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1
Vector
Vectors and their representation :
Vector quantities are specified by definite magnitude and definite direction. A vector is generally
represented by a directed line segment, say AB . A is called the initial point and B is called the
terminal point. The magnitude of vector AB is expressed by  AB .
Zero vector:
A vector of zero magnitude i.e. which has the same initial and terminal point, is called a zero vector.
It is denoted by O. The direction of zero vector is indeterminate.
Unit vector:
A vector of unit magnitude in the direction of a vector a
and is denoted by
a
, symbolically
 a 
a
a
= .
Example # 1 : Find unit vector of k
3 j
2 i
+
Solution :
a
= k
3 j
2 i
+
if
a
= i
a
x
+ j
a
y
+ k
a
z
then  a 
=
2
z
2
y
2
x
a a a + +
 a 
=
14
a
=
 a 
a
=
14
1
i
14
2
j
+
14
3
k
Equal vectors:
Two vectors are said to be equal if they have the same magnitude, direction and represent the same
physical quantity.
Coll i near vectors:
Two vectors are said to be collinear if their directed line segments are parallel irrespective of their
directions. Collinear vectors are also called parallel vectors. If they have the same direction they are
named as like vectors otherwise unlike vectors.
Symbolically, two nonzero vectors
a and
b are collinear if and only if, b a
= , where e R
b a
= ( ) k
a j
a i
a
3 2 1
+ + = ( ) k
b j
b i
b
3 2 1
+ + a
1
= b
1
, a
2
= b
2
, a
3
= b
3
MATHS
"manishkumarphysics.in"
2
1
1
b
a
=
2
2
b
a
=
3
3
b
a
( = )
Vectors a
= a
1
i
+ j
a
2
+ k
a
3
and b
= b
1
i
+ j
b
2
+ k
b
3
are collinear if
1
1
b
a
=
2
2
b
a
=
3
3
b
a
Example # 2 : Find values of x & y for which the vectors
a
= (x + 2) i
(x y) j
+ k
= (x 1) i
+ (2x + y) j
+ 2k
are parallel.
Solution : a
and b
are parallel if
1 x
2 x
+
=
y x 2
x y
+
=
2
1
x = 5, y = 20
Coplanar vectors:
A given number of vectors are called coplanar if their line segments are all parallel to the same plane.
Note that two vectors are always coplanar.
Multiplication of a vector by a scalar :
If a
is a vector parallel to a
and b
+ = +
Self Practice Problems :
(1) Given a regular hexagon ABCDEF with centre O, show that
(i)
OB
OA
=
OC
OD
(ii) OD + OA = 2 OB + OF
(iii) AD + EB + PC = 4 AB
(2) The vector k
and j
4 i
.
(3) The sum of the two unit vectors is a unit vector. Show that the magnitude of the their difference
is 3 .
Answers : (2)
k
15
14
j
15
2
i
3
1
+
Addition of vectors :
(i) If two vectors a
and b
+ is a vector
represented by OC, where OC is the diagonal of the parallelogram OACB.
MATHS
"manishkumarphysics.in"
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(ii)
a b b a + = +
(commutative) (iii)
( ) ( )
a b c a b c + + = + +
(associative)
(iv)
a a a + = = + 0 0 (v)
a a a a + = = + ( ) ( ) 0
(vi)  b   a   b a 
+ s + (vii)   b   a    b a 
>
Example # 3 : If k
3 j
2 i
a + + =
and k
5 j
4 i
2 b + =
and BC =
b
.
Then,
AB
+
BC
=
AC
AC
= b a
+ = k
2 j
6 i
3 +
 AC 
=
4 36 9 + +
= 7
AB + BD = AD
BD = AB AD = a b
= k
8 j
2 i
+
 BD  =
64 4 1 + +
=
69
Unit vector along
AC
=
 AC 
AC
=
7
1
( ) k
2 j
6 i
3 +
and Unit vector along
BD
=
 BD 
BD
=
69
1
( ) k
8 j
2 i
+
Example # 4 : ABCDE is a pentagon. Prove that the resultant of the forces
AB
,
AE
, BC, DC , ED and AC
is 3 AC.
Solution : Let R
= AB + AE + BC + DC + ED + AC
R
= ( AB + BC) + ( AE + ED + DC ) + AC
R
= AC + AC + AC
R
and b
are position
vectors of two points A and B, then
AB = a b
and B ) b (
is AB = b a
SECTION FORMULA
If a
and b
are the position vectors of two points A and B, then the p.v. of
MATHS
"manishkumarphysics.in"
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a point which divides AB in the ratio m: n is given by
n m
b m a n
r
+
+
=
.
Note : Position vector of mid point of AB =
2
b a
+
.
Example # 5 : ABCD is a parallelogram. If L, M be the middle point of BC and CD, express AL and
AM
in
terms of AB and
AD
. Also show that AL + AM =
2
3
AC.
Solution : Let the position vectors of points B and D be respectively b
and d
referred to A as origin of
reference.
Then AC =
AD
+ DC =
AD
+
AB
[ DC = AB ]
AC = d
+ b
AB = b
, AD = d
+ b
+
2
1
d
+ d
+
2
1
b
=
2
3
b
+
2
3
d
=
2
3
( b
+ d
) =
2
3
AC
.
Example # 6 : If ABCD is a parallelogram and E is the mid point of AB. Show by vector method that DE
trisect AC and is trisected by AC.
Solution : Let AB = a
and AD = b
Then BC =
AD
= b
and AC = AB + AD =
a
+ b
+ b
) .........(i)
Again E being the mid point of AB, we have AE =
2
1
a
+
..........(ii)
From (i) and (ii) we find that
AK
=
3
1
( a
+ b
are position vectors of the points (1, 1), (2, m), find the value of m for which
a
and
b
are collinear.
(6) The position vectors of the points A, B, C, D are k
+ + , j
5 i
2 + , k
3 j
2 i
3 + , k
6 i
respectively. Show that the lines AB and CD are parallel and find the ratio of their lengths.
(7) The vertices P, Q and S of a APQS have position vectors q , p
and
s
respectively..
(i) If M is the mid point of PQ, then find position vector of M in terms of q and p
(ii) Find t
.
(iii) If the parallelogram PQRS is now completed. Express
r
(8) D, E, F are the midpoints of the sides BC, CA, AB respectively of a triangle.
Show FE =
2
1
BC and that the sum of the vectors AD , BE , CF is zero.
(9) The median AD of a AABC is bisected at E and BE is produced to meet the side AC
in F. Show that AF =
3
1
AC and EF =
4
1
BF..
(10) Point L, M, N divide the sides BC, CA, AB of AABC in the ratios 1 : 4, 3 : 2, 3 : 7 respectively.
Prove that AL + BM + CN is a vector parallel to CK , when K divides AB in the ratio 1 : 3.
Answers : (4)
OB OC BC =
,
OC OA CA =
,
OA OB AB =
(5) m = 2
(6) 1 : 2 (7) m
=
2
1
) q p (
+
, t
=
2
1
) s q p (
+ +
, r
=
2
1
) s p q (
+
Angle between two vectors :
It is the smaller angle formed when the initial points or the terminal points of the two vectors are
brought together. Note that 0 s u s 180 .
Vector equation of a line :
Parametric vector equation of a line passing through two point ) a ( A
and ) b ( B
is given by r
= ) a b ( t a
+ ,
where 't' is a parameter. If the line passes through the point A a ( )
, then
its equation is b t a r
+ = . Note : r
is
b
b
a
a
+ .
Hence bisector of the angle between the two vectors a
and b
is
( )
a b + , where
e R
+
. Bisector
of the exterior angle between a
and b
is
( )
a b ,
e R
+
.
Note that the equations of the bisectors of the angles between the lines
r =
a +
b and
r =
a +
c
are :
r =
a + t
( )
b c + and
r =
a + p
( )
c b .
Scalar product (Dot Product) of two vectors :
Geometrical interpretation of scalar product :
Let a
and b
be vectors represented by
OA
and
OB
respectively. Let u be the angle between
OA
and
OB
. Draw BL OA and AM OB.
From AOBL and AOAM, we have OL = OB cos u and OM = OA cos u.
u
(b)
(a)
Here OL and OM are known as projections of b
on a
and a
on b
respectively..
Now, b . a
= 
a
 
