Home learning focus
Learn about and understand parallel vectors.
This lesson includes:
- a learning summary
- one activity sheet
A vector describes a movement from one point to another. A vector quantity has both direction and magnitude. The vector can also be represented by a column matrix; this is referred to as a column vector.
A vector can be represented by a line segment labelled with an arrow.
A vector between two points, A and B, can be described in three ways, using:
- an arrow
- bold font
- an underscore.
The vector can also be represented by a column matrix; this is referred to as a column vector.
When vectors are parallel, one of the vectors is a multiple of the other. The multiplier is called a scalar.
A scalar is a quality that requires only a size, for example, distance travelled is 20 m. A scalar is just a number. If the scalar is negative, the vector will be in the opposite direction. The scalar can be a fraction, this means the vector will be smaller.
These vectors are all parallel. Note the direction does not matter as long one vector is a multiple of the other.
So, to work out if one vector is parallel to another, you need to find out whether one vector is a multiple of the other.
Some examples of parallel vectors are listed below:
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