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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 - ,

    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
    you went 7.8 blocks at 50.2 degrees east of north

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