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Vectors are a relative new invention in the world of mathematics, dating only from the 19th century. They enable us to solve complex geometric problems, the dynamics of moving objects, and problems involving forces and fields. We often only require a single number to represent quantities used in our daily lives such as height, age, shoe size, waist and chest measurement. The magnitude of these numbers depends on our age and whether we use metric or imperial units. Such quantities are called scalars. On the other hand, there are some things that require more than one number to represent them: wind, force, weight, velocity and sound are just a few examples. For example, any sailor knows that wind has a magnitude and a direction. The force we use to lift an object also has a value and a direction. Similarly, the velocity of a moving object is measured in terms of its speed (e.g. miles per hour), and a direction such as north-west. Sound, too, has intensity and a direction. Such quantities are called vectors.
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