What's your vector, Victor?

If you have studied physics in 3 dimensions, then you know what a pain it is to do vector math. It's abstract, it's tricky to draw on paper...

So I devised a little aid. It's much easier to visualize the sum of Force and Moment (torque) vectors when you can actually turn it around, and compare at different angles.

With a little help from WebGL, it wasn't too hard to draw some axes, planes and arrows (although adding text was a bit trickier).

This little script lets you create up to 6 forces (or moments) and it will sum them into a resultant force and moment. If the resultants are 0, then the forces are in equilibrium. This is very handy if you need to check your homework, of course. However, it won't solve it for you... unless you are looking for a single force to cancel the existing ones!

Features so far:
  • add up to 6 colored vectors
  • rotate the graph 90 degrees in each direction (click the graph once to unlock, again to lock)
  • scale the graph
  • calculates resultant force and moment vector displayed in white
Planned features:
  • adding larger number of vector inputs
  • animated vectors
  • unit adjustments, degrees and radians
  • vector solver...? (to determine unknown value of a vector with known direction)
The app currently runs on glMatrix 0.9.5. Next version will likely be updated to 2.0 (more info on http://glmatrix.net). It is a nice library already optimized for use with WebGL.

Enjoy the app. I use it to check my homework...

Feel free to fork my repo on GitHub and let me know if you have any feature suggestions or bugs!

Trevor Gast

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.