A vector quantity is totally described by its magnitude, unit, and direction, e.g.

You are watching: Is distance a vector or scalar Distance and Displacement

Distance is a scalar quantity. It steps the complete distance travelled, no issue in i beg your pardon direction.

Displacement is a vector quantity. It is the size measured from the starting point to the finishing allude in a straight line. The direction should be stated.

Example

A girl to walk 3 kilometres due north climate turns and also walks 4 km due east as shown in the diagram. Calculate

(a) The full distance travelled(b) The girl’s final displacement relative to her starting position.

Solution

(a) Total street = 3 kilometres + 4 km = 7 km

(b) (to calculation displacement, we need to attract a vector diagram)

(this solution requires using Phythagoras and trig features (SOH-CAH=TOA), but you can additionally solve these types of troubles using a scale diagram). Speed and Velocity

Speed is a scalar quantity. As disputed above, rate is the distance travelled per unit time. Velocity is a vector quantity (the vector equivalent of speed). Velocity is identified as the displacement per unit time. Since velocity is a vector, you must state that is direction.

The direction of velocity will be the exact same as the displacement.

Example

The girl’s to walk in the previous example took 2.5 hours.

See more: What Is The Sum Of The Interior Angles Of An Octagon ? Interior Angles Of Polygons

Calculate

(a) The median speed(b) The mean velocity because that the walk, both in km/h

Solution (a) Distance = 7 kilometres   Time = 2.5 hours (b) Displacement = 5 kilometres (053˚)   Time = 2.5 hours

(When performing calculations on speed and also velocity choose the above, that is best to compose the equations in words as shown, to stop confusion through symbols. This communicates your understanding in the clearest way).