Albert Teen
Basic Concepts in Physics

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What Are Scalar and Vector Quantities?

# What Are Scalar and Vector Quantities?

### What Are Scalar and Vector Quantities?

Vector quantities have both a magnitude and a direction, whereas scalar quantities have only a magnitude.

1

These are examples of different quantities

Mass, force, time, temperature and velocity.

2

Some of these quantities have arrows. What do you think the arrows indicate?

3

All of these quantities have numbers. What do the numbers indicate?

4

So there are two types of quantities here

The ones that have only a size, like mass, time and temperature. The ones that have both a size and a direction, like force and velocity.

5

By the way!

You don't normally use the word "size" when it comes to quantities. You should use the word magnitude instead.

1

Which quantity is this?

2

Force is a VECTOR quantity

Quantities that have both a magnitude and a direction are vectors.

1

Is temperature a VECTOR quantity? Answer yes or no.

2

Temperature is a SCALAR quantity

It has only a magnitude. It doesn't have a direction.

1

Is distance a vector or a scalar quantity?

2

Is velocity a vector or a scalar quantity?

3

Is density a vector or a scalar quantity?

4

Is mass a vector or a scalar quantity?

5

Is weight a vector or a scalar quantity?

6

Is speed a vector or a scalar quantity?

7

Is acceleration a vector or a scalar quantity?

8

Is time a vector or a scalar quantity?

1

To recap! There are two types of quantities

Scalar and vector quantities

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Vector quantities have both a magnitude and a direction

Like acceleration, force, velocity and weight.

3

Scalar quantities have only a magnitude

Like mass, time, density, speed, distance and temperature.

Pick all the options that are examples of scalar quantities.

Pick all the options that are examples of vector quantities.

1

Summary! Vector quantities have both a magnitude (size) and a direction

Examples include acceleration, force, velocity and weight.

2

Scalar quantities have only a magnitude (size)

Examples include mass, time, density, speed, distance and temperature.

3

More on this in later lessons

For example, later lessons look more closely at the difference between speed and velocity, the difference between mass and weight, and on what is meant by the "direction" of acceleration and weight.