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new to Analytica 5.0

VectorCrossProduct( u, v, I )

Computes the vector cross product of two vectors in 3-dimensional space (or in 7-dimensional space). The vectors «u» and «v» are both indexed by index «I», and «I» must have an index length of 3 or 7. The result is also indexed by «I» and has the following properties (up to numeric round-off):

  • For a fixed «v», the resulting vector varies linearly with «u».
  • For a fixed «u», the resulting vector varies linearly with «v».
  • The resulting vector is perpendicular to both «u» and «v».
    Hence, up to numeric round-off, the dot products, Sum(u*w,I) and Sum(v*w,I) are zero.
  • The length of the vector is equal to the area of the parallelogram spanned by «u» and «v».


[x, y]VectorCrossProduct x y.png
VectorCrossProduct(x,y,Dim) → VectorCrossProduct xy.png

x1 := Array(J, [1,0,0] )
x2 := Array(J, [0,1,0] )
VectorCrossProduct(x1, x2, J) → Array( J, [0, 0, 1] )
x3 := Array(J, [3,0,0] )
x4 := Array(J, [0,5,0] )
VectorCrossProduct(x3, x4, J) → Array( J, [0, 0, 15] )

Why only 3- or 7-dimensional space?

Students of linear algebra learn about the vector cross product in Euclidean 3-space, and many wonder whether the operator generalizes to higher-dimensional spaces. When we assume that the essence of a cross product are the bullet points listed above (bi-linearity, orthogonality, and area equal to the parallelogram), then it turns out that a function with those properties only exists in 3- and 7- dimensional Euclidean spaces. A proof of this is given in Massey (1983).

In practice, when using this, you will probably be working with 3-dimensional space.

See also


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