# Scalar

## Scalar

Synonym for real number.

### Examples

• In an expression like A = 12x$$^{2}$$, the number 12 is a scalar.
• It is important to distinguish scalar quantities from vector quantities: temperature and mass are scalar quantities while speed and force are vector quantities, because speed and force are not only characterized by their measure,but also by their direction.

### ETYMOLOGICAL NOTE

The word scalar comes from the Latin scala which means “ladder” (to climb) or “graduation” (the bars of the ladder).
Later, in math, this term was used to refer to the idea of graduation on a board or a ruler.
It is a term that expresses the concept of standard size for measurement.