# Bivector

In mathematics, a bivector or 2-vector is a quantity in exterior algebra or geometric algebra that extends the idea of scalars and vectors. If a scalar is considered an order zero quantity, and a vector is an order one quantity, then a bivector can be thought of as being of order two. Bivectors have applications in many areas of mathematics and physics. They are related to complex numbers in two dimensions and to both pseudovectors and quaternions in three dimensions. They can be used to generate rotations in any dimension, and are a useful tool for classifying such rotations. They also are used in physics, tying together a number of otherwise unrelated quantities.

Bivectors are generated by the exterior product on vectors: given two vectors a and b, their exterior product ab is a bivector, as is the sum of any bivectors. Not all bivectors can be generated as a single exterior product. More precisely, a bivector that can be expressed as an exterior product is called simple; in up to three dimensions all bivectors are simple, but in higher dimensions this is not the case. The exterior product is antisymmetric, so ba is the negation of the bivector ab, producing the opposite orientation, and aa is the zero bivector.

Geometrically, a simple bivector can be interpreted as an oriented plane segment, much as vectors can be thought of as directed line segments. The bivector ab has a magnitude equal to the area of the parallelogram with edges a and b, has the attitude of the plane spanned by a and b, and has orientation being the sense of the rotation that would align a with b. It does not have a definite location or position.

Read more about Bivector:  History, Formal Definition, Two Dimensions, Three Dimensions, Four Dimensions, Higher Dimensions, Projective Geometry

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