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Concept Application

The use of vector and scalar quantities is quite common. One uses vectors when getting directions from a map, plays sports such as pool, plays video games such as Mario Brothers (etc..). Engineers use vector quantities all the time. For example, vector quantities are used to indicate the load a particular beam has in a bridge, or the thrust needed for an airplane to take off from the ground. It also turns out that even Biologists and Chemists use vectors and scalars as well. For example, Chemists who do research on the kinetics (rates) of certain chemical reactions are comparing the speed at which these reactions proceed under certain varying conditions. The 'rate' at which a reaction occurs is a scalar quantity. It has no direction, the chemist merely wants to know how fast the reaction is occurring, not in what direction.