr vector be found?

The sine and cosine of θ relate the given information to the information we wish to find:

Solving for the unknowns gives

Last Update: 2010-11-11