How to Calculate a Vector Using Trigonometry

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Calculating a vector using trigonometry always requires you to keep a few very important things in mind. Calculate a vector using trigonometry with help from a mathematics educator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Trigonometry Education
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang, and we're here to talk about how to calculate a vector using trigonometry. Now vectors are a very important part in trigonometry to kind of help you track objects, determine force, etc. and but to use trigonometry to calculate a vector is actually goes back to a very important definition. Now first let's talk about the basics of it. You start generally with two points, an initial point and a terminal point. Now an initial point is labeled P1 and P2 where P1 is like the X coordinate, P2 is like the Y coordinate and the terminal point is Q1 and Q2. So initial point is where you're starting from, terminal point is where you're ending it. Now to calculate a vector using this and this is what's called component notation, you want to take, it's always the terminal numbers minus the initial numbers. So the first component is Q1 minus P1 and Q2 minus P2. So it's the X coordinate of the terminal minus the X coordinate of the initial and then the Y coordinate of the terminal minus the Y coordinate of the initial. So as long as you follow this you will definitely be able to calculate the vector very easily. So I'm Jimmy Chang and that's how to use trigonometry to calculate a vector.


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