b
 cos u = 
a
(
b
 cos u )
= 
a
 (OB cos u ) = 
a
 (OL)
= (Magnitude of a
) (Projection of b
on a
) ........(i)
Again b . a
= 
a
 
b
 cos u = 
b
 (
a
 cos u )
= 
b
 (OA cos u) =  b
 (OM)
= (magnitude of b
) (Projection of a
on b
) ........(ii)
Thus geometrically interpreted, the scalar product of two vectors is the product of modulus of either
vector and the projection of the other in its direction.
(i) i
. i
= j
. j
= k
. k
= 1; i
. j
= j
. k
= k
. i
= 0
(ii) Projection of
 b 
b . a
b on a
=
(iii) If a
= a
1
i
+ a
2
j
+ a
3
k
and b
= b
1
i
+ b
2
j
+ b
3
k
, then b . a
= a
1
b
1
+ a
2
b
2
+ a
3
b
3
2
3
2
2
2
1
a a a a + + =
,
2
3
2
2
2
1
b b b b + + =
and b
is given by
 b   a 
b . a
cos
=  , 0 s  s t
(v)
) 0 ( , cos b a b . a t s u s u =
< 0
(vi) b a
= u + cos  b  a  2  b   a 
2 2
= (commutative)
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"manishkumarphysics.in"
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(ix) c . a b . a ) c b ( . a
+ = + (distributive)
(x) b a 0 b . a
= ) 0 b , 0 a ( = =
(xi) ) a m (
. b
= a
. ) b m (
= m ) b . a (
9 j
2 i
3 a + + =
and k
3 j
p i
b + + =
are
(i) perpendicular (ii) parallel
Solution : (i)
b a
b . a
= 0 ( ) k
9 j
2 i
3 + + . ( ) k
3 j
p i
+ + = 0
3 + 2p + 27 = 0 p = 15
(ii) vectors a
= k
9 j
2 i
3 + + and b
= k
3 j
p i
+ b
+ c
= 0
,  a 
= 3,  b 
= 5 and
 c 
= 7, find the angle between
a
and
b
.
Solution : We have,
0 c b a
= + +
b a
+
=
c
( ) b a
+ . ( ) b a
+ = ( ) c
. ( ) c
2
b a
+ =
2
 c 
2
a
+
2
b
+ b . a 2
=
2
c
2
a
+
2
b
+ 2 a
cos u =
2
c
= 2x
2
i
+ 4x
j
+ k
and
b
= 7 i
2 j
+ x k
is obtuse.
Solution : The angle u between vectors
a
and
b
is given by cos u =
 b   a 
b . a
< 0
b . a
< 0 [ 0  b  , a  >
]
14x
2
8x + x < 0 7x (2x 1) < 0
x(2x 1) < 0 0 < x <
2
1
Hence, the angle between the given vectors is obtuse if x e (0, 1/2)
MATHS
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Example #10 : D is the mid point of the side BC of a AABC, show that AB
2
+ AC
2
= 2 (AD
2
+ BD
2
)
Solution : We have AB = AD + DB
AB
2
=
2
) DB AD ( +
AB
2
= AD
2
+ DB
2
+ AD 2 . DB .........(i)
Also we have AC = AD + DC
AC
2
=
2
) DC AD ( +
AC
2
= AD
2
+ DC
2
+
AD 2
.
DC
........(ii)
Adding (i) and (ii), we get AB
2
+ AC
2
= 2AD
2
+ 2BD
2
+ 2 AD . ) DC DB ( +
AB
2
+ AC
2
= 2(AD
2
+ BD
2
)
DB
+
DC
= 0
Example#11: If a
= i
+ j
+ k
and b
= 2 i
+ 3k
, then find
(i) Component of b
along a
. (ii) Component of b
in plane of b & a
but to a
.
Solution : (i) Component of b
along a
is


.

