High school physics/Basics

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Motion[edit | edit source]

There are two types of quantities you need to remember and keep track of. These are Scalar Quantity and Vector Quantity. Scalar Quantity is quantities that do not account for direction and just contain numbers. This is like temperature or time, in which these measurements do not account for any direction. Vector Quantity is quantities, on the other hand, account for both magnitude (amount) and direction. These are represented by arrows in diagrams. Examples of vector quantity are velocity and force, which you will be learning about later on in this page or course.

Scalar Quantity
  • Distance - Total length of travel with no mention of distance traveled.
  • Speed - Rate of change of position per unit of time. The formula of speed is (speed = total distance/time elapsed).
Vector Quantity
  • Displacement - The shortest distance from the initial position to the final position of the motion. The formula for displacement is (displacement = final position - initial position).
  • Velocity - The speed in a specific direction. The formula is (velocity = displacement/time elapsed). It could be positive/negative and have a specific direction (North, south, east or west).