Why do we say force is a vector quantity?


Quick Answer

Force is classified as a vector quantity because it is a quantity that has both direction and magnitude (numerical value). Force is measured by the standard metric unit known as the newton; one newton is equivalent to 1-kg/(m)(s)2.

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Full Answer

Force is either a push or pull of an object, and can only occur as a result of an interaction between objects. To describe a force acting upon an object, it is necessary to describe the direction and magnitude of the force. In physics, it is common practice to represent forces in vector diagrams to illustrate all of the forces acting on an object. This visualization helps discern which forces cancel each other out and also assists with further calculations.

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