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Scalar or vector?

  1. Aug 17, 2006 #1

    I've been wondering if a heightfield is a scalar or a vector, and how many dimensions in space it has.

    Sure, if it's a scalar it only has a magnitude, and as a vector magnitude and direction but I cannot see either, or keep them apart in this case. Density or gravityacceleration are easier I guess.

    Dimensions: 2 would work out: h=(x,y) but would 1d and 3d possible as well?
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2006 #2
    Hello Hexa,

    in the case of h=h(x,y) you get for each set of values x and y a corresponding height h, which is a scalar. Or to put it another way: For every point on the x-y-surface you get a certain height h. So alltogether the function describes a 2-Dimensional surface in a 3-Dimensional space.

    I hope that was helpful for you.
  4. Aug 18, 2006 #3
    Hi David,

    that was also my intuition. I got confused by an old exam question about visualising such heightfield as vectorfield:confused: and could not find a direction.

    Thanks a lot


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