Suppose we are measuring a rod. We could give the measured length as 2 metres or 3 cm—depending on the length of the rod under observation. Here, only the figure 2 or 3 along with the unit of measure is enough to transmit information about the rod.
Other examples of scalars are:
In other words, mass is measured by scalars, just like distances are measured by scalars.
In mathematics, scalars are distinguished from more complex mathematical objects such as vectors and matrices in that they consist of only one number. A scalar can also be multiplied to a vector or a matrix , resulting in the vector and the matrix , respectively. For vectors, scalar multiplication produces a new vector of different length in the same or opposite direction of the original vector.
Related pages[change | change source]
- Dot product, a scalar quantity