VECTOR IDENTIFICATIONVectorsCP-02Page 4Rev. 0Figure 3 Rectangular Coordinate SystemVECTOR IDENTIFICATIONVectors are symbolized in specific ways in texts and on graphs, using letters or rectangularcoordinates.InWrittenMaterialsIn textbooks, vector quantities are often represented by simply using a boldfaced letter (A, B, C, R).Particular quantities are predefined (F- force, V- velocity, and A- acceleration). Vector quantitiesare sometimes represented by ,,,. Regardless of the convention used, specific vectorA B C Rquantities must include magnitude and direction (for example, 50 mph due north, or 50 lbf at 90 ).oGraphicRepresentationVector quantities are graphicallyrepresented using the rectangularcoordinate system, a two-dimensionalsystem that uses an x-axis and a y-axis.The x-axis is a horizonal straight line.The y-axis is a vertical straight line,perpendicular to the x-axis. Anexample of a rectangular system isshown in Figure 3.The intersection of the axes is calledthe point of origin. Each axis ismarked off in equal divisions in all fourdirections from the point of origin. Onthe horizonal axis (x), values to theright of the origin are positive (+).Values to the left of the origin arenegative (-). On the vertical axis (y),values above the point of origin arepositive (+). Values below the origin are negative (-). It is very important to use the same units (divisions)on both axes.The rectangular coordinate system creates four infinite quadrants. Quadrant I is located above andto the right of the origin. Quadrant II is located above and to the left of the origin. Quadrant III issituated to the left and below the origin, and quadrant IV is located below and to the right of theorigin (see Figure 3).

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