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A unit vector coplanar with the vectors $\hat i-\hat j\:\;and\:\:\hat i+2\hat j$ and is $\perp$ to the first vector, $\hat i-\hat j$ is ?

$\begin{array}{1 1} (a)\:\large\frac{1}{\sqrt 2}(\hat i+\hat j)\:\:\\ (b)\:\large\frac{1}{\sqrt 5} (2\hat i+\hat j)\\(c)\:\large\frac{1}{\sqrt 2}(\hat i+\hat k)\\(d)\:None\:of\:these. \end{array} $

1 Answer

  • If vectors $\overrightarrow a,\overrightarrow b,\overrightarrow c$ are coplanar, then $ [\overrightarrow a\:\overrightarrow b\:\overrightarrow c]=0$
Let the unit vector be $\overrightarrow c=x\hat i+y\hat j+z\hat k$
Let the given vectors be $\overrightarrow a=\hat i-\hat j\:\;and\:\:\overrightarrow b=\hat i+2\hat j$
Given that $\overrightarrow c$ is coplanar with $\overrightarrow a\:\:and\:\:\overrightarrow b$ and is $\perp$ to $\overrightarrow a$
$\therefore\:[\overrightarrow a\:\overrightarrow b\:\overrightarrow c]=0\:\:\:and\:\:\:\overrightarrow a.\overrightarrow c=0$
$\Rightarrow\:x-y=0\:\:\:or\:\:\:x=y$....(ii) and
$(\overrightarrow a\times\overrightarrow b).\overrightarrow c=0$
$\overrightarrow a\times\overrightarrow b=\left |\begin {array}{ccc} \hat i &\hat j & \hat k \\1 & -1 & 0 \\1 & 2 & 0\end {array}\right|=3\hat k$
substituting the values of $\overrightarrow a\times \overrightarrow b \:and\:\overrightarrow c$,
$3\hat k.(x\hat i+y\hat j+z\hat k)=0\:\:\Rightarrow\:\:z=0$
Substituting the values of $x,y,z$ in (i) $2y^2=1$ $\Rightarrow\:x=y=\large\frac{1}{\sqrt 2}$
$\therefore \overrightarrow c=\large\frac{1}{\sqrt 2}$$(\hat i+\hat j)$
answered Jan 5, 2014 by rvidyagovindarajan_1

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