Vector Quantities

Vector quantities, however, refer to both the direction of the medium’s movement as well as the measurement of the scalar quantity.

  • Increase/Decrease in Temperature – The measurement of the medium’s temperature is a scalar quantity; the measurement of the increase or decrease in the medium’s temperature is a vector quantity.
  • Velocity – The measurement of the rate at which an object changes position is a vector quantity. For example:

If a person quickly moves one step forward and then one step backward there would certainly be a lot of activity; but, there would be “zero velocity.”

In order to measure the vector quantity of the medium, there must be:

  • A directional measurement applied to the scalar quantity. For example:

Regardless of how fast an object is going, the direction of the movement must be described in the velocity vector such as “rightwards” or “forward.”

  • A beginning reference point for the directional measurement in order to provide the directional element of the vector quantity. Your beginning point could be centered in a north, south, east and west quadrant so that the vector quantity can be applied to the medium’s movement. For example:

To describe a car’s velocity you would have to state it as 70 miles per hour, south.

Another directional element that may be applied to the vector quantity is the different between vertical and horizontal movements.

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Satya Prakash

Mr. Satya Prakash is a research scholar.

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