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# What are some examples of scalar and vector quantities?

Updated: 9/14/2023

Wiki User

11y ago

Scalar Quantities

Most of the physical quantities encountered in physics are either scalar or vector quantities. A scalar quantity is defined as a quantity that has magnitude only. Typical examples of scalar quantities are time, speed, temperature, and volume. A scalar quantity or parameter has no directional component, only magnitude. For example, the units for time (minutes, days, hours, etc.) represent an amount of time only and tell nothing of direction. Additional examples of scalar quantities are density, mass, and energy.

Vector Quantities

A vectorquantity is defined as a quantity that has both magnitude and direction. To work with vector quantities, one must know the method for representing these quantities. Magnitude, or "size" of a vector, is also referred to as the vector's "displacement." It can be thought of as the scalar portion of the vector and is represented by the length of the vector. By definition, a vector has both magnitude and direction. Direction indicates how the vector is oriented relative to some reference axis, as shown in Figure 1. Using north/south and east/west reference axes, vector "A" is oriented in the NE quadrant with a direction of 45 north of the o EW axis. G iving direction to scalar "A" makes it a vector. The length of "A" is representative of its magnitude or displacement.

A scalar quantity refers only to the magnitude of the quantity and answers the question how much. Ex. height, weight, volume, and the like. 2 lbs of sugar is scalar, 4 m long is scalar

A vector quantity refers to both magnitude and direction and answers how much and where is it going, (in that sense)

Ex. forces, velocity. 200 km/hr at N30degE is a vector, the force required to push a drum up or down a ramp is a vector, the force exerted by the cue stick in billiards is a vector a scalar is a number, like a distance... like the moon is 300.000km away from earth.

a vector is a number AND a direction. It's like "moving east at 100km/h"

while "moving at 100km/h" alone is a scalar.

The idea is that a scalar has only ONE dimension, while a vector has several.

Wiki User

11y ago