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Vectors

Definition: A vector of dimension n is an ordered collection of n elements, which are called components.

Notation: We often represent a vector by some letter, just as we use a letter to denote a scalar (real number) in algebra. In typewritten work, a vector is usually given a bold letter, such as A, to distinguish it from a scalar quantity, such as A.

In handwritten work, writing bold letters is difficult, so we typically just place a right-handed arrow over the letter to denote a vector. An n-dimensional vector A has n elements denoted as A1, A2, ..., An. Symbolically, this can be written in multiple ways:

A = <A1, A2, ..., An> A = (A1, A2, ..., An)

Example: (2,-5), (-1, 0, 2), (4.5), and (PI, a, b, 2/3) are all examples of vectors of dimension 2, 3, 1, and 4 respectively. The first vector has components 2 and -5.

"Chance favors the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur