EM Research Group
Vector Primer
Prepared by the
Electromagnetic Research Group Faculty
Dennis Nyquist
Edward Rothwell
Leo Kempel
Shanker Balasubramaniam
March 23, 2004

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Scalar vs. Vector Quantities
Ö
Defined by magnitude and
direction
Ö
Must define a set of laws analogous
to those for scalar quantities
Ö
Examples: Force, velocity, electric
field, and magnetic field
Ö
Completely specified by a single
number along with a given
dimensional unit
Ö
Obeys usual algebraic laws (e.g.
addition, subtraction,
multiplication, and division)
Ö
Examples: Mass and charge
1
P
2
P
12
12
d
d
r
r
=
Note: Sometimes vectors are denoted by
an arrow above the symbol, sometimes by
a line, and sometimes with a bold font.
We will use both for presentation clarity.