Physics Questions and Answers – Motion in a Plane – Scalars and Vectors

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This set of Physics Multiple Choice Questions & Answers (MCQs) focuses on “Motion in a Plane – Scalars and Vectors”.

1. What is a scalar?
a) A quantity with only magnitude
b) A quantity with only direction
c) A quantity with both magnitude and direction
d) A quantity without magnitude
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: A scalar quantity is one which only has a magnitude. Examples of scalar quantities are mass, volume, work, energy etc.
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2. What is a vector quantity?
a) A quantity with only magnitude
b) A quantity with only direction
c) A quantity with both magnitude and direction
d) A quantity without direction
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: A vector quantity is one which has both magnitude and direction. Unlike scalars, it can also tell the direction in which is the entity is acting. Examples of vector quantities are force, velocity, displacement etc.

3. Which one of the following operations is valid?
a) Vector multiplied by scalar
b) Vector added to scalar
c) Vector subtracted from scalar
d) Vector divided by vector
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Only operations valid for vector with scalars are multiplication and division. A vector can be multiplied or divided by a scalar. Other operations like addition and subtraction are not valid for vectors with scalars.
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4. The vector obtained by addition of two vectors is termed as ______
a) New vector
b) Resultant vector
c) Derived vector
d) Sum vector
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: The resultant vector is the vector which is obtained by the addition or subtraction of two vectors. The resultant vector can either be calculated by using the graphical method or the analytical method.

5. Mass is a ____
a) Scalar quantity
b) Vector quantity
c) Relative quantity
d) Dependent quantity
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Mass represents the amount of matter in a body. It does not have any direction but only mass. Hence, it is a scalar quantity.
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6. The operation used to obtain a scalar from two vectors is ______
a) Cross product
b) Dot product
c) Simple product
d) Complex product
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: Dot product of two vectors gives a scalar quantity as the output. Cross product gives a vector as the output. It is also known as scalar product.

7. The operation which does not give you a vector as an output from two vector inputs is ______
a) Dot product
b) Cross product
c) Vector addition
d) Vector subtraction
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Vector addition and subtraction give a vector as the output. Cross product also gives a vector as the output. Only Dot product gives a scalar after acting on two vectors.
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