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Question Video: Determining Whether Displacement Is a Vector or a Scalar Science

Is displacement a vector quantity or a scalar quantity?

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Video Transcript

Is displacement a vector quantity or a scalar quantity? Is it (A) vector or (B) scalar?

This question asks us whether a displacement is a vector quantity or a scalar quantity. Recall that the difference between a vector and a scalar is that a scalar quantity only has a magnitude, whereas a vector quantity has a magnitude and a direction. So the question we must ask ourselves is, does a displacement have a direction?

The displacement of an object is the straight-line path that the object would travel from one point to another. It is vital to recognize that the object must travel from one point to another point. The object has an initial position and a final position. As the object travels in a straight line from one point to another, the object must travel in a specific direction when traveling from one point to the other. Therefore, we can say that displacement is a vector, not a scalar, quantity.

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