Copyright

Graphing Vectors in Math: Magnitude & Direction Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Vectors in Math: Addition, Subtraction, Division & Multiplication

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 What is a Vector?
  • 1:06 What is Magnitude?
  • 1:39 Graphing Magnitude
  • 2:03 What is Direction?
  • 2:56 Graphing Direction
  • 3:28 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

Vectors are some of the most useful parts of math, but their usefulness is only apparent if you know how to graph them. In this lesson, we learn how to graph vectors with respect to both magnitude and direction.

What Is a Vector?

I know, I know, you've heard it time and time again that math is one of the most useful subjects that you'll learn. Sometimes it's hard to remember that when working with things like matrices and parabolas, but trust me, those have real uses. One topic in math that has a very obvious purpose is the study of vectors. When you were younger, you probably remember memorizing that a vector was a line that had exactly one defined end point. In that respect, it was like the combination of a line and a line segment.

However, admit it, that's not what you thought when you saw the title of this lesson. You were likely thinking this could have something to do with some lame sci-fi movie where they talk about finding the correct vector for docking. At least that's what I thought of when I decided to write this lesson! However, we're going to keep the science fiction to a minimum and focus on vectors in their most useful meaning - a quantity moving away from a defined point that has a defined direction and magnitude.

What Is Magnitude?

Ok, direction is pretty straightforward, and we'll discuss it more thoroughly in a moment. However, let's first talk about magnitude. Magnitude is the strength of a particular vector. Strength, however, can present in a number of different measures. It can be in terms of speed, force or any other measure of strength. The important thing is to remember that magnitude is a measure of just how much power that a particular vector has. When you start combining vectors together, the magnitude of a vector can change the course of many vectors with lesser magnitudes.

Graphing Magnitude

Luckily, graphing the vector of a magnitude is as easy as drawing a line. Typically when we graph a vector, we draw it for as long as its magnitude is. Therefore, if you were to look at two vectors on a graph, the one with the shorter length would be the one with the lesser magnitude. Likewise, the vector that stretches for the longest distance across the paper would be the vector that has the greatest magnitude.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support