scalars and vectors

  • Created by: tia5sos
  • Created on: 02-12-20 20:17
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  • scalars and vectors
    • scalars are quantities with size only (magnitude)
      • examples: speed, distance, time and mass
    • vectors have both size (magnitude) and direction
      • examples: velocity, displacement, force and acceleration
    • distance and displacement are different things
      • they both measure how far something has travelled but displacement also says which direction something has travelled in
        • for example, you could say a car has travelled a distance of 10m, but it has a displacement of 10m north
    • to measure the speed of an object, you only need to measure how fast it is going
      • ... calculating/ measuring the direction is not important
        • e.g. speed = 30mph
    • velocity is a more useful measure of motion
      • this is because it describes both the speed and direction
        • e.g. velocity = 30mph due north
    • quantities like speed and distance, that are only numbers, are called scalar quantities
    • quantities like velocity and displacement, that have direction and speed, are vectors
    • example
      • 1.when we use vectors, we often talk about there being a positive and a negative direction
        • 2. a car moving in one direction could have a velocity of 3m/s, but moving in the opposite direction it will have a velocity of -3m/s
          • 3. in this example, the car has a speed of 3m/s in both directions, you can often pick a positive direction that makes the calculations easier


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