# 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 $M L T^{-2}$.

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

### 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

- 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