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# Scalars and negatives: watch

1. Hey,

The scalar product is so called because it produces a scalar, a real number which could potentially be negative.

I always thought a scalar was a positive number or 0; apparently this is not so.

Why can a negative number be a scalar when the negative sign implies, to me at least, the involvement of direction?

Thank-you.
2. That's not the meaning of scalar outside school physics. A scalar is just a real or complex number that can be used to scale a real or complex vector.
3. (Original post by Zhen Lin)
That's not the meaning of scalar outside school physics. A scalar is just a real or complex number that can be used to scale a real or complex vector.
Okay that would explain it. Thank-you.

What do you mean by scale? An enlargement which can be negative (i.e. flip the vector)?

Also, what is a complex vector? If it is too complex (I know about complex numbers) there is no need to explain it to me.

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