Types of vectors in physics with images & Examples

In this topic, we will learn about different types of vectors like a unit, free, null vector, like, unlike, coplanar, position, initial, proper, negative and equal vectors.   Further, we will learn with examples of vectors to get better understandings.
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Types of vectors

In general, vectors may be divided into three types.

types of vectors
Types of vectors

  • Proper vectors
  • Axial vectors
  • Inertial or pseudo vectors

Proper vectors

Displacement, force, momentum, etc are the proper vectors.

Axial vectors

The vectors which act along the axis of rotation are called axial vectors. For example, angular velocity, torque, angular momentum, angular acceleration are axial vectors.

Pseudo or inertial vectors

The vectors used to make an inertial frame of reference into the inertial frame of reference are called pseudo or inertial vectors. The vector may be further divided as:

  • Unit vectors

A unit vector is that whose magnitude is unity i.e 1 and has any given direction only. A unit vector is obtained by dividing the vector with magnitude.

  • Free vector

A vector which can be displaced parallel ti itself and applied at any point is called a free vector.

  • Position vector

position vector
A vector that represents the position of a point with reference to a fixed point is called position vector

  • Negative vector

A vector having the same magnitude as that of the given vector but the opposite direction is called a negative vector.

  • Null vector

  • A vector whose magnitude is zero and has no direction,it may have all directions is said to be a null vector.A null vector can be obtained by adding two or more vectors.
  • Like or parallel vectors

If two vectors have the same direction but the different magnitude is called parallel or like vectors.

  • Unlike vectors

Two vectors having opposite directions and unequal magnitudes are called, unlike vectors.

  • Equal vectors

Two vectors are said to be equal if they have equal magnitudes.

  • Co -initial vectors

If vectors have a common initial point, then these types of vectors are called co initial vectors.

  • Co-linear vectors

Vectors are called co-linear if they have in the same line or parallel.

  • C0-planar vectors

  • Vectors which are lying in the same plane are called coplanar vectors.

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