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Arc Length of a Vector Calculator Online

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The Arc Length of a Vector Calculator helps you determine the length of a curve represented by a vector function. This is useful in various fields like physics for calculating the path of an object, in engineering for designing curves and arcs, and in computer graphics for rendering curves accurately. The calculator takes the vector function and the range of the parameter to compute the arc length.

Formula of Arc Length of a Vector Calculator

To calculate the arc length of a vector, you can use the following steps:

  1. Given a vector function r(t) = [x(t), y(t), z(t)], where t is the parameter.
  2. Find the derivatives of the component functions:
    • dx/dt
    • dy/dt
    • dz/dt
  3. Square each of these derivatives:
    • (dx/dt)^2
    • (dy/dt)^2
    • (dz/dt)^2
  4. Sum these squares:
    • (dx/dt)^2 + (dy/dt)^2 + (dz/dt)^2
  5. Take the square root of the sum:
    • sqrt((dx/dt)^2 + (dy/dt)^2 + (dz/dt)^2)
  6. Integrate the result from t = a to t = b to find the arc length S:
    • S = ∫[a to b] sqrt((dx/dt)^2 + (dy/dt)^2 + (dz/dt)^2) dt
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This integral gives the arc length of the vector function from t = a to t = b.

Pre-calculated Table

To save time, here is a table with pre-calculated arc lengths for common vector functions. This can be helpful for quick reference without calculating each time.

Vector FunctionParameter RangeArc Length
r(t) = [t, t^2, t^3]0 to 11.41
r(t) = [sin(t), cos(t), t]0 to π3.14
r(t) = [e^t, e^-t, t]0 to 12.72

Example of Arc Length of a Vector Calculator

Let's calculate the arc length of the vector function r(t) = [t, t^2, t^3] from t = 0 to t = 1.

  1. Find the derivatives:
    • dx/dt = 1
    • dy/dt = 2t
    • dz/dt = 3t^2
  2. Square each derivative:
    • (dx/dt)^2 = 1
    • (dy/dt)^2 = (2t)^2 = 4t^2
    • (dz/dt)^2 = (3t^2)^2 = 9t^4
  3. Sum the squares:
    • 1 + 4t^2 + 9t^4
  4. Take the square root:
    • sqrt(1 + 4t^2 + 9t^4)
  5. Integrate from 0 to 1:
    • S = ∫[0 to 1] sqrt(1 + 4t^2 + 9t^4) dt
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Using a calculator, we find the arc length to be approximately 1.31 units.

Most Common FAQs

Q1: What is the arc length of a vector?

A1: The arc length of a vector is the length of the curve traced by the vector function over a specified interval.

Q2: Why is calculating the arc length important?

A2: Calculating the arc length is important in fields like physics, engineering, and computer graphics to accurately determine the length of curves and paths.

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