# Difference between revisions of "Cross product"

(I've known this word for years, and I still can't spell it. It's one of few.) |
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− | where <math>\theta</math> is the angle between the two vectors. The direction of the cross product is normal to both of the vectors '''a''' and '''b'''. Since there are two such directions the chosen one is defined by the right hand rule: with your right hand, point your fingers along the direction of the first vector and curl them towards the second vector. The direction your thumb points gives the direction of the cross product. The cross product is a convenient way to find the volume of a [[parallelepiped]]. One may simply take the cross product of two legs and then find the dot product of that vector with the remaining leg (assuming that the legs are vectors). | + | where <math>\theta</math> is the angle between the two vectors. The direction of the cross product is normal to both of the vectors '''a''' and '''b'''. Since there are two such directions the chosen one is defined by the [[right hand rule]]: with your right hand, point your fingers along the direction of the first vector and curl them towards the second vector. The direction your thumb points gives the direction of the cross product. The cross product is a convenient way to find the volume of a [[parallelepiped]]. One may simply take the cross product of two legs and then find the dot product of that vector with the remaining leg (assuming that the legs are vectors). |

===See also=== | ===See also=== | ||

[[Dot product]] | [[Dot product]] | ||

[[Category:Linear algebra]] | [[Category:Linear algebra]] |

## Revision as of 21:20, 16 February 2009

The **cross product** (or vector product) of two vectors in 3-space is itself a vector in 3-space, and is written . The magnitude of the resulting vector is

where is the angle between the two vectors. The direction of the cross product is normal to both of the vectors **a** and **b**. Since there are two such directions the chosen one is defined by the right hand rule: with your right hand, point your fingers along the direction of the first vector and curl them towards the second vector. The direction your thumb points gives the direction of the cross product. The cross product is a convenient way to find the volume of a parallelepiped. One may simply take the cross product of two legs and then find the dot product of that vector with the remaining leg (assuming that the legs are vectors).