Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A quantity, such as mass, length, or speed, that is completely specified by its magnitude and has no direction.
  • noun Mathematics A number, numerical quantity, or element in a field.
  • noun A device that yields an output equal to the input multiplied by a constant, as in a linear amplifier.
  • adjective Of or relating to a scalar.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In quaternions, a real number, positive or negative, integral, fractional, or surd: but some writers lately extend the meaning so as to include imaginaries.
  • Of the nature of a scalar.
  • noun In physics, a quantity, such as mass or volume, which has magnitude but not direction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Math.) In the quaternion analysis, a quantity that has magnitude, but not direction; -- distinguished from a vector, which has both magnitude and direction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective mathematics Having magnitude but not direction
  • adjective Of, or relating to scale
  • noun mathematics A quantity that has magnitude but not direction; compare vector
  • noun electronics An amplifier whose output is a constant multiple of its input

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of or relating to a directionless magnitude (such as mass or speed etc.) that is completely specified by its magnitude
  • adjective of or relating to a musical scale
  • noun a variable quantity that cannot be resolved into components

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin scālāris, of a ladder, from scālae, ladder; see scale.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin scālāris, adjectival form from scāla ("a flight of steps, stairs, staircase, ladder, scale"), for *scadla, from scandere ("to climb"); compare scale.

Examples

  • The cult leader warns that her followers will make and defend themselves with what she calls scalar electromagnetic weapons if they are attacked, just as Aum defended itself when it was threatened.

    Pana Wave Cult Raises Concern Among Japanese Authorities

  • The triple product is sometimes called the scalar triple product to distinguish it from the vector triple product

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • This is related to Grice's first maxim of quantity ( "Make your contribution as informative as required") and is held responsible for the inference of so-called scalar implicatures, among others.

    Pragmatics

  • Mass, electric charge, temperature, have the same symmetry, of a type called scalar, that of the sphere.

    Pierre Curie

  • Arithmetic types, enumeration types, pointer types, and pointer to member types are collectively called scalar types.

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • Electromagnetic waves which exist only in the vacuum of empty space constitute an ocean of infinite energy called scalar energy.

    The Times of India

  • If you remember your math (and even if you don't), a scalar is a plain, simple, one-dimensional value.

    Dev Shed - RSS Feeds

  • In Perl, a scalar is the fundamental, basic unit of data of which there are two kinds-numbers and strings.

    Dev Shed - RSS Feeds

  • J-coupling, also known as scalar coupling, is due to the interaction between different nuclei in the same molecule that is mediated through electrons in chemical bonds

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • J-coupling, also known as scalar coupling, is due to the interaction between different nuclei in the same molecule that is mediated through electrons in chemical bonds

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

Comments

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  • "2. In quaternions, a real number, positive or negative, integral, fractional, or surd: but some writers lately extend the meaning so as to include imaginaries. Sir W. R. Hamilton introduced the word with the meaning “a real number”; and it tends to confuse the subject to use a word needed for one purpose to signify something else for which no new word is needed." -- Cent. Dict.

    August 29, 2011

  • (BTW, check out the clouds showing Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the visuals.)

    August 29, 2011