# Is position a scalar or vector quantity

## Length - scalar or vectorial?

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We have had a little basic discussion about whether the length is a scalar or a vector quantity. Unfortunately, the books and some sources on the Internet could not produce anything clear.

Our basic idea is that the length is initially defined without a direction. In other words, it would basically only be defined from a numerical value and unit and thus ultimately a scalar quantity.

One of our teachers disagrees and thinks it is directional and therefore vectorial.

What exactly is right now? What is the exact definition? (If possible, please with source)

AW: length - scalar or vectorial?

Here is an excerpt from "Physics 10th Edition Alfred Böge / Jürgen Eichler S.2-3"

"Scalars are completely determined solely by specifying their amount (numerical value multiplied by the unit)"

"Vectors are only clearly and adequately determined if, in addition to the amount, the direction and sense of direction are specified"

"With the statement: An aircraft flies at a constant speed of 80m / s, it is not stated where it is after the flight. The physical process is only clearly and adequately described if the flight direction is also specified."

So I would say that your teacher has been out of college for a long time ...
AW: length - scalar or vectorial?

Hello,

if a length is given e.g. on a bending beam then it is a vector after all?

Greetings daniel
AW: length - scalar or vectorial?

So as I understand it, which of course doesn't have to be right, I would say that the pure length is a scalar. Because the length is in principle the scalar of the way.

Maybe you are confusing way and length ???
AW: length - scalar or vectorial?

Hm. Unfortunately, it's not that simple:

According to the Physics workbook of Europa-Lehrmittel (10th edition of 2006, page 5, task 8) or its solution book, the length is clearly referred to as a vector quantity. However, there is again no more detailed explanation of this.

However, due to my research, I came across a possible explanation why the length could be a vector:

In the special theory of relativity there is a phenomenon that says that a length between two points of a body depends on its state of motion. One stumbles across the terms 'length contraction', 'Lorentz contraction' or 'Lorentz transformation'.

So after this interpretation the length could be a vector, right?!?

Here are some links to this:

http://lexikon.meyers.de/meyers/Länge
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentzkontraktion
http://itp.nat.uni-magdeburg.de/~kassner/srt/crashcourse/laengenkontraktion.html

(Further links are included on the respective pages)
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AW: length - scalar or vectorial?

Incidentally, the facts have now been clearly clarified. As brain lobes suspected, there was probably a mix-up here. The length is clearly defined as the amount of a vector (in this case the path) and is therefore a scalar quantity.

The teacher has revised his view. The Europa-Verlag was also written to. The corresponding author contacted me and also confirmed this to me. The correction is reserved for the next edition, which will not appear until 2009.
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