1.3.1 Vectors and Scalars

Physical quantities can be classified into two categories: scalars and vectors.


Distance, speed, mass, work and energy, time, temperature, volume, density, etc.

Scalar quantities have only magnitude and no direction. They are thus fully described by their numerical values (and units) alone. For example, 3 kg is 3 kg. There is no such thing as 3 kg eastward or westward.


Displacement, velocity, force, momentum etc.

Vector quantities on the other hand have both magnitude and direction. They thus require the specifications of a spatial direction in addition to a numerical value (and units). For example, 3 m s-1 northward is a different velocity than 3 m s-1 eastward.


Wannabe Vector

Concept Test 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s