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Scalar Quantities and Vector Quantities

Scalar Quantity:
1. A scalar quantity has magnitude only (e.g. distance travelled 1 km).

2. Final scalar quantities can be found by simple additions and subtractions of like scalar
quantities involved.

Vector Quantity (2007 P1 Q2 pg. 92 / 2009 P1 Q2 pg 186 - which one is a vector quantity?)
1. A vector quantity has both magnitude and direction (e.g. displacement 1 km due East).

2. Resultant vector quantities can be found by graphical methods to account for the
magnitudes and directions of each individual like vector quantities involved.

3. Vector variables (e.g. displacement, s) are written in bold.

4. Examples of Scalar & Vector Quantities:
Scalar Quantities Vector Quantities
Length Displacement
Mass Weight (mg)
Time Acceleration; Gravitational Acceleration, g;
Temperature Momentum; Impulse
Current Force; Impulsive Force; Gravitational Force
Speed Velocity
Pressure in fluids (all directions)


Segment Review Questions:

A) Scalar Quantity and Vector Quantity

1. State the main difference between a scalar quantity and a vector quantity.

2. An object moves 40 km on a bearing of 090 from O to A in 20 minutes; it then immediately
moves north 30 km also in 20 minutes to B. Find:

a. The total distance travelled by the object from O to B
b. The final displacement of the object in moving from O to B in terms of both magnitude and
bearing from O.
c. For the whole journey from O to B:
i. The objects average speed
ii. The objects average velocity

3. Is pressure a scalar or vector quantity? Name 5 scalar quantities.

4. Name 5 vector quantities and state their respective SI units of measurement.