Scalar and vector quantities

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Scalar quantities are quantities in which the magnitude is stated, but the direction is either not applicable or not specified.

Examples:

• Length
• Volume
• Mass
• Speed

Vector quantities are quantities in which both the magnitude and the direction must be stated.

Examples:

• Force
• Velocity
• Displacement
• Acceleration

It does not make sense to say that you’re applying a force of 10 N on a box without stating the direction. The force can be directed anywhere. Hence, you need to specify which direction the force is applied: 10 N in the horizontal direction on a box.

There will be more about how to differentiate speed, displacement, velocity and acceleration in the later chapter.