Resolving vectors: How to resolve vectors

Resolving vectors means splitting vectors into two perpendicular components.
Resolving vectors can be very easy if you’re focused. Here I’ll be showing you how to resolve a vector and then solve its horizontal and vertical components.

Using the vector below F it must first be split(resolved)  into its vertical and horizontal components before it can be solved.

Vector F

Vector when resolved



  1. Identify the component (line) adjacent to the given angle ‘A’(here it is the horizontal component).
  2.  Label the adjacent  component as F x COS A.

     3. Identify the component opposite to the given angle ‘A’(here it is the vertical component).
     4. Label opposite component as F x SIN A.




The following formulas can then be used to solve the components:

         Horizontal component = F x COS A
         Vertical component = F x SIN A

Note:  When resolving vectors the component adjacent to the given angle is ALWAYS the vector multiplied by the cosine(COS) of the angle while the component opposite the given angle is always the vector multiplied by the sin(SIN) of the angle.

Click here to see an example on how to resolve a vector

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8 Response to Resolving vectors: How to resolve vectors

April 30, 2011 at 5:12 AM

Its such a informative post.I really admired it.
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May 2, 2011 at 5:40 AM

Vectors are always a difficult topic to understand. Thanks for providing this useful post.

May 2, 2011 at 6:45 AM

It is very important that more and more students have access to this useful information.

May 5, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Thanks for this interesting post!

May 10, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Thanks for your help for solving vectors. They have always been difficult to me.

May 16, 2011 at 4:01 AM

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Anonymous
September 13, 2011 at 7:31 AM

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December 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM

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