\

2
 a 
b . a
Here a
. b
= 2 1 + 3 = 4
2
 a 
= 3
Hence


.

\

2
 a 
b . a
=
3
4
a
=
3
4
( i
+ j
+ k
)
(ii) Component of b
in plane of b & a
but to a
is b


.

\

2
 a 
b . a
. =
3
1
( ) k
5 j
7 i
2 +
Self Practice Problems :
(11) If a
and b
are unit vectors and u is angle between them, prove that tan
2
u
=
 b a 
 b a 
.
(12) Find the values of x and y if the vectors
a
= k
x i
3 + and
b
= k
y j
2 + + are mutually
perpendicular vectors of equal magnitude.
(13) Let
a
= k
2 j
2 i
x
2
+ , b
= k
+ and c
= k
4 j
5 i
x
2
+ be three vectors. Find the values of x
for which the angle between
a
and
b
and
c
is obtuse.
(14) The points O, A, B, C, D are such that a OA
= , b OB
= , b 3 a 2 OC
+ = , b 2 a OD
+ = .
Given that the length of
OA
is three times the length of
OB
. Show that
BD
and
AC
are
perpendicular.
(15) ABCD is a tetrahedron and G is the centroid of the base BCD. Prove that
AB
2
+ AC
2
+ AD
2
= GB
2
+ GC
2
+ GD
2
+ 3GA
2
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Answers : (12) x =
12
31
, y =
12
41
(13) ( 3, 2) (2, 3)
Vector product (Cross Product) of two vectors:
(i) If b , a
sin b a b x a u =
, where n
is the
unit vector perpendicular to both b and a
such that n
and b , a
.
(iii) 0 k
= = = ; j
, i
, k
= = =
(iv) If a
= a
1
i
+a
2
j
+ a
3
k
and
b
= b
1
i
+ b
2
j
+ b
3
k
, then
3 2 1
3 2 1
b b b
a a a
k
b a =
(v)
a x b b x a =
(not commutative)
(vi) ( ) m a
b =
a ( ) m b
= m( )
a b (associative), where m is a scalar..
(vii)
a x b c a x b a x c ( ) ( ) ( ) + = + (distributive)
(viii) b and a 0 b a
a b = = 0 0 i.e.
a Kb = , where K is a scalar..
(ix) Unit vector perpendicular to the plane of a
and b
is n
=
 b a 
b a
and b
is
 b a 
) b a ( r
= u
(xii) If c and b , a
are the position vectors of 3 points A, B and C respectively, then the vector area of
AABC =
 
1
2
a xb bxc cxa + +
. The points A, B and C are collinear if 0 a x c c x b b x a
= + +
(xiii) Area of any quadrilateral whose diagonal vectors are
2 1
d and d
is given by
2 1
d x d
2
1
(xiv) Lagrange's Identity : For any two vectors
b . b b . a
b . a a . a
) b . a ( b a ) b x a ( ; b and a
2
2
2
2
= =
Example #12 : Find a vector of magnitude 9, which is perpendicular to both the vectors k
3 j
4 +
and k
2 j
2 + .
MATHS
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Solution : Let a
= k
3 j
4 + and b
= k
2 j
2 + . Then
b a
=
2 1 2
3 1 4
k
= (2 3) i
(8 + 6) j
+ (4 2)
k
= k
2 j
2 i
+ +
 b a 
=
2 2 2
2 2 ) 1 ( + + = 3
Required vector = 9


.

