Scalar and vector quantities

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


  • Length
  • Volume
  • Mass
  • Speed

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


  • 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.

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