Help Needed With Drawing Vector Diagrams

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by amusedtodeath24, Jun 4, 2008.

1. amusedtodeath24

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Hi,

I am having trouble solving the following problem:

"A weather balloon travels upward for 6 km while the wind blows it 10 km north and 8 km east. Approximately what is the final displacement from its initial position?"

I am not understanding how to draw a vector diagram to solve this problem...any suggestions as to how I can tackle problems such as these?

Thank you.

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3. Vincenzo333

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If I'm not mistaking... it's a vector summation problem. Best thing to do is to draw the picture adding the vectors from head to tail.

then go on from there

4. nothing123

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Here, upward is the same as north. So the weather balloon itself travels 6 km north. The wind then pushes it 10 more km north and then 8 km to the east (right). If you draw it out on paper you should get a right angled triangle with one side of 16 km and the other of 8 km. Now just apply the Pythagorean theorem to find the length of the hypotenuse and that's your displacement.

5. 170559

Is this a trick question? I read upwards as Z axis. So the balloon is moving along all 3 axis x,y & z. So in this case the solution would be the vector sum (S1) in the x & y (S1=x+y) and then the vector sum S1 & z (S1+z).

Its confusing on what they mean though. Do you know the answer(a,b,cd options)?

6. nothing123

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Sorry, I misinterpreted. Just because it's a weather balloon, it would be logical to assume upward equals z-axis. The same Pythagorean theorem would apply though according to the vector sums of the poster above.