\

 b a 
b a
=
3
9
) k
2 j
2 i
( + + = ( k
6 j
6 i
3 + + )
Example #13 : For any three vectors c , b , a
, show that 0 ) b a ( c ) a c ( b ) c b ( a
= + + + + + .
Solution : We have, a
) c b (
+ + b
) a c (
+ + c
) b a (
+
= b c a c a b c b c a b a
+ + = 0
[ b a a b
= etc]
Example #14 : For any vector
a
, prove that
2
 i
a 
+
2
 j
a 
+
2
 k
a 
= 2
2
 a 
Solution : Let
a
= k
a j
a i
a
3 2 1
+ + . Then
i
= ) k
a j
a i
a (
3 2 1
+ +
i
= a
1
) i
( + a
2
) i
( + a
3
) i
( = a
2
j
a k
3
+
2
 i
a 
= a
2
2
+ a
3
2
j
= ) k
a j
a i
a (
3 2 1
+ + j
= i
a k
a
3 1
2
 j
a 
= a
2
1
+ a
3
2
k
= ) k
a j
a i
a (
3 2 i
+ + k
= i
a j
a
2 i
+
2
 k
a 
= a
1
2
+ a
2
2
2
 i
a 
+
2
 j
a 
+
2
 k
a 
= a
2
2
+ a
3
3
+ a
1
2
+ a
3
2
+ a
1
2
+ a
2
2
= 2 (a
1
2
+ a
2
2
+ a
3
2
) = 2
2
 a 
Example #15 : Let OA = a
, OB = 10 a
+ b 2
and
OC
= b
+ =
2
1
 ) a b ( 2 ) b b ( 2 ) a a ( 10 ) b a ( 10 
+
p =
2
1
 ) b a ( 2 0 0 ) b a ( 10 
+ + = 6  b a 
.....(i)
and q = Area of the parallelogram with OA and OC as adjacent sides
q =
 OC OA 
=  b a 
........(ii)
From (i) and (ii), we get p = 6q
MATHS
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Self Practice Problems :
(16) If p
and q
are unit vectors forming an angle of 30. Find the area of the parallelogram having
q 2 p a
+ = and q p 2 b
+ = as its diagonals.
(17) Prove that the normal to the plane containing the three points whose position vectors are
c , b , a
+ +
(18) ABC is a triangle and EF is any straight line parallel to BC meeting AC, AB in E, F respectively.
If BR and CQ be drawn parallel to AC, AB respectively to meet EF in R and Q respectively,
prove that A ARB = AACQ.
Answers : (16) 3/4 sq. units
Shortest distance between two lines :
If two lines in space intersect at a point, then obviously the shortest
distance between them is zero. Lines which do not intersect and are
also not parallel are called skew line. For Skew lines the direction of
the shortest distance would be perpendicular to both the lines.
Let
LM
be the shortest distance vector between the lines L
1
and L
2
. Then
LM
is perpendicular to both
p
and q
i.e.
LM
is parallel to p
LM on AB of ojection Pr  LM  =
= q x p on AB of ojection Pr
=
q x p
) q x p ( . ) a b (
q x p
) q x p ( . AB
=
(i) The two lines directed along q and p
will intersect only if shortest distance = 0
i.e. 0 ) q x p ( . ) a b ( =
i.e. ( ) a b
.
(ii) If two parallel lines are given by b K a r and b K a r
2 2 1 1
+ = + = , then distance (d) between them is
given by
b
) a a ( x b
d
1 2
=
Scalar triple product (Box Product) (S.T.P.) :
(i) The scalar triple product of three vectors c and b , a
is defined as: c b a c . b x a
=  u cos . sin ,
where u is the angle between b , a
(i.e. b a =
.
(i.e. c ) b a (
.
= ) . It is (i.e. c . b a
) also written as   c b a
V = ] c b a [
MATHS
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(iii) In a scalar triple product the position of dot and cross can be interchanged i.e.
] b a c [ ] a c b [ ] c b a [ c . ) b x a ( ) c x b ( . a
= = =
(iv) ] b c a [ ] c b a [ . e . i ) b x c ( . a ) c x b ( . a
= =
(v) If a
= a
1
i
+ a
2
j
+ a
3
k
; b
= b
1
i
+b
2
j
+b
3
k
and c
= c
1
i
+ c
2
j
+ c
3
k
, then
3 2 1
3 2 1
3 2 1
c c c
b b b
a a a
] c b a [ =
.
In general, if n a m a a a
3 2 1
+ + = ; n b m b b b
3 2 1
+ + = and n c m c c c
3 2 1
+ + =
then
    n m
c c c
b b b
a a a
c b a
3 2 1
3 2 1
3 2 1
=
, where n and m ,
are coplanar 0 ] c b a [ =
.
(vii) Scalar product of three vectors, two of which are equal or parallel is 0 0 ] c b a [ =
,
(viii) If
a b c , , are noncoplanar, then 0 ] c b a [ >
[ = 1 (x) ] c b a [ K ] c b a K [
= (xi) ] d c b [ ] d c a [ ] d c ) b a ( [
+ = +
(xii)
 
a b b c c a = 0 and
 
a b b c c a + + + = 2   c b a
.
(xiii)
 
