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What is a scalar? A scalar is a quantity that is fully described by a magnitude only. It is described by just a single number. Some examples of scalar quantities include speed, volume, mass, temperature, power, energy, and time. What is a vector? A vector is a quantity that has both a magnitude and a direction. Vector quantities are important in the study of motion. Some examples of vector quantities include force, velocity, acceleration, displacement, and momentum.


Displacement (vector) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : Very Important - the distance travelled is not necessarily the same as the displacement vector!

Line integral of vector field - User:LucasVB/Gallery - Wikipedia, the free…

[The military chambers of llanberis, puddled doorway] A displacement is the shortest distance from the initial to the final position of a point P. Thus, it is the length of an IMAGINARY STRAIGHT PATH, typically distinct from the path actually travelled by P. A displacement vector represents the length and direction of this imaginary straight path.

Displacement vector viewed another way


scalar+vs+vector | Displacement vector

This animation shows the two dimensional displacement vector along with its x- and y-component.


Distance, displacement, speed and velocity. Difference between vectors and scalars. Created by Sal Khan. Watch the next lesson: