Cross Product Calculator

A Cross Product Calculator is a mathematical tool used to compute the cross product of two vectors in three-dimensional space.

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Unlocking the Power of Cross Product Calculators: A Comprehensive Guide

In the vast realm of mathematics, the cross product holds a significant place, providing invaluable insights and solutions in various fields. As we delve into the depths of this mathematical concept, we will explore its significance, applications, and how a Cross Product Calculator can be a game-changer for students, professionals, and enthusiasts alike.

Understanding the Basics of Cross Product

Before we dive into the intricacies, let's establish a foundational understanding of what a cross product is. In vector algebra, the cross product is a mathematical operation that takes two vectors as input and produces another vector perpendicular to the plane of the input vectors. Symbolized as A × B, the cross product is a versatile tool used in physics, engineering, and computer science.

Cross Product Formula

The cross product of two vectors \( \mathbf{A} \) and \( \mathbf{B} \), denoted as \( \mathbf{A} \times \mathbf{B} \), is given by:

\[ \mathbf{A} \times \mathbf{B} = \begin{pmatrix} A_yB_z - A_zB_y \\ A_zB_x - A_xB_z \\ A_xB_y - A_yB_x \end{pmatrix} \]

Examples and Solutions

Example 1:

Consider two vectors \( \mathbf{A} = \begin{pmatrix} 2 \\ 3 \\ 1 \end{pmatrix} \) and \( \mathbf{B} = \begin{pmatrix} 4 \\ -1 \\ 2 \end{pmatrix} \).
To find \( \mathbf{A} \times \mathbf{B} \), we substitute the components into the cross product formula:

\[ \mathbf{A} \times \mathbf{B} = \begin{pmatrix} 2 \\ 3 \\ 1 \end{pmatrix} \times \begin{pmatrix} 4 \\ -1 \\ 2 \end{pmatrix} \] \[ = \begin{pmatrix} (3 \times 2) - (1 \times (-1)) \\ (1 \times 4) - (2 \times 2) \\ (2 \times (-1)) - (3 \times 4) \end{pmatrix} \] \[ = \begin{pmatrix} (6 + 1) \\ (4 - 4) \\ (-2 - 12) \end{pmatrix} \] \[ = \begin{pmatrix} 7 \\ 0 \\ -14 \end{pmatrix} \]

Example 2:

Let \( \mathbf{A} = \begin{pmatrix} 3 \\ -2 \\ 5 \end{pmatrix} \) and \( \mathbf{B} = \begin{pmatrix} -1 \\ 4 \\ 2 \end{pmatrix} \).
We can find \( \mathbf{A} \times \mathbf{B} \) using the cross product formula:

\[ \mathbf{A} \times \mathbf{B} = \begin{pmatrix} 3 \\ -2 \\ 5 \end{pmatrix} \times \begin{pmatrix} -1 \\ 4 \\ 2 \end{pmatrix} \] \[ = \begin{pmatrix} ((-2) \times 2) - (5 \times 4) \\ (5 \times (-1)) - (3 \times 2) \\ (3 \times 4) - ((-2) \times (-1)) \end{pmatrix} \] \[ = \begin{pmatrix} (-4 - 20) \\ (-5 - 6) \\ (12 - 2) \end{pmatrix} \] \[ = \begin{pmatrix} -24 \\ -11 \\ 14 \end{pmatrix} \]

How to Do Cross Product of Two Vectors?

The cross product of two vectors, \( \mathbf{A} \) and \( \mathbf{B} \), is a mathematical operation resulting in a third vector \( \mathbf{C} \), perpendicular to the plane formed by \( \mathbf{A} \) and \( \mathbf{B} \).

Cross Product Formula

The cross product \( \mathbf{C} \) is calculated using the following formula:

\[ \mathbf{C} = \begin{pmatrix} A_yB_z - A_zB_y \\ A_zB_x - A_xB_z \\ A_xB_y - A_yB_x \end{pmatrix} \]

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Understand the Vectors

Given two vectors \( \mathbf{A} = \begin{pmatrix} A_x \\ A_y \\ A_z \end{pmatrix} \) and \( \mathbf{B} = \begin{pmatrix} B_x \\ B_y \\ B_z \end{pmatrix} \), make sure you have the components of both vectors.

Step 2: Apply the Cross Product Formula

Use the formula to find the components of \( \mathbf{C} \):

\[ \mathbf{C} = \begin{pmatrix} A_yB_z - A_zB_y \\ A_zB_x - A_xB_z \\ A_xB_y - A_yB_x \end{pmatrix} \]

Step 3: Perform Calculations

Substitute the values of \( A_x, A_y, A_z, B_x, B_y, B_z \) into the formula and perform the calculations for each component of \( \mathbf{C} \).

Step 4: Obtain the Resultant Vector

The resulting vector \( \mathbf{C} \) is the cross product of \( \mathbf{A} \) and \( \mathbf{B} \).


Let \( \mathbf{A} = \begin{pmatrix} 2 \\ 3 \\ 1 \end{pmatrix} \) and \( \mathbf{B} = \begin{pmatrix} 4 \\ -1 \\ 2 \end{pmatrix} \).
Substituting into the formula:

\[ \mathbf{C} = \begin{pmatrix} (3 \times 2) - (1 \times (-1)) \\ (1 \times 4) - (2 \times 2) \\ (2 \times (-1)) - (3 \times 4) \end{pmatrix} \] \[ = \begin{pmatrix} 7 \\ 0 \\ -14 \end{pmatrix} \]

So, the cross product \( \mathbf{C} \) is \( \begin{pmatrix} 7 \\ 0 \\ -14 \end{pmatrix} \).

Dot product vs cross product

What is Dot Product:

The dot product, also known as the scalar product or inner product, takes two vectors \( \mathbf{A} = \langle A_x, A_y, A_z \rangle \) and \( \mathbf{B} = \langle B_x, B_y, B_z \rangle \) and produces a scalar. It is denoted by a dot (\(\cdot\)) between the vectors:

\[ \mathbf{A} \cdot \mathbf{B} = A_x \cdot B_x + A_y \cdot B_y + A_z \cdot B_z \]

Characteristics of Dot Product:

  1. Result: Scalar (a single numerical value).
  2. Commutativity: \( \mathbf{A} \cdot \mathbf{B} = \mathbf{B} \cdot \mathbf{A} \).
  3. Geometric Interpretation: \( \mathbf{A} \cdot \mathbf{B} = |\mathbf{A}| \cdot |\mathbf{B}| \cdot \cos(\theta) \), where \( \theta \) is the angle between the vectors.

What is Cross Product:

The cross product, also known as the vector product, takes two vectors \( \mathbf{A} = \langle A_x, A_y, A_z \rangle \) and \( \mathbf{B} = \langle B_x, B_y, B_z \rangle \) and results in a vector. It is denoted by a cross (\(\times\)) between the vectors:

\[ \mathbf{A} \times \mathbf{B} = \langle A_yB_z - A_zB_y, A_zB_x - A_xB_z, A_xB_y - A_yB_x \rangle \]

Characteristics of Cross Product:

  1. Result: Vector.
  2. Non-commutativity: \( \mathbf{A} \times \mathbf{B} \neq \mathbf{B} \times \mathbf{A} \).
  3. Geometric Interpretation: The magnitude of the cross product is related to the area of the parallelogram formed by the vectors, and the direction is perpendicular to the plane of the vectors.

The dot product yields a scalar and is commutative, while the cross product results in a vector and is non-commutative. The dot product is useful for determining similarity or projection, while the cross product is employed in scenarios requiring determination of perpendicularity and calculation of areas or torques. Understanding these distinctions is crucial in various mathematical and physical applications.

Applications in Real-world Scenarios

Physics and Engineering

In physics, the cross product finds applications in mechanics, electromagnetism, and fluid dynamics. Engineers leverage it to calculate torque, magnetic forces, and fluid flow. A Cross Product Calculator becomes indispensable in swiftly and accurately solving complex problems in these disciplines.