2
c b a
=
c . c b . c a . c
c . b b . b a . b
c . a b . a a . a
Tetrahedron and its properties :
(a) The volume of the tetrahedron OABC with O as origin and the position vectors of A, B and C being
c and b , a
respectively is given by
6
1
V =
  c b a
+ + + .
note that this is also the point of concurrency of the lines joining the vertices to the centroids of the
opposite faces and is also called the centre of the tetrahedron. In case the tetrahedron is regular it is
equidistant from the vertices and the four faces of the tetrahedron.
Example #16 : Find the volume of a parallelopiped whose sides are given by k
5 j
7 i
3 + + , k
3 j
7 i
5 +
and k
3 j
5 i
7
Solution : Let k
5 j
7 i
3 a + + =
, k
3 j
7 i
5 b + =
and k
3 j
5 i
7 c =
.
We know that the volume of a parallelopiped whose three adjacent edges are c , b , a
is
] c b a [
.
MATHS
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13
Now ] c b a [
=
3 5 7
3 7 5
5 7 3
Solution : We have :
] a c c b b a [
= )} c b ( ) b a {(
. ) a c (
[By definition]
= ) c b b b c a b a (
+ . ) a c (
[By distribution law]
= ) c b a c b a (
+ + . ) a c (
[ 0 b b
= ]
= ) b a (
.
c
) b a (
.
a
+ ) a c (
.
c
) a c (
.
a
+ ) c b (
.
c
) c b (
.
a
] a b a [
+ ] c a c [
] a a c [
+ ] c c b [
] a c b [
= ] c b a [
] a c b [
[ When any two vectors are equal, scalar triple product is zero ]
= ] c b a [
] c b a [
= 0 [ ] a c b [
= ] c b a [
]
Example #18 : Find the volume of the tetrahedron whose four vertices have position vectors a
, b
, c
and d
.
Solution : Let four vertices be A, B, C, D with position vectors a
, b
, c
and d
respectively..
DA
= ( a
)
DB
= ( b
)
DC
= ( c
)
Hence volume V =
6
1
[ a
]
=
6
1
( a
) . [( b
) ( c
)]
=
6
1
( a
) . [ b
+ c
]
=
6
1
{[ a
] [ a
] + [ a
] [ d
]}
=
6
1
{[ a
] [ a
] + [ a
] [ b
]}
Example #19 : Show that the vectors k
2 j
2 i
4 b , k
2 j
4 i
2 a = + =
and k
4 j
2 i
2 c + =
are coplanar..
Solution : ] c b a [
=
4 2 2
2 2 4
2 4 2
= 2(8 4) 4(16 4) 2(8 4)
= 24 48 + 24 = 0
So vectors a
, b
, c
are coplanar
MATHS
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Self Practice Problems :
(19) Show that {( a
+ b
+ c
) ( c
)} . a
= 2   c b a
.
(20) Show that 0 ) c b a ( ) c b ( . a = + + +
(21) One vertex of a parallelopiped is at the point A(1, 1, 2) in the rectangular cartesian coordinate. If
three adjacent vertices are at B(1, 0, 2), C(2, 2, 3) and D(4, 2, 1), then find the volume of the
parallelopiped.
(22) Find the value of m such that the vectors k
2 + , k
3 j
2 i
+ and k
5 j
m i
3 + + are coplanar..
(23) Show that the vector c , b , a
+ , a c
+ , b a
+ are coplanar. .
Answers : (21) 72 (22) 4
Vector triple product :
Let c and b , a
. Now
a x b x c ( ) is a vector perpendicular to the plane containing ) c x b ( and a
but
b x c
is a vector perpendicular to the plane containing c and b
, therefore
a x b x c ( ) is a vector which lies
in the plane of c and b
and perpendicular to
a . Hence we can express ) c x b ( x a
in terms of c and b
i.e. ) c x b ( x a
= c y b x
a x b x c ( ) = ( . ) ( . )
a c b a b c
( )
a x b x c =
( . ) ( . )
a c b b c a
In general
( ) ( )
a x b x c a x b x c =
Example #20 : For any vector
a
, prove that ) k a ( k
) j
a ( j
) i
a ( i
+ + =
a 2
Solution : Let k
a j
a i
a a
3 2 1
+ + =
.
Then ) k
a ( k
) j
( j
) i
a ( i
+ +
= } i
) a . i
( a ) i
. i
( {
+ } j
) a . j
( a ) j
. j
{(
+ } k
) a . k
( a ) k
. k
{(
= } j
) a . j
( a { } i
) a . i
( a {(
+ + } k
) a . k
( a {
= k
) a . k
( j
) a . j
( i
) a . i
{( a 3
+ + = ) k
a j
a i
a ( a 3
3 2 1
+ +
= a 2 a a 3
=
Example #21 :
Prove that )} d c ( b { a
= ) c a )( d . b (
) c . b (
) d a (
Solution : We have, )} d c ( b { a
= } d ) c . b ( c ) d . b {( a
= } d ) c . b {( a } c ) d . b {( a
MATHS
"manishkumarphysics.in"
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Example #22 : Let
a
= i
o + j
2 k
3 , b
= i
+ j
2o
k
2
and c
= i
2 j
o + k
( ) a c
= 0
.
Solution : ( ) ( ) { } c b b a
( ) a c
=   c b a
( ) a c
=   c b a
( ) ( ) { } a c . b c b . a
= ( ) c . b
(ii)   c b a
= 0
(i) ( ) b . a
= ( ) c . b
= 0
1 2
2 2 1
3 2
o
o
o
= 0 3o = 2 o =
3
2
Example #23 : If B A
+ = a
, A
. a
= 1 and B A
= b
=
2
 a 
a b a
+
and
B
=
( )
2
2
 a 
1  a  a a b
+
.
Solution : Given a B A
= + .....(i)
( ) B A . a
+ = a . a
a A . a
+ . B
= a . a
1 + B . a
=
2
 a 
B . a
=
2
 a 
1 ...........(ii)
Given b B A
=
( ) B A a
= a
( ) B . a
( ) A . a
b a B
=
( ) 1  a 
2
B A
= b a
=
2
 a 
a b a
+
and B
=
( )
2
2
 a 
1  a  a a b
+
Example #24 : Solve for r
= , 0 a . r =
provided a
is not
perpendicular to b
.
Solution :
) c r (
= 0
c r
and b
are collinear
b k c r
=
r
= b k c
+ ........(i)
a . r
= 0
MATHS
"manishkumarphysics.in"
16
) b k c (
+ . a
= 0
k =
b . a
c . a
putting in (i) we get
b . a
c . a
c r
= b
Example #25 : If b x k a x
= + , where k is a scalar and b , a
in terms
of b , a
and k.
Solution :
b x k a x
= +
..........(i)
Premultiply the given equation vectorially by
a
) a x ( a
+ k ) x a (
=
b a
b a ) x a ( k a ) x . a ( x ) a . a (
= + ..........(ii)
Premultiply (i) scalarly by
a
] a x a [
+ ) x . a ( k
= b . a
b . a ) x . a ( k
= .......(iii)
Substituting a x
from (i) and x . a
from (iii) in (ii) we get
x
=
2 2
k a
1
+
(
(
+ + a
k
) b . a (
) b a ( b k
.
(25) Find the unit vector coplanar with i
+ j
+ 2k
and i
+ 2 j
+ k
and perpendicular to i
+ j
+ k
.
(26) Prove that ) a b ( ) a . a ( )} b a ( a { a
= .
(27) Given that
2
p
1
x
+ ) x . p (
q p
= , show that q . p
2
1
x . p
= and find
x
in terms of p
and q
.
(28) If a . x
= 0, b . x
= 0 and c . x
= 0 for some nonzero vector
x
= 0
(29) Prove that
r
=
] c b a [
) c b ( ) a . r (
+
] c b a [
) a c ( ) b . r (
+
] c b a [
) b a ( ) c . r (
where c , b , a
+ k
) and x
= q
p
 p  2
q . p
2


.

\

Linear combinations :
Given a finite set of vectors
a b c , , ,...... , then the vector
r xa yb zc = + + +........ is called a linear
combination of
a b c , , ,...... for any x, y, z..... e R. We have the following results:
(a) If
a b , are non zero, noncollinear vectors, then ' y y , ' x x b ' y a ' x b y a x = = + = +
MATHS
"manishkumarphysics.in"
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(b) Fundamental Theorem in plane : Let
a b , be non zero, non collinear vectors, then any vector
r
coplanar
with
a b , can be expressed uniquely as a linear combination of b and a
+ = .
(c) If
a b c , , are nonzero, noncoplanar vectors, then
xa yb zc x a y b z c x x y y z z
+ + = + + = = = ' ' ' ' , ' , '
(d) Fundamental theorem in space: Let
a b c , , be nonzero, noncoplanar vectors in space.
Then any vector
r can be uniquely expressed as a linear combination of
a b c , , i.e. there exist
some unique x,y, z e R such that xa yb zc r
+ + = .
(e) If
n 2 1
x ......, , x , x
are n non zero vect ors and k
1
, k
2
, . . . . . , k
n
are n scal ars and i f t he l i near
combi nat i on 0 k ....., , 0 k , 0 k 0 x k ....... x k x k
n 2 1 n n 2 2 1 1
= = = = + + +
, t hen we say t hat vect ors
n 2 1
x ......, , x , x
are linearly independent vectors.
(f) If
n 2 1
x ......, , x , x
are not linearly independent then they are said to be linearly dependent vectors.
i.e. if 0 x k ...... x k ...... x k x k x k
n n r r 3 3 2 2 1 1
= + + + + + and if there exists at least one k
r
= 0, then
n 2 1
x ......, , x , x
are said to be linearly dependent vectors.
Note 1: If k
r
= 0; 0 x k ...... x k ...... x k x k x k
n n r r 3 3 2 2 1 1
= + + + + +
= + + + + + +
+ +
k x k x k x k x k x k x
r r r r r r n n
1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1
....... . . ......
= + + + + +
k
k
x k
k
x k
k
x k
k
x k
k
x
r
r
r
r r
r
r
r n
r
n
1 1 1 1 1
1 1 2 2 1 1
..... . .....
1 r 1 r 2 2 1 1 r
x c ...... x c x c x
+ + + = +
n n 1 r 1 r
x c ....... x c
+ +
+ +
i.e.
x
r
is expressed as a linear combination of vectors
n 1 r 1 r 2 1
x , .......... , x , x ,........, x , x
+
Hence
n 1 r 1 r 2 1 r
x ......., , x , x ........, , x , x with x
+
forms a linearly dependent set of vectors.
Note 2:
If
a = 3 i
+ 2
j
+ 5k
then
a is expressed as a Linear Combination of vectors i
,
j
, k
. Also Also
a , i
,
j
,
k
form a linearly dependent set of vectors. In general, in 3 dimensional space every set of four vectors
is a linearly dependent system.
i
,
j
, k
+ K
2
j
+ K
3
k
= 0
K
1
= K
2
= K
3
= 0
Two vectors a
and b
a is parallel to
b i.e. 0 b a
= linear dependence of a
and b
. Conversely if 0 b a
= then a
and b
= 0. Conversely if
] c b a [
2b
+ 3 c
, 2 a
+ 3b
4 c
, 7b
+ 10 c
2b
+ 3 c
, OB = 2 a
+ 3b
4 c
and OC= 7b
+ 10 c
+ 5b
7 c
)
and AC = p.v. of C p.v of AA
= OA OC = ) c 7 b 5 a (
+ = AB
AC = AB where = 1. Hence
AB
and
AC
are linearly dependent
Example #27: Prove that the vectors 5 a
+ 6b
+ 7 c
, 7 a
8b
+ 9 c
and 3 a
+ 20b
+ 5 c
are linearly
dependent, where a
, b
, c
+ 6b
+ 7 c
= ( 7 a
8b
+ 9 c
) + m (3 a
+ 20b
+ 5 c
)
where , m are scalars
Comparing the coefficients of a
, b
and c
e w e v e u
3 2 1
= + +
where k
e
1
=
, k
e
2
+ =
,
k
2 j
e
3
+ =
?
(31) Consider a base c , b , a
and a vector c b 3 a 2
+ = ,
c 2 b a 3 r
+ + =
.
(32) If a
and b
=(x + 4y) a
+ (2x + y + 1) b
and B
= (y 2x + 2)
a
+ (2x 3y 1) b
+ , c 4 b 3 a 2
+ , c 2 b
+ , c b 4 a 2
, c b 2 a 3
, j
2 i
are two vectors. Find a unit vector coplanar with these vectors and
perpendicular to the first vector j
, j
, i
,
j
3 = o
, k
3 j
2 + = 
. Express 
in the form
2 1
 +  = 
where
1

