scalar, quantity or number possessing only sign and magnitude, e.g., the real numbers (see numbernumber,
entity describing the magnitude or position of a mathematical object or extensions of these concepts. The Natural Numbers
Cardinal numbers describe the size of a collection of objects; two such collections have the same (cardinal) number of objects if their
..... Click the link for more information. ), in contrast to vectorsvector,
quantity having both magnitude and direction; it may be represented by a directed line segment. Many physical quantities are vectors, e.g., force, velocity, and momentum.
..... Click the link for more information. and tensorstensor,
in mathematics, quantity that depends linearly on several vector variables and that varies covariantly with respect to some variables and contravariantly with respect to others when the coordinate axes are rotated (see Cartesian coordinates).
..... Click the link for more information. ; scalars obey the rules of elementary algebra. Many physical quantities have scalar values, e.g., length, area, mass, energy, and electric charge. Such quantities as velocity, force, momentum, and spin are vectors and follow different algebraic rules.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
a quantity such that each of its values can be expressed by a single (real) number. Examples of scalars include length, area, time, mass, density, temperature, and work. The term “scalar” is used—sometimes simply as a synonym for “number”—in vector analysis, where a scalar is distinguished from a vector.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
A single value or item.
One of the algebraic quantities which form a field, usually the real or complex numbers, by which the vectors of a vector space are multiplied.
A quantity which has magnitude only and no direction, in contrast to a vector.
A quantity which has magnitude only, and has the same value in every coordinate system. Also known as scalar invariant.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. a quantity, such as time or temperature, that has magnitude but not direction
2. Maths an element of a field associated with a vector space
3. having magnitude but not direction
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
A single number, as opposed to a vector
of numbers. Thus, for example, "scalar
multiplication" refers to the operation of multiplying one
number (one scalar) by another and is used to contrast this
with "matrix multiplication" etc.
Any data type that stores a single value
(e.g. a number or Boolean
), as opposed to an aggregate
data type that has many elements. A string
is regarded as a
scalar in some languages (e.g. Perl
) and a vector of
characters in others (e.g. C
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
scalarA single item or value. Contrast with vector and array, which are made up of multiple values. See scalar processor.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.