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Old Jan 26th 2009, 08:22 AM   #1
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Vector Word Problem

I am having trouble with a mastering physics problem. I am told

A spelunker is surveying a cave. She follows a passage 130m straight west, then 290m in a direction 45east of south, and then 280m at 30 east of north. After a fourth unmeasured displacement, she finds herself back where she started.Use a scale drawing to determine the magnitude of the fourth displacement.

I tried breaking each vector down into components and doing the math but I did not get the right answer. I also tried using a scale drawing also but I could not get it that way. I am asking for help because I only have two more attempts at the problem before I get no credit for it. If anyone can help me out I would greatly appriciate it.
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 08:26 AM   #2
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Could you show the breakdown into to components that you used?
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 08:31 AM   #3
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Ok

For vector 1

130m for x component
0m for y component

vector 2

205.06 for x component
-205.06 for y component

vector 3
140 for x component
242.48 for y component

when i sum all these vectors up I get
475.06 for x component
37.42 for y component
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 08:44 AM   #4
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I found my problem. My first x component of the vector should of been negative instead of positive
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Old Jan 26th 2009, 08:45 AM   #5
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I think the x component of the first vector is -130 instead of +130.

(I assume that you know that the answer isn't the sum of the vectors, it is what vector will cancel out that sum. So it is (-1) times the sums.) Were you supposed to give the answer in terms of a magnitude and direction?
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