What is Magnitude? Exploring Temperature & Physics

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In summary, temperature is considered a scalar quantity because it can be represented by a single number with units and does not have a direction. However, its magnitude can be negative, as seen in the Celsius scale, but this is based on a subjective human decision and not a physical meaning. The Kelvin scale, on the other hand, does not allow for negative temperatures as it is based on a logical and meaningful scale.
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Genecks
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Alright, I was reading this thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=239733

And I read somewhere that temperature is a scalar quantity with magnitude.
But in the thread above, a poster said that a magnitude is always zero or positive.
But then again... temperature can also be negative.
So, how can temperature be a scalar quantity and have a magnitude if it's -30F?
 
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In general, a scalar is a quantity that can be represented by a single number with units (no direction). It can certainly be negative.

The magnitude of a vector is the length of the vector, which can only be positive.
 
  • #3
Temperature can only be negative if you use a useless unit of measure, anyway.

You can not have negative kelvins because the kelvin scale makes sense. The celsius scale works, but its values are based on something subjective that humans decided and not something with any real physical meaning.
 

What is magnitude?

Magnitude is a measure of the size or extent of something, often in relation to a specific unit of measurement. In physics, it is often used to describe the strength or intensity of a physical quantity, such as force or energy.

How is magnitude related to temperature?

In the context of temperature, magnitude refers to the amount of heat energy present in a substance. The greater the magnitude of the temperature, the more heat energy is present in the substance.

Is magnitude the same as temperature?

No, magnitude and temperature are not the same. Temperature is a specific measurement of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a substance, while magnitude can refer to a variety of physical quantities.

What are some examples of magnitudes in physics?

Some examples of magnitudes in physics include force, velocity, acceleration, electric and magnetic fields, and sound intensity.

How is magnitude measured?

The unit of measurement for magnitude depends on the specific physical quantity being measured. For example, force is measured in newtons, velocity in meters per second, and temperature in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit.

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