Resolution of forces
So far we have concerned ourselves with the resultant of two or more vectors. Particularly in the case of forces, it is very often necessary to carry out the reverse process and convert a single force into two components. When this is done the force
is said to be resolved into two components. Now the number of directions in which a ‘force can be resolved is infinite, since any number of different vector triangles may be drawn, but except in rare cases a force is resolved into two directions at right angles only.
Fig. 5.6 shows the forces involved when a barge is being towed along a canal by a . or e. Though rarely seen today, this was an important mode of transport in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries before the advent of rail and
The actual pull on the barge is represented to scale by the line OF. If a righted triangle OAF is constructed on OF as hypotenuse and with its longer side ected along the centre line of the barge, then we have a vector diagram showing at the pull OF is equivalent to two components OA and AF. The component OA is – fully employed in pulling the barge along the canal, while the component AF erely tends to pull it into the bank. This tendency to be pulled into the bank is counteracted by use of the rudder so as to turn the prow of the barge slightly wards,