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Scalar and Vector Quantities in Physics

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What are Scalar and Vector quantities? Describe properties of Vectors in detail.

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1. What are Vectors (or vector quantities) and how do they differ from Scalars (or scalar quantities)?

We come across numerous types of quantities in our daily life some of which are fully described by its magnitude alone. For example when we say 6 kg of sugar or the temperature of human body is 98.6O F we are clear what is being stated. Such quantities which are fully described by its magnitude (and have no direction involved) are called "Scalar quantities" of simply "Scalars".

However, there are others for which the description is incomplete unless a direction is added with the magnitude. For example a statement like "the car is moving at 60 km per hour" gives no information about the direction in which it is going. Thus a more complete statement will be "the car is moving at 60 km per hour towards south". Similarly stating "the box is being pushed with a force of 180 Newton" gives no idea about the direction in which the box is being pushed. Such quantities which require specification of a direction along with the magnitude for a complete ...

Solution Summary

The solution explains the difference between Scalar and Vector quantities we come across in the study of physics and describes in detail the properties of Vectors.

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