Computer Graphics and 3D Modeling

The world of computer graphics relies heavily on cross products. From rendering realistic 3D scenes to calculating surface normals, cross products play a pivotal role. Professionals in the gaming and animation industry benefit from the efficiency of Cross Product Calculators in their day-to-day tasks.

Robotics and Automation

In robotics, understanding the orientation of objects is crucial. Cross products assist in determining the orientation of robotic arms and calculating the necessary movements for precise automation. This application showcases the practicality of cross products in cutting-edge technologies.

The Cross Product Calculator Advantage

Now, let's explore how a Cross Product Calculator can elevate your mathematical prowess and problem-solving capabilities.

Instantaneous Results

Calculating cross products manually can be time-consuming and prone to errors. With a Cross Product Calculator, you obtain instantaneous results, saving valuable time and ensuring accuracy in your computations.

User-friendly Interface

Cross Product Calculators often come with intuitive interfaces, making them accessible to users with varying levels of mathematical expertise. The user-friendly design ensures that students and professionals alike can harness the power of cross products effortlessly.

Versatility in Vectors

Whether you're dealing with 2D or 3D vectors, a Cross Product Calculator adapts to your specific needs. This versatility makes it an indispensable tool across different mathematical domains.

How to Use a Cross Product Calculator Effectively

To maximize the benefits of a Cross Product Calculator, follow these steps:

Input Vector Values

Provide the respective components of the vectors A and B. Ensure accuracy in input values to guarantee precise results.

Select the Dimensionality

Choose between 2D and 3D calculations based on your problem requirements. The calculator adapts to the dimensionality of your vectors.

Interpret Results

Understand the output vector's magnitude and direction in the context of your problem. Interpretation is key to applying the results effectively.


In conclusion, the cross product is a mathematical gem with applications spanning various disciplines. Embracing the efficiency of a Cross Product Calculator not only simplifies complex calculations but also enhances your overall understanding of vector algebra. Whether you're a student grappling with assignments or a professional navigating real-world problems, integrating this tool into your mathematical arsenal can undoubtedly give you a competitive edge. So, unlock the power of cross products, explore their applications, and let a Cross Product Calculator be your ally in conquering mathematical challenges.


Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

What is a Cross Product Calculator?
A Cross Product Calculator is an online tool used to calculate the cross product of two vectors in three-dimensional space. It provides the resulting vector perpendicular to the input vectors, crucial in various physics, engineering, and 3D graphics applications.
What is the significance of the cross product in vector calculus?
The cross product is significant in vector calculus as it gives a vector that is orthogonal (perpendicular) to the original vectors. It is used to calculate forces, moments, torque, and surface normals in three-dimensional space.
Can the calculator handle vectors in different coordinate systems?
The Cross Product Calculator is designed for vectors in three-dimensional space, and it can handle vectors represented in Cartesian coordinates (i, j, k notation) or as separate components.
What if the input vectors are collinear or parallel?
If the input vectors are collinear or parallel, the cross product will be zero, indicating that the vectors have no unique orthogonal direction between them.
Can I use the calculator for non-orthogonal vectors in higher dimensions?
The Cross Product Calculator is specifically for vectors in three-dimensional space. For higher-dimensional vectors or non-orthogonal vectors, different mathematical techniques are required.
Is the calculator applicable to both row and column vectors?
Yes, the Cross Product Calculator can handle both row vectors and column vectors. It accepts the components of the vectors in the appropriate format.
Does the calculator account for vector unit magnitudes?
Yes, the Cross Product Calculator considers the magnitudes of the input vectors when computing the cross product, ensuring the correct length of the resulting vector.
Does the calculator support vectors with more than three components?
The Cross Product Calculator is limited to vectors in three-dimensional space (3D). For vectors with more than three components or higher dimensions, specialized software or methods are needed.
Is the cross product commutative, like addition or multiplication?
No, the cross product is not commutative. The order of the input vectors affects the direction of the resulting vector. Changing the order will yield a vector with the opposite direction.

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