Posted by **Tina** on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 4:03pm.

I know how to do displacement, I just get confused by the directions. I walk 6 blocks east and 5 blocks north-I come up with 7.8 because I squared 6 + squared 5 and took the square root of 61 but do I say the final displacement is 7.8 blocks east of north or 7.8 blocks north of east-that's where I'm confused.

Thank you

- Physics -
**Damon**, Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 4:52pm
Try it with x and y

x is east and y is north

start at (0,0)

go east 6 to (6,0)

now go north 5 to (6,5)

now what angle north of east is (6,5)?

tan angle = y/x = 5/6 so angle = 39.8 deg

usually you want compass directions clockwise from north though so

90 = 39.8 = 50.2 degrees east of north

now I better check your distance

sqrt(36+25) = sqrt 61 = 7.8 check

so

you went 7.8 blocks at 50.2 degrees east of north

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