Week 1 Physics Notes
Scalar: A number with units used to represent a physical quantity such as speed, mass, distance,
temperature, and energy.
Vector: Quantity with both magnitude and direction.
It can be represented graphically by arrows (both on top and bottom) or bolded letters.
The arrows usually point in the direction of the vector and their length is proportional to
The vector coordinate system is represented by compass, cartesian, spherical, or
The magnitude of a vector can be determined by breaking the vector down to its x and y
components and using basic geometry to solve the vector.
When multiplying a vector by a scalar, the magnitude of the vector increases by a factor
of the scalar multiple while maintaining the same direction.
When adding vectors, both vectors are drawn in a tip to tail and drawing a vector line
resultant that can be calculated using trigonometric ratios. The same concept can be used
when subtracting vectors by using the same magnitude but the opposite direction of the
negative vector. A parallelogram could also be used when adding vectors by calculating
the diagonal from vector A to B
Vectors could also be added using components by finding the magn