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use of sift keypoint radius in calculating feature vector

I have followed many tutorials on SIFT and have a good understanding of how key points are detected.But while extracting SIFT feature vectors where does the keypoint scale play the role.

As I understood, we just take a 16 X 16 window around a keypoint and store magnitudes and orientation into the bins.

I could understand where the keypoint orientation is used though not the scale.