# Definition:Force

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## Contents

## Definition

A **force** is an influence which causes a body to undergo a change in velocity.

**Force** is a vector quantity.

### Dimension

The dimension of measurement of **force** is $\mathsf {M L T}^{-2}$.

This arises from Newton's Second Law of Motion and its definition as a mass (of dimension $\mathsf M$) multiplied by an acceleration (of dimension $\mathsf {L T}^{-2}$).

### Units

The units of measurement of **force** are as follows:

### Newton

The **newton** is the SI unit of force.

It is defined as being:

- The amount of force required to accelerate a mass of one kilogram at a rate of one metre per second squared.

### Dyne

The **dyne** is the **CGS** unit of force:

- $1 \ \mathrm {dyn} = 1 \ \mathrm g \ \mathrm{cm} \ \mathrm s^{-2}$

Thus we see:

- $1 \ \mathrm N = 10^5 \ \mathrm {dyn}$

## Also known as

Some writers and thinkers subdivide the idea of a **force** into a **push** or a **pull**, but such a dichotomy can serve to confuse the fact that they are in fact both **forces**.

## Also see

## Linguistic Note

The word **force** is derived from the Latin word **fors** meaning **strength**.

## Sources

- 1921: C.E. Weatherburn:
*Elementary Vector Analysis*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text I$. Addition and Subtraction of Vectors. Centroids: Definitions: $1$. - 1951: B. Hague:
*An Introduction to Vector Analysis*(5th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text I$: Definitions. Elements of Vector Algebra: 1. Scalar and Vector Quantities - 1965: J.W. Leech:
*Classical Mechanics*(2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {I}$: Introduction - 1966: Isaac Asimov:
*Understanding Physics*... (previous) ... (next): $\text {I}$: Motion, Sound and Heat: Chapter $3$: The Laws of Motion: Forces and Vectors - 1968: Murray R. Spiegel:
*Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables*... (previous) ... (next): $\S 22$: Vectors and Scalars - 1970: George Arfken:
*Mathematical Methods for Physicists*(2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $1$ Vector Analysis $1.1$ Definitions, Elementary Approach - 1992: Frederick W. Byron, Jr. and Robert W. Fuller:
*Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics*... (previous) ... (next): Volume One: Chapter $1$ Vectors in Classical Physics: $1.1$ Geometric and Algebraic Definitions of a Vector