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Main Kinematics & Dynamics Vector and Scalar Quantities

Unit I:Kinematics & Dynamics

Vector and Scalar Quantities

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson you will be able to:

  1. Define the following terms: vector quantity, scalar quantity, resultant vector, equivalent vectors, collinear vectors.
  2. Distinguish between vector and scalar quantities using examples.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of vector addition, a resultant vector and resolving a vector into components.
  4. Represent vector quantities on neat, accurate scale diagrams.
  5. Identify collinear and non-collinear vectors.
  6. Identify equivalent vectors.
  7. Add two or more collinear vectors and non-collinear mathematically and graphically to determine the resultant vector.
  8. Solve problems involving collinear and non-collinear vectors.
Questions Additional Problems
Online Activities Evaluation

Key Concepts

  • Scalar quantities consist of only a magnitude.
  • Vector quantities consist of both a magnitude and direction and can be represented by a vector.
  • The direction of a vector is stated using square brackets behind its magnitude.
  • A vector is a line segment, drawn to scale, with an arrowhead indicating direction.
  • The tail of a vector is called the origin and the tip or arrowhead is called the terminal point.
  • Vectors can be collinear. A special type of collinear vector is an equivalent vector.
  • Vectors can be non-collinear. They are vectors that exist in more than one dimension.
  • Collinear vectors may be added algebraically or graphically using the tail-to-tip method.
  • The sum of two or more vectors is called the resultant vector.
  • Non-collinear vectors can be added mathematically (Pythagorean Theorem, vector component method, Sine and Cosine Laws) to determine the resultant vector.


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