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Physics Part I

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Class 10 Class 12
A vector has magnitude and direction. Does it have a location in space ? Can it vary with time ? Will two equal vectors a and b at different locations in space necessarily have identical physical effects ? Give examples in support of your answer.

i) A vector in general has no definite location in space because a vector remains unaffected whenever it is displaced anywhere in space provided its magnitude and direction do not change. However, a position vector has a definite location in space.

(ii) A vector can vary with time as example the velocity vector o an unaffected particle varies with time.

(iii) Two equal vectors at different locations in space do not necessarily have same physical effects. For example, two equal forces acting at two different points on a body which can cause the rotation of a body about an axis will not produce equal turning effect.

What is a vector quantity?

A physical quantity that requires direction along with magnitude, for its complete specification is called a vector quantity.

What are the basic characteristics that a quantity must possess so that it may be a vector quantity?

A quantity must possess the direction and must follow the vector axioms. Any quantity that follows the vector axioms are classified as vectors. 


Give three examples of vector quantities.

Force, impulse and momentum.

What is a scalar quantity?

A physical quantity that requires only magnitude for its complete specification is called a scalar quantity.

Give three examples of scalar quantities.

Mass, temperature and energy