Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

vector




A quantity having both magnitude and direction, unlike a scalar, which has only magnitude. Examples of vectors include velocity, acceleration, and force.

Vectors are added when, for instance, movement takes place in a frame of reference that is itself moving (for example, as when a swimmer tries to cross a flowing river). Vectors are added like arrows, end to end, so that in the case of two vectors, the sum is the vector from the tail of the first to the tip of the second. Vectors are a specific type of tensor.


Related category

   • ALGEBRA