How are vector quantities important to us in our daily life?

Difficulty: Medium

We use vectors in almost every activity of life. A vector is a quantity that has both direction and magnitude.


Examples of everyday activities that involve vectors include:

  • Breathing (your diaphragm muscles exert a force that has magnitude and direction)
  • Walking (you walk at a velocity of around 7 km/h in the direction of the bathroom)
  • Going to school (the bus has a length of about 300m and is headed towards your school)
  • Lunch (the displacement from your classroom to the canteen is about 50m in the north direction.
  • To describe a car’s velocity, you would have to state it as 80km/h south.


Vectors are important as they describe physical processes in the real world, and without understanding them, we cannot understand how the real world works. Imagine how difficult it would be for an air traffic controller if he did not understand vectors when directing a plane's speeds and direction.