Daily Archives: October 1, 2013

They’re baaaaaaack!

Have you seen the web series Math Warriors?


No?  If you haven’t, there’s good news!  You have enough time to catch up on the first 3 seasons, before the 4th season starts any day now!

Yes?  Then, I have bad news.  You have to wait a few more days before the 4th season begins!  (Although I guess you could rewatch a few of your favorite episodes).

The Math Warriors are a team of students from Yale competing in math competitions.  In the first two seasons they end up having to face their arch rival Harvard, although last season they crossed the pond to compete against the team from Wales.

Anyway, most of the series follows the team as they get ready to compete (and Felcia as she vies for the Miss America title . . .just watch and you’ll understand).  The team leader, Felcia, is pretty fanatic about two things: Prime Numbers and the Right Hand Rule.

We’ve talked about Prime Numbers on this blog before, so I’m going to assume that you know what they are.  (Although if you don’t, Felcia’s mom does a great job of explaining in Season 1, Episode 1!)  But I thought you might be a little less familiar with the Right Hand Rule.

In anticipation of Math Warriors, Season 4 I thought we’d consider the Right Hand Rule.

The Right Hand Rule is used as a way to determine the orientation of the cross product of two 3D vectors.  Remember, a vector is a ray that has both a magnitude (length) and a direction (north, south, east, west, or NW, NE, SW, etc., etc).  The result of the cross product of two vectors in 3D is always a vector that is perpendicular to the two starting vectors.  While the Right Hand Rule won’t help you out with the arithmetic needed to calculate the location of the cross product, it is a handy little tool used to help you visualize the direction of the cross product.

Want to see the Right Hand Rule in action? This physics professor has a really nice explanation of the Right Hand Rule (with pictures!)

Now, who’s ready for Math Warriors Season 4!  Right Hand Rule!