# Conceptual Understanding in Introductory Physics VIII

**Posted:**September 23, 2014

**Filed under:**Assessment, Goals, Motivations, Understanding |

**Tags:**concepts, critical thinking, geometry, introductory physics, learning, mathematics, teaching, vectors Leave a comment

This post’s question reinforces the previous question in this series, which asks the reader to articulate why division by a vector is undefined in Gibbsian vector analysis. Here’s the question:

**Solve the following vector equation for a:**

Don’t be deceived. It’s not as straightfoward as it looks. I would really love hearing from colleagues who give this problem to their students. I predict most (students) will try to divide both sides by a vector to get the answer.

Go!