Vectors explained in the simplest form!

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Vectors


So, what are vectors?

Well, vectors are the core concept behind understanding the scientific world, more specifically, physics and mathematics. They provide the direction and magnitude of a quantity.

If defined formally, vector is a quantity having direction as well as magnitude, especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another.

Why are they important you ask?

Alright, let’s say you were told a force is being applied on a particle without defining the direction the force is being acted upon. Would you know whether it is being pulled or pushed? No, you wouldn’t. That’s when vectors come into play as they clarify the direction as well as the magnitude. But that’s

Also, knowledge of vectors is important because many quantities used in physics are vector quantities, i.e. only act in a defined direction. If you try to add together vector quantities without taking into account their direction you’ll get results that are incorrect.

What are some of the vector quantities?

  • Displacement
  • Velocity
  • Acceleration
  • Force
  • Weight
  • Momentum

Vector Addition, how do you do that?

Good question! I am glad you asked!

A vector is a mathematical object that has magnitude and direction. A line of given length and pointing along a given direction, such as an arrow, is the typical representation of a vector. Typical notation to designate a vector is a boldfaced character, a character with and arrow on it, or a character with a line under it: The magnitude of a vector is its length and is normally denoted by |A| or A.

Addition of two vectors is accomplished by laying the vectors head to tail in sequence to create a triangle such as is shown in the figure.

Remember: Vector addition follows associative property, i.e. the sum is independent of the order in which two or more quantities are added. Therefore the order in which the vector quantities are added, does not change the resultant vector quantity.

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