## Vector

## What is a vector?

In physics, a line segment in space that starts from one point to another is called a vector, that is, it has direction and sense. The function of vectors in physics is to express the so-called vector magnitudes.

The term vector comes from Latin *vector*, *vectoris*, whose meaning is 'the one who leads', or 'the one who carries'.

Vectors are represented graphically with an arrow. Likewise, when they must be expressed in a formula, they are represented by a letter surmounted by an arrow.

Example 1:

Example 2:

## Vector quantities

Vector quantities are those quantities that, in addition to being represented by a number and a unit, also need to be expressed in space with a direction and a sense, that is, with a vector. This distinguishes them from scalar quantities, which only require one number and one unit. Examples of vector quantities are the following:

- speed;
- displacement;
- acceleration;
- impulse;
- force;
- weight;
- power;
- electric field;
- magnetic field;
- gravitational field;
- thermal energy;
- torque;
*momentum*.

## Vector characteristics

The components of the vectors that define their characteristics are the following:

- Modulus or magnitude: refers to the length or amplitude of the vector or line segment.
- Direction: refers to the inclination that the vector has with respect to an imaginary horizontal axis, with which it forms an angle.
- Direction: refers to the orientation of the vector, indicated by the head of the vector arrow.

## Types of vectors

- Null vectors: are those where origin and end coincide and, therefore, the module or magnitude is equal to 0. For example:

- Unit vectors: are those whose modulus is equal to 1. For example:

- Fixed vectors: are those that express a point of origin in addition to an extreme, which is determined at a fixed point in space. They are often used, for example, to express the force applied to that point. To represent them, the point of origin is said to be A and the endpoint is B. For example:
- Parallel vectors: they are located on parallel lines, but they have the same or opposite direction. For instance:

- Opposite vectors: they are characterized by having the same direction and magnitude, but their sense is opposite. For instance:

- Concurrent or angular vectors: are those whose lines of action pass through the same point, that is, they intersect. For instance:

- Free vectors: are those vectors whose application point is indeterminate and, therefore, free. For example:

- Equipolentes or equal vectors: are those vectors with the same module, direction and sense. For example:

- Coplanar vectors: are those that are in the same plane. For example:

- Collinear vectors: their lines of action lie on the same line. For example:

- Axial vectors or pseudovectors: are those that are linked to the effects of rotation. The direction points to the axis of rotation of the segment. For example:

## Vector in mathematics

In mathematics, in the area of vector calculation, vector is an oriented line segment, which depends on a coordinate system, in which a significant number of operations can be carried out, such as addition, subtraction, decomposition, angle between two vectors, etc.

## Vector in health

In medicine, a vector is any living and organic being capable of transporting viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites from an infected being to a healthy one. For example: the mosquito* Aedes aegypti *It is the vector of dengue and yellow fever, that is, it is responsible for transporting the agent that transmits the disease.

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