Lesson Plan: The Vector Product of Two Vectors Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to calculate the vector product of two vectors using both the components of the vectors and the magnitudes of the two vectors and the angle between them.


Students will be able to

  • recognize that the result of a vector product operation is another vector,
  • use ABk×=𝑎𝑏𝑎𝑏 to find the vector product of two vectors that are given in component form, where both vectors are in the 𝑖𝑗 plane,
  • recognize that AB× and BA× have the same magnitude but point in opposite directions,
  • state the results of ij× and ji×,
  • recognize that if two vectors are parallel to each other, their vector product is zero,
  • recognize that the vector product of two vectors has a maximum value when the two vectors are perpendicular,
  • use |×|=𝐴𝐵(𝜃)ABsin to find the vector product of two vectors, where the length of each vector and the angle between them are known.


Students should already be familiar with

  • what a vector is: it represents a distance and a direction,
  • the idea that a vector in 3 dimensions has 3 components,
  • how to represent a vector in component form using 𝑖𝑗𝑘 notation.


Students will not cover

  • the vector product of vectors that are not in the 𝑖𝑗 plane,
  • matrices and matrix algebra.

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