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This video consists of four chapters: an introduction to the concept of the vector, a brief review of vector properties, an exploration of vector properties using physical intuition based on displacements, and finally, a discussion of how to recognize when a physical quantity can be represented by a vector, which works through the example of force and the non-example of rotation.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this video, students will be able to:

  • Understand the properties of vectors by using displacement as an example
  • Determine whether a physical quantity can be represented using vectors


Funding provided by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Developed by the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) at MIT for SUTD

MIT © 2012

Related Resources

Instructor Guide

This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Vectors Instructor Guide (PDF)

It is highly recommended that the video is paused when prompted so that students are able to attempt the activities on their own and then check their solutions against the video.

During the video, students will:

  • Compile a list of physical quantities that have magnitude and direction, and determine whether or not these quantities can be represented with vectors;
  • Determine how to add vectors by using intuition about displacements;
  • Determine if forces and rotations have vector properties.
  • Discuss and explain a chair-lifting trick

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