representable by position on a scale or line; having only magnitude:
a scalar variable.
of, relating to, or utilizing a scalar.
ladderlike in arrangement or organization; graduated:
a scalar structure for promoting personnel.
Mathematics, Physics. a quantity possessing only magnitude.
Compare vector (def 1a).
a quantity, such as time or temperature, that has magnitude but not direction Compare vector (sense 1), tensor (sense 2), pseudoscalar, pseudovector
(maths) an element of a field associated with a vector space
having magnitude but not direction
A quantity, such as mass, length, or speed, whose only property is magnitude; a number. Compare vector.

1. A single number, as opposed to a vector or matrix of numbers. Thus, for example, “scalar multiplication” refers to the operation of multiplying one number (one scalar) by another and is used to contrast this with “matrix multiplication” etc.
2. In a parallel processor or vector processor, the “scalar processor” handles all the sequential operations – those which cannot be parallelised or vectorised.
See also superscalar.
3. Any data type that stores a single value (e.g. a number or Boolean), as opposed to an aggregate data type that has many elements. A string is regarded as a scalar in some languages (e.g. Perl) and a vector of characters in others (e.g. C).


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  • Scalar-field

    noun, Mathematics, Physics. 1. a region with a number assigned at each point.

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    adjective, Biology. 1. ladderlike. adjective 1. (biology) resembling a ladder: a scalariform cell

  • Scalar multiplication

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