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Week 1 Physics Notes.docx

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University of Waterloo
Tom Haffie

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 magnitude.  The vector coordinate system is represented by compass, cartesian, spherical, or geographic directions.  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
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