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Mr
Rishi
Gopie

Scalar
and
Vector
Quantities

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

SCALAR
AND
VECTOR
QUANTITIES

A
scalar
quantity
is
one
that
has
magnitude

A
vector
quantity
is
one
that
has
both
magnitude
and
direction

Consider
examples
of
both:

Scalar
Quantity

Time

Mass

Distance

Speed

Area

Volume

Density

Energy

Work

Pressure

power

Temperature

Current

voltage

Vector
Quantity

Displacement

Velocity

Acceleration

Force

Momentum

Any
vector
quantity
can
be
represented
by
a
straight
line
the
length
of
the
line,
drawn
to

some
suitable
scale,
will
represent
the
magnitude
of
the
vector
quantity
and
the
direction
of
the

line,
as
indicated
by
an
arrow
head
drawn
on
the
line
will
represent
the
direction
of
the
vector

quantity.
In
fact,
such
a
line
itself
is
called
a
vector.

When
vectors
are
added
a
resultant
vector
is
produced.
A
resultant
vector
is
that
single

vector
which
can
replace
a
system
(two
or
more)
vectors
all
have
the
same
overall
or
net
or

resultant
effect
as
the
system
itself.
Consider
the
resultant
vector
when
two
vectors
are
added
is

a) Parallel
(i.e.
act
in
the
same
direction)

V1
+
V2

Resultant
Vector
VR
=
(V1
+
V2)

Note
that
the
greatest
(i.e.
maximum)
resultant
vector
of
any
two
vectors
is
obtained
when

the
two
vectors
are
parallel
and
its
magnitude
is
given
by
the
sum
of
the
magnitudes
of
the

two
vectors

Page
2
of
12

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

b) Anti-parallel
(i.e.
acts
in
opposite
directions)

V1
+
V2

Resultant
V1
V2
=
Vr

Note
that
the
least
(i.e.
minimum)
resultant
vector
of
any
two
vectors
is
obtained
when
the

two
vectors
are
anti-parallel
and
its
magnitude
is
given
by
the
difference
between
the

magnitudes
of
the
two
vectors.

c) Perpendicular
(i.e.
act
in
directions
which
are
90
degrees
to
one
another

The
parallelogram
rule
is
used

i)

State
a
scale

ii)

Draw
a
parallelogram
of
the
vectors
(V1
and
V2)
accurately
to
the
scale

iii)

Draw
and
measure
the
length
of
the
appropriate
diagonal
that
represent
the

resultant
vector

iv)

Convert
the
length
of
the
diagonal,
using
the
scale,
to
determine
the

magnitude
of
the
resultant
vector.
The
direction
of
this
diagonal
represents

the
direction
of
the
resultant
vector
and
can
be
stated
either
in
terms
of
the

angle
it
makes
with
V1
or
in
terms
of
the
angle
it
makes
with
V2.

Diag. 2

Page
3
of
12

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

Examples:

State
the
magnitude
and
direction
of
the
resultant
force
in
each
of
the

following
systems

Show
all
your
working.

Page
4
of
12

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

Diag.
3

Page
5
of
12

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

TUTORIAL

June
1995
paper
3
#1

Page
6
of
12

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

Page
7
of
12

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

June
1997
paper
2
#2

Page
8
of
12

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

Page
9
of
12

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

Page
10
of
12

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

January
1999
paper
2
#
2

Page
11
of
12

Mr R Gopie

PHYSICS

Page
12
of
12

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