E-Math: Introduction to Vectors

In Secondary 4, students are going to learn this chapter 'Vectors'. Some love it, most hate it.

In today post, I'm going to share some basic concepts on Vectors.

What is a vector?

A vector is a quantity that has direction and magnitude. Common examples of vector include velocity, acceleration, displacement and force.

The opposite of vector is scalar, a quantity that has only magnitude. Examples include time, speed, distance and mass.

As you see, vector is closely associated with physics!

How do we represent a vector?


Since vector involves magnitude and direction, there will always be an arrow indicting the direction. We call this vector

Vectors can be expressed in a column format called column vector. For this example, which means, starting from point A, 3 units to right and 1 unit up. It is similar to our coordinate system 3 units along x axis and 1 unit along y axis. In general, moving right and up have positive sign while moving left and down have negative sign.

In general:

How to find magnitude of a vector?

Using the same example,to find magnitude of , we use Pythagoras's Theorem. (Refer to diagram above)

Magnitude of can be written as .

I hope you have understood the basic concepts of vectors. In future post, I'm going to write more about the application of vectors.

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Hi, I'm Ai Ling Ong. I enjoy coaching students who have challenges with understanding and scoring in 'O' Level A-Maths and E-Maths. I develop Math strategies, sometimes ridiculous ideas to help students in understanding abstract concepts the fast and memorable way. I write this blog to share with you the stuff I teach in my class, the common mistakes my students made, the 'way' to think, analyze... If you have found this blog post useful, please share it with your friends. I will really appreciate it! :)

One Response to E-Math: Introduction to Vectors

  1. Hi? Am a student in adult school. And so much intrested in learning and improve my math as am very poor on it. Therefore I would like to get more basic details of all math subject.


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