If you have two forces pulling at the same point from different directions, is that
any different from one force pulling halfway between them? The answer is no.
As you can see on the right, the two forces (with the magnitude of the force represented by the length of the line) have been used as two sides of a parallelogram. The diagonal drawn across is the direction and magnitude of the resultant. A resultant is the single force that can represent the two original forces. This is a simple, graphical way to add two forces together and is referred to as the Parallelogram Law.
Here's the part we'll be using again: using the same reasoning, this time backwards, one force can be broken down into two. This is called breaking a force into its components. This is especially useful if you place your force in a coordinate plane (like graph paper) and line those two new forces along the x and y axes (the horizontal and vertical lines). From this, you can make a vector, a mathematical way to represent a force by its components.
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Topic: Introduction to Vectors