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Head First Physics by Heather Lang

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Chapter 5. Dealing with Directions: Vectors

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Time, speed, and distance are all well and good, but you really need DIRECTION too if you want to get on in life.

You now have multiple physics superpowers: You’ve mastered graphs and equations, and you can estimate how big your answer will be. But size isn’t everything. In this chapter, you’ll be learning about vectors, which give direction to your answers and help you to find easier shortcuts through complicated-looking problems.

The treasure hunt

It’s treasure time. You and your teammate, Annie, are part of a scavenger hunt. To be the first team to reach the prize at the end of the game, you have to follow four clues.

Here’s the first clue ...

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Brain Power

What do you think is the best way to guide Annie to the next clue as quickly as possible?

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Joe: I say we just tell Annie to get going and follow the directions as quickly as possible!

Mary: Hang on, the clue says to “first ponder - then go.”

Joe: Hmmm?

Mary: I mean, we should think first rather than rushing ...

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