In this page, you will learn whether vectors can be canceled in both side of the equation when two vector dot products are equal.

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Consider real numbers `a, b in RR` and an unknown number `x`. Given that `ax = ab`, what is the value of `x`?

- `x=a`
- `x=b`
- `x=b`
- `x = a b`

The answer is '`x=b`'. Both the left hand side and right hand side of the equation is divided by `a` to arrive at the solution.

Consider vectors `vec p, vec q in bbb V` and a unknown `vec x`. Given that `vec x cdot vec p = vec q cdot vec p`. What is the value of `vec x`? Note: All the vectors shown in yellow-dotted-line will have the same projection on to the `vec p`.

- cannot be calculated
- cannot be calculated
- `vec x = vec q`

The answer is 'Cannot be calculated'.

`vec x cdot vec p = vec q cdot vec p` does not imply that `vec x = vec q`.

That is, `vec p` cannot be canceled on left-hand-side and right-hand-side. Note that in dot product, `vec q` is split into orthogonal components and the component in parallel to `vec p` is only in the product. The component perpendicular to `vec p` is lost.

• Equal dot products does not imply the vectors are equal.

**Cannot Cancel: ** Given `vec x cdot vec p = vec q cdot vec p` does not imply `vec x = vec q`. That is, the `vec p` cannot be canceled on both sides of the equation or on numerator and denominator in a division.

`vec x cdot vec p = vec q cdot vec p` imply that both `vec x` and `vec q` has same projection on to `vec p` shown as `a` If we subtract `vec x - vec q` then the common component will cancel out and the remaining vector will be perpendicular to `vec p`.

`vec x cdot vec p = vec q cdot vec p`

Subtracting `vec q cdot vec p` from both the sides. `vec x cdot vec p - vec q cdot vec p = vec q cdot vec p - vec q cdot vec p`

`(vec x - vec q)cdot vec p = (vec q - vec q)cdot vec p`

`(vec x - vec q)cdot vec p = 0 cdot vec p`

`(vec x - vec q)cdot vec p = 0 `

The above can be understood as vector `vec x - vec q` is orthogonal to `vec p`.

• If dot products are equal then difference of the vectors will be perpendicular to the vector with which dot products are equal.

** Subtraction on sides of an Equation: ** `vec x cdot vec p = vec q cdot vec p` imply that

`(vec x - vec q)cdot vec p = 0`

Which implies `vec x - vec q` is either `vec 0` or is perpendicular to `vec p`.

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