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Right Hand rule for vector cross product

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by

Richard Datwyler

on 4 March 2016

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Transcript of Right Hand rule for vector cross product


Right Hand Rule
for Vectors

The right hand rule of vector cross products is used often in physics. Your first exposure was probably torque. But its nature is such that it can be somewhat ignored.
Now we cannot, we must get the direction.
The cross product of two vectors will result in a third vector
A
B
C will be perpendicualr to that plane.
Vectors A and B will ALWAYS be in a plane defined by themselves.
C
A
B
C
This is why we call it a 'Right hand rule"
we use the Right hand to 'curl' the first vector into the second vector.
Now there are two directions that are perpendicular to that plane
Take A to be the 1st vector, have your fingers point in that direction.
There are many examples of this.
All following this same idea.
Here is torque that I mentioned first.
For this chapter here is both parts of the Biot-Savart law.
And a handful of others.
Let us do one example of an electron intially moving 1 X 10 m/s in the vertical direction above a region of magnetic field B = 0.5 T. What force will act on it?
7
B is out
Then 'curl' or close your hand towards B or vector 2.
Or think of it as your palm faces the 2nd vector.
As you do this your thumb points in the direction the third, resultant vector goes.
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