is parallel to
o
and
2

is perpendicular to
o
.
(36) Prove that a vector
r
in the form
] c b a [
c ] b a r [ b ] a c r [ a ] c b r [
r
+ +
=
Answers : (30) No (31) (0, 7/5, 1/5) (32) x = 2, y = 1
(34)
2
1
) j
( + ; k
(35) j
2
1
i
2
3
1
= 
, k
3 j
2
3
i
2
1
2
+ = 
= ) c b (
, b'
= ) a c (
and c'
= ) b a (
, where =
] c b a [
1
} c ) b . a ( b ) c . a {( )} c b ( a { ) c b ( a a a
= = = '
} a ) c . b ( c ) a . b {( )} a c ( b { ) a c ( b b b
= = = '
and } b ) a . c ( a ) b . c {( )} b a ( c { ) b a ( c c c
= = = '
c c b b a a ' + ' + '
= } b ) a . c ( a ) b . c {( } a ) c . b ( c ) a . b {( } c ) b . a ( b ) c . a {(
+ +
= ] b ) a . c ( a ) b . c ( a ) c . b ( c ) a . b ( c ) b . a ( b ) c . a [(
+ +
=
] b ) c . a ( a ) c . b ( a ) c . b ( c ) b . a ( c ) b . a ( b ) c . a [(
+ +
= 0 0
=
Equation of a plane :
(i) The equation 0 n . ) r r (
0
=
represents a plane containing the point with position vector
n where , r
0
is a vector normal to the plane.
MATHS
"manishkumarphysics.in"
20
The above equation can also be written as d n . r =
, where d = n . r
0
(ii) Angle between two planes is the angle between two normals drawn to the planes and the angle
between a line and a plane is the compliment of the angle between the line and the normal to
the plane.
(iii) The length of perpendicular (p) from a point having position vector a
to the plane d n . r =
is
given by p =
 n 
 d n . a 
(iv) If ) a r (
. 0 n
1
=
and ) a r (
. 0 n
2
=
+ + = 0
, where x + y + z = 0.
Test of coplanarity :
Four points A, B, C, D with position vectors
a b c d , , , respectively are coplanar if and only if there
exist scalars x, y, z, w not all zero simultaneously such that xa + yb+zc +wd
= 0
, where
x + y + z + w = 0.
Example #29 : Show that the vectors c 3 b a 2
+ , c 2 b a
+ and c 3 b a
+ = x ( ) c 2 b a
+ + y ( ) c 3 b a
+ = (x + y) a
+ (x + y) b
+ (2x 3y) c
2 = x + y, 1 = x + y and 3 = 2x 3y.
Solving first and third of these equations, we get x = 9 and y = 7.
Clearly these values do not satisfy the second equation.
Hence the given vectors are not coplanar.
Example #30: Prove that four points c b 3 a 2
+ , c 3 b 2 a
+ , c 2 b 4 a 3
+ and c 6 b 6 a
+ are coplanar..
Solution : Let the given four points be P, Q, R and S respectively. These points are coplanar if the vectors
PQ ,
PR
and PS are coplanar. These vectors are coplanar iff one of them can be expressed
as a linear combination of other two. So let PQ = x
PR
+ y PS
c 4 b 5 a
+
= x ( ) c b a
+ + y ( ) c 7 b 9 a
c 4 b 5 a
+
= (x y)
a
+ (x 9y)
b
+ (x + 7y)
c
x y = 1, x 9y = 5, x + 7y = 4 [Equating coeff. of c , b , a
on both sides]
Solving the first two equations of these three equations, we get x =
2
1
, y =
2
1
.
These values also satisfy the third equation. Hence the given four points are coplanar.
Self Practice Problems :
(37) If d , c , b , a
are any four vectors in 3dimensional space with the same initial point and such
MATHS
"manishkumarphysics.in"
21
that 0 d 2 c b 2 a 3
+
,
a c b
and
c 4 b 3 a 2
are noncoplanar, where c , b , a
are
any noncoplanar vectors.
(39) Find the value of for which the four points with position vectors k
, k
5 i
4 + + , k
4 j
9 i
3 + +
and k
4 j
4 i
4 + + are coplanar..
Answers : (37)
4
c a 3
p
+
= P divides AC in 1 : 3 and BD in 1 : 1 ratio (39) = 1
Application of vectors :
(a) Work done against a constant force
F
over a displacement
s is defined as s . F W
=
(b) The tangential velocity
Vof a body moving in a circle is given by r x V
e = , where
r is the position
vector of the point P.
(c) The moment of
F about O is defined as r where , F x r M
3 j
2 i
6 + + and k
6 j
2 i
3 +
respectively act on a particle which is displaced from the point (2, 2, 1) to (4, 3, 1). Find the
work done by the forces.
Solution : Let F
=
9 4 36
) k
3 j
2 i
6 (
5
+ +
+ +
+ 3
36 4 9
) k
6 j
2 i
3 (
+ +
+
=
7
1
) k
33 j
4 i
39 ( + +
and d
= ) k
3 i
4 ( + +
) k
2 i
2 ( +
= k
2 j
2 + +
Total work done = F
. d
=
7
1
) k
33 j
4 i
39 ( + + . ) k
2 j
2 ( + +
=
7
1
(78 + 4 + 66) =
7
148
units.
Self Practice Problems :
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"manishkumarphysics.in"
22
(40) A point describes a circle uniformly in the i
, j
to j
,
find the position vector at the end of 7 seconds. Also find the velocity vector.
(41) The force represented by k
2 i
3 j
4 i
3 i
+ + .
(42) Find the moment of the couple formed by the forces k
5 + and k
3 + ,
12
t
( ) j
3 i
(41) k
3 j
20 i
2 (42) k
5 j
Miscellaneous solved examples
Example #32 : Show that the points A, B, C with position vectors k
2 + , k
5 j
3 i
and k
4 j
4 i
3
respectively are the vertices of a right angled triangle. Also find the remaining angles of the
triangle.
Solution : We have,
AB = Position vector of B Position vector of A
= ) k
5 j
3 i
( ) k
2 ( + = k
6 j
2 i
BC = Position vector of C Position vector of B
= ) k
4 j
4 i
3 ( ) k
5 j
3 i
( = k
2 +
and, CA = Position vector of A Position vector of C
= ) k
2 ( + ) k
4 j
4 i
3 ( = k
5 j
3 i
+ +
Since
AB
+
BC
+ CA =
) k
6 j
2 i
(
+ ) k
2 ( + + ) k
5 j
3 i
( + + = 0
2 ( + . ) k
5 j
3 i
( + + = 2 3 + 5 = 0
BC
CA
ZBCA =
2
t
Hence ABC is a right angled triangle.
Since A is the angle between the vectors AB and
AC
. Therefore
cos A =
 AC   AB 
AC . AB
=
2 2 2 2 2 2
) 5 ( ) 3 ( 1 ) 6 ( ) 2 ( ) 1 (
) k
5 j
3 i
( . ) k
6 j
2 i
(
+ + + +
=
25 9 1 36 4 1
30 6 1
+ + + +
+ +
=
35 41
35
=
41
35
A = cos
1
41
35
cos B =
 BC   BA 
BC . BA
=
2 2 2 2 2 2
) 1 ( ) 1 ( 2 6 2 1
) k
2 ( . ) k
6 j
2 i
(
+ + + +
+ + +
cos B =
6 41
6 2 2 +
=
41
6
B = cos
1
41
6
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Example #33 : If c , b , a
+ +
is
equally inclined with vectors b , a
and
c
.
Solution : Let  a 
=  b 
=  c 
= (say). Since c , b , a
are mutually
perpendicular vectors, therefore b . a
= c . b
= a . c
= 0 ..............(i)
Now,
2
c b a
+ + = a . a
+ b . b
+ c . c
+ b . a 2
+ c . b 2
+ a . c 2
=
2
 a 
 +
2
 b 
+
2
 c 
[Using (i) ]
= 3
2
[  a 
=  b 
=  c 
= ]
 c b a 
+ + =
3
..............(ii)
Suppose c b a
+ + makes angles u
1
, u
2
, u
3
with b , a
and
c
respectively. Then,
cosu
1
=
 c b a   a 
) c b a ( . a
+ +
+ +
=
 c b a   a 
c . a b . a a . a
+ +
+ +
=
 c b a   a 
 a 
2
+ +
=
 c b a 
 a 
+ +
=
3
=
3
1
[Using (ii)]
u
1
= cos
1


.

\

3
1
Similarly, u
2
= cos
1


.

\

3
1
and u
3
= cos
1


.

\

3
1
u
1
= u
2
= u
3
.
Hence, c b a
and c
Example #34 : Prove using vectors : If two medians of a triangle are equal, then it is isosceles.
Solution : Let ABC be a triangle and let BE and CF be two equal medians. Taking A as the origin, let the
position vectors of B and C be
b
and
c
respectively. Then,
P.V. of E =
2
1
c
and P.V. of F =
2
1
b
BE
=
2
1
) b 2 c (
CF
=
2
1
) c 2 b (
Now, BE = CF
 BE 
=
 CF 
2
 BE 
=
2
 CF 
2
) b 2 c (
2
1
=
2
) c 2 b (
2
1
4
1
2
 b 2 c 
=
4
1
2
 c 2 b 
2
 b 2 c 
=
2
 c 2 b 
) b 2 c (
. ) b 2 c (
= ) c 2 b (
. ) c 2 b (
c . c
c . b 4
+ b . b 4
= b . b
c . b 4
+ c . c 4
2
 c 
c . b 4
+ 4
2
 b 
=
2
 b 
c . b 4
+
2
 c  4
MATHS
"manishkumarphysics.in"
24
3
2
 b 
= 3
2
 c 
2
 b 
=
2
 c 
AB = AC Hence triangle ABC is an isosceles triangle.
Example #35 : Using vectors : Prove that cos (A + B) = cos A cos B sin A sin B
Solution : Let OX and OY be the coordinate axes and let i
and j
and
LP = (OP sin A) ( ) j
Now, OL + LP = OP
OP = OP [(cos A ) i
(sin A) A) j
] ......(i)
In AOMQ, OM = OQ cos B and MQ = OQ sin B.
Therefore, OM = (OQ cos B) i
, MQ = (OQ sin B) j
Now, OM + MQ= OQ
OQ = ] j
) B (sin i
) B [(cos OQ + ......(ii)
From (i) and (ii), we get
OP
.
OQ
= OP [(cos A)
i
(sin A) A) j
] . OQ [(cos B) i
+ (sin B) j
]
= OP . OQ [cos A cos B sin A sin B]
But,
OP
.
OQ
=
 OP   OQ 
cos (A + B) = OP . OQ cos (A + B)
OP . OQ cos (A + B) = OP . OQ [cos A cos B sin A sin B]
cos (A + B) = cos A cos B sin A sin B
Example #36 : Prove that in any triangle ABC
(i) c
2
= a
2
+ b
2
2ab cos C (ii) c = bcosA + acosB.
Solution : (i) In AABC,
AB
+ BC +
CA
= 0
BC
+
CA
=
AB
......(i)
Squaring both sides
( BC)
2
+ (
CA
)
2
+ 2 ( BC). CA = ( AB )
2
a
2
+ b
2
+ 2 (
BC
.
CA
) = c
2
c
2
= a
2
+ b
2
+ 2 ab cos (t C)
c
2
= a
2
+ b
2
2ab cosC
(ii) ( BC+ CA ). AB = AB . AB
BC . AB + CA . AB = c
2
ac cosB bc cos A = c
2
acosB + bcosA = c.
Example #37 : If D, E, F are the midpoints of the sides of a triangle ABC, prove by vector method that area of
ADEF =
4
1
(area of AABC)
Solution : Taking A as the origin, let the position vectors of B and C be b
and
c
+ ,
2
1
c
and
2
1
b
respectively..
MATHS
"manishkumarphysics.in"
25
Now, DE =
2
1
c
2
1
) c b (
+ =
2
b
and
DF
=
2
1
b
2
1
( ) c b (
+ =
2
c