
Vector and Scalar Quantities
Learning Objectives
After completing this lesson you will be able to:
 Define the following terms: vector quantity, scalar
quantity, resultant vector, equivalent vectors,
collinear vectors.
 Distinguish between vector and scalar quantities
using examples.
 Demonstrate an understanding of vector addition,
a resultant vector and resolving a vector into components.
 Represent vector quantities on neat, accurate
scale diagrams.
 Identify collinear and noncollinear vectors.
 Identify equivalent vectors.
 Add two or more collinear vectors and noncollinear mathematically
and graphically to determine the resultant vector.
 Solve problems involving collinear and noncollinear vectors.

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 noncollinear. They are vectors that exist in more than one dimension.
 Collinear vectors may be added algebraically or
graphically using the tailtotip method.
 The sum of two or more vectors is called the resultant
vector.
 Noncollinear vectors can be added mathematically (Pythagorean Theorem, vector component method, Sine and Cosine Laws) to determine the resultant vector.

