What does the dot product of two vectors represent?

I know how to calculate the dot product of two vectors alright. However, it is not clear to me what, exactly, does the dot product represent.

The product of two numbers, 2 and 3, we say that it is 2 added to itself 3 times or something like that.

But when it comes to vectors ab, I’m not sure what to say. “It is a added to itself b times” which doesn’t make much sense to me.


The dot product tells you what amount of one vector goes in the direction of another. For instance, if you pulled a box 10 meters at an inclined angle, there is a horizontal component and a vertical component to your force vector. So the dot product in this case would give you the amount of force going in the direction of the displacement, or in the direction that the box moved. This is important because work is defined to be force multiplied by displacement, but the force here is defined to be the force in the direction of the displacement.


Source : Link , Question Author : Zol Tun Kul , Answer Author : King Squirrel

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