To best understand how the parallelogram method works, lets examine the two vectors below. The vectors have magnitudes of 17 and 28 and the angle between them is 66°. Our goal is to use the parallelogram method to determine the magnitude of the resultant.
Step 1) Draw a parallelogram based on the two vectors that you already have. These vectors will be two sides of the parallelogram (not the opposite sides since they have the angle between them)
Step 2) We now have a parallelogram and know two angles (opposite angles of parallelograms are congruent). We can also figure out the other pair of angles since the other pair are congruent and all four angles must add up to 360. ???
Determine other Angles
Step 4) Draw the paprallelograms diagonal. This diagonal is the resultant vector
Length of Diagonal
Use the law of cosines to determine the length of the resultant
Use the law of cosines to calculate the resultant.