In physics, a force is any influence that causes an object to undergo a certain change, either concerning its movement, direction, or geometrical construction. It is measured with the SI unit of newtons and represented by the symbol F. In other words, a force is that which can cause an object with mass to change its velocity (which includes to begin moving from a state of rest), i.e., to accelerate, or which can cause a flexible object to deform. Force can also be described by intuitive concepts such as a push or pull. A force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity.
The original form of Newton's second law states that the net force acting upon an object is equal to the rate at which its momentum changes with time. If the mass of the object is constant, this law implies that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on the object, is in the direction of the net force, and is inversely proportional the mass of the object. As a formula, this is expressed as:
where the arrows imply a vector quantity possessing both magnitude and direction.
Related concepts to force include: thrust, which increases the velocity of an object; drag, which decreases the velocity of an object; and torque which produces changes in rotational speed of an object. Forces which do not act uniformly on all parts of a body will also cause mechanical stresses, a technical term for influences which cause deformation of matter. While mechanical stress can remain embedded in a solid object, gradually deforming it, mechanical stress in a fluid determines changes in its pressure and volume.
Read more about Force: Development of The Concept, Pre-Newtonian Concepts, Newtonian Mechanics, Descriptions, Fundamental Models, Non-fundamental Forces, Rotations and Torque, Kinematic