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Question Video: Identifying the Direction of a Curved Arrow Science

Which dashed arrow shows the direction of the red arrow? [A] The blue dashed arrow [B] The orange dashed arrow [C] The green dashed arrow [D] None of the dashed arrows; the red arrow does not have a single direction as its direction changes along its length

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Video Transcript

Which dashed arrow shows the direction of the red arrow? (A) The blue dashed arrow. (B) The orange dashed arrow. (C) The green dashed arrow. (D) None of the dashed arrows; the red arrow does not have a single direction as its direction changes along its length.

This question asks us which of the dashed arrows points in the same direction as the red arrow. Now, this is actually a bit of a trick question. At different points in the red arrow’s path, the blue, orange, and green dashed arrows point in that direction. But this is not what the question is asking us for. And no one arrow points exactly along the same path as the red arrow. First, let’s look at the orange arrow. At the tail of the red arrow, both the red and the orange arrow have the same direction, to the right. However, the direction of the red arrow then changes, as it follows a curved path. The orange arrow shows the initial direction of the red arrow, but not the overall direction.

Next, let’s look at the green arrow. The green arrow is a straight line, starting at the tail of the red arrow and ending at the tip of the red arrow. The green arrow therefore shows the overall displacement that the red arrow covers from start to finish. However, the green and red arrows each follow very different paths between the same two start and endpoints. The green arrow is straight, while the red arrow is curved. This means that they don’t have the same direction at all points.

Finally, the blue arrow points in the same direction as the head of the red arrow. However, this direction is not the same as the direction of the red arrow at other points along its length. The blue arrow shows the final direction of the red arrow, not the overall direction.

In conclusion, we see that though all three dashed arrows do at some point have the same direction as the red arrow, none have the same direction at all points along the red arrow’s length. A curved arrow doesn’t have a single direction because its direction is different at different points along its length. That means that its direction cannot be represented by a single straight arrow. Therefore, the correct answer is option (D). None of the dashed arrows shows the direction of the red arrow.

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