Tagged Questions

In $\Bbb R^3$, the cross product of two vectors $v$ and $w$ produces a vector $v \times w$ perpendicular to both. This tag is not meant for products in other mathematical contexts, such as products of groups (such as the [tag:direct-product]), sets (the Cartesian product), graphs, and so on.

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Is the vector cross product only defined for 3D?

Wikipedia introduces the vector product for two vectors $\vec a$ and $\vec b$ as $$\vec a \times\vec b=(||\vec a||||\vec b||\sin\Theta)\vec n$$ It then mentions that $\vec n$ is the vector normal ...
6k views

Origin of the dot and cross product?

Most questions usually just relate to what these can be used for, that's fairly obvious to me since I've been programming 3D games/simulations for a while, but I've never really understood the inner ...
2k views

What is the logic/rationale behind the vector cross product?

I don't think I ever understood the rationale behind this. I get that the dot product $\mathbf{a} \cdot \mathbf{b} =\lVert \mathbf{a}\rVert \cdot\lVert \mathbf{b}\rVert \cos\theta$ is derived from ...
8k views

Wedge product and cross product - any difference?

I'm taking a course in differential geometry, and have here been introduced to the wedge product of to vectors defined (in Differential Geometry of Curves and Surfaces by Manfredo Perdigão do Carmo) ...
5k views

Why is cross product only defined in 3 and 7 dimensions? [duplicate]

Why $3$ and $7$? I know from some reading that Hurwitz's Theorem explains this, but can someone help me build some intuition behind this or perhaps provide a simpler explanation? It still seems ...
1k views

Wedge Product, A Novel Interpretation or Just Plain Wrong?

I have read (I think) all of the previous threads on this website (and many others) on this topic & unfortunately have not found an answer to my question. Due to the fact that I am only beginning ...
10k views

Why does cross product give a vector which is perpendicular to a plane

I was wondering if anyone could give me the intuition behind the cross product of two vectors $\textbf{a}$ and $\textbf{b}$. Why does their cross product $\textbf{n} = \textbf{a} \times \textbf{b}$ ...
9k views

What's the opposite of a cross product?

For example, $a \times b = c$ If you only know $a$ and $c$, what method can you use to find $b$?
2k views

Do the BAC-CAB identity for triple vector product have some intepretation?

As in the title, I was wondering if the formula: $$a\times (b\times c)=b(a\cdot c)-c(a \cdot b)$$ for $\mathbb R ^3$ cross product has some geometrical interpretation. I've recently seen a proof (from ...
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Making sense of a cross product of three vectors

Because of the cross product of two vectors being another vector I can calculate $\vec a\times(\vec b\times\vec c)$ as well as $(\vec a\times\vec b)\times\vec c$. I know that the cross product is not ...
48 views

A high-level reason that $u \cdot (v \times w) = (u \times v) \cdot w$?

I can do the algebra to show that for $u, v, w \in \mathbb{R}^3$, this identity is true: $$u \cdot (v \times w) = (u \times v) \cdot w$$ But is there a more high-level reason? I didn't expect the ...
109 views

How does computing the determinant of a matrix with unit vectors give you the Cross Product?

Say you had $(a_x,a_y,a_z)\times(b_x,b_y,b_z)$, you would set up a matrix like the following: And the resulting would be your Cross Product or the coordinates of an orthogonal vector. My question ...
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Sum of three cross products is zero.

Let $u,v,w\in \mathbb R^3$. Prove $u \times( v \times w)+v \times( w \times u)+w \times( u \times v) =0$ I guess things would work out if I just expanded as a ton of products. Is there a better way?