Sat August 27, 2011 By: Pulkit Sharma

Why is current an scalar quantity ?

Expert Reply
Sat August 27, 2011

For a physical quantity to be termed a vector quantity, having magnitude and direction is not enough. The quantity should obey the laws of vector addition too (like the triangle law or the parallelogram law). As we know, if two currents meet at a junction, the total current will be the algebraic sum of the two currents and not the vector sum. As the current does not require the vector laws to be applied and can be handled by simple algebra so it does not fit into the definition of a vector and hence it is a scalar.

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