sinoppositehypotenuseaccosadjacenthypotenusebctan oppositeadjacentabVECTORS: RESULTANTS AND COMPONENTSVectorsCP-02Page 12Rev. 0Figure 13 Right TriangleAs an exercise, the student should graphically find the easterly and northerly components of a13 mile displacement at 22.6 north of east. The correct answer is 5 miles east and 12 milesonorth.Trigonometry may also be used to determine vector components. Before explaining this method,it may be helpful to review the fundamental trigonometric functions. Recall that trigonometry isa branch of mathematics that deals with the relationships between angles and the length of the sidesof triangles. The relationship between an acute angle of a right triangle, shown in Figure 13, andits sides is given by three ratios.(2-1)(2-2)(2-3)Before attempting to calculate vector components, first make a rough sketch that shows theapproximate location of the resultant vector in an x-y coordinate system. It is helpful to form avisual picture before selecting the correct trigonometric function to be used. Consider the exampleof Figure 12, that was used previously. This time the component vectors will be calculated.

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