Two Dimensional Vectors

A vector is most simply just an arrow. The direction of the arrow is given through which way the arrow points and the length of the arrow shows the magnitude or strength. A vector, as we have previously discussed shows magnitude and direction.

Many times in physics, vectors are used to represent quantities such as forces in a diagram. The diagrams below show a force vector (blue) with a magnitude of 316N at 35° north of east. The two graphs together show that every vector is made of its x (red) and y (green) components. When added, the x and y components give the vector. The top diagram shows the x component and the bottom diagram shows the y component.