Vectors and Scalars

  • the distinction between vector and scalar quantities
  • resolution of vectors into two components at right angles
  • addition rule for two vectors
  • calculations for two perpendicular vectors

Those students who studied separate sciences at GCSE are likely to have encountered the concept of vectors before, while those who studied dual award will need a little more support.

It is important the students are aware of the differences between vector and scalar properties; that being that vectors have a direction. Once they can identify which quantities are which they need to be able to resolve vectors into their two components at right angles, add them and then move on to more complicated calculations involving perpendicular vectors.

Some students, naturally, will struggle with the maths of this, and some may also find visualising this concept difficult. There is some work that can be done to help visualise, including making arrows to represent vectors and arranging these appropriately.

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