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BPK201

Biomechanics

Forces are vectors!


Recall that we can replace
the action of many forces
with a single net force. But
the effect of the net force
doesnt just depend on its
magnitude, it also depends
on the direction that it is
pushing.

Vectors

Fnet

Scalars and Vectors


Scalars: variables that are fully
defined by magnitude only (e.g.
volume, temperature, energy).
These can be positive or negative
valued, but ultimately exist on a
single number line. Scalars are just
a single number!

-4

-3

-2

-1

Vectors are not just 2 dimensional


- they can be any dimension.
Mechanics typically deals with 2D
or 3D vectors.

We need an expanded version of


math to compute with vectors. This
includes addition and
multiplication. (The latter has two
types which is different than scalar
math). In this class, vectors will be
noted with an arrow over the
variable.

3
2
1

-4

-3

-2

-1

4
3

Deep Thought: scalars are just 1D


vectors (all the math works out).

What if one thing (i.e. variable)


needs more than one number to
describe it?
Vectors: variables that are fully
defined by magnitude AND direction
(e.g. force, velocity). Vectors are
more than just a single number!

Scalars and Vectors

-1
-2
-3
-4

2
1

-4

-3

-2

-1

-1
-2
-3
-4

BPK201 2016-1 Unit 1 Supplement. Vectors - September 2, 2016

Coordinate Systems

Scalars and Vectors


origin

Scalars have a defined origin - everything is


referenced to zero - and a defined positive
direction.

-4

-3

-2

-1

In biomechanics, there are really two fundamental scalar quantities:


mass: m
time: t

+ direction

Vectors need an origin as well. In addition


to the origin, one needs to define directions
and name them. We call these definitions
coordinate systems or reference frames.

And two fundamental


vector quantities:
!
force: F
!
relative position: r
i/O

+y direction

We need to define them because it is


arbitrary where we put the origin, what we
call the axes, and what we decide are the
positive directions. What is not arbitrary is
that the axes are orthogonal
(perpendicular) to each other.

+x direction

Everything else of interest, can be derived from these scalar and


vector terms (e.g. velocity is calculation involving relative position
and time).

origin
coordinate
system

In mechanics, we use the right-hand-rule


convention to universally agree on the
direction of some axes, once we define the
direction of others.

Importantly, the role of vectors is as important as the role of scalars


in biomechanics.

(0,0)

Component Vectors

Vector Addition

A vector can be divided in


to a component that acts
along each axis. The sum
of these components is
the original vector.

The sum of N vectors is


called the resultant vector.

!
F

Fy

Geometrically: The resultant


vector is the vector
connecting initial tail to final
tip when vectors are
connected tip to tail. (Never
underestimate the power of
a drawing).

When people are new to


using vectors, they often
find it easiest to deal
with the component
vectors.

Fx

!
Fx = F cos( )

!
F1

Geometric Sum

!
F2

!
Fr

=
!
F2

!
Fr

Algebraic Sum

! ! !
Fr = F1 + F2

!
F1

!
!

Fy = F cos( ) = F sin( )
2

BPK201 2016-1 Unit 1 Supplement. Vectors - September 2, 2016

Vector Addition

Vector Subtraction

We can find the sum of two


vectors by adding their
component vectors.
Take care to still add these
component vectors tip to
tail when you do so
graphically. But
algebraically, they are just
scalars.

!
F1

F1,y

With scalars, subtraction is


just addition of a negative
number. The same goes for
vectors.

!
Fr

!
F2

Subtracting one vector from


another is just the addition
of the two vectors with the
first vector multiplied by -1.

F2,y
F1,x
F2,x

Multiplication by -1
reverses the vector
direction. (We can also
multiply by other constants
to stretch or attenuate a
vector).

Fr,y
these are
all scalar
terms

Fr,x = F1,x + F2,x

!
Fres

Fr,y = F1,y + F2,y


!
Fr = (Fr,x , Fr,y )

Fr,x

c2 = a2 + b2
!
F = Fx 2 + Fy 2

cos( ) =

!
F

a 2 = b 2 + c 2 2bc cosA
b 2 = a 2 + c 2 2ac cosB
c 2 = a 2 + b 2 2ab cosC

!
F

F
= cos1 !x
F

!
F1

! ! !
F1 = Fr F2
! !
!
F1 = Fr + (F2 )

!
F2 = (F2,x , F2,y )
!
F2 = (F2,x ,F2,y )

Law of Sines

a
b
c
=
=
sinA sinB sinC

Where A, B, and C are the interior angles of a general triangle, and a,


b, and c are lengths of the sides opposite those angles.

Fy

a
c

!
F2

!
Fr

10

Law of Cosines

!
F1

Law of Sines and Law of Cosines

F!

Recall right-angle triangles:

! ! !
Fr = F1 + F2

Vector Magnitude and Angle


Vectors have magnitudes (lengths)
and angles. Both of these can be
calculated using trigonometry for
right angle triangles because the
component vectors (the vectors that
act along the coordinate frame axes)
are always orthogonal.

!
F2

!
Fr

Fx

11

12

BPK201 2016-1 Unit 1 Supplement. Vectors - September 2, 2016

!"
F

How to Draw Vectors


How you draw a force depends on:

What you
know

Method
of drawing

1. How much you know about the vector when you are drawing your
diagram? Do you know its direction? Its magnitude?
2. Your choice of notation (which may vary between vectors within
the same diagram).

!"
F

Everything
is known

!"
F = (10N,10N )
F

Graphical

Components

Fx

(Pratap & Ruina, 2010)

14.1N
45

45!

10N
Fy

13

Direction
is known

!"
F

Symbolic

Note: Symbols take precedence over drawings. But it is most clear if


you draw vectors roughly in the correct direction and roughly to
scale.

Nothing
is known

10N
14

BPK201 2016-1 Unit 1 Supplement. Vectors - September 2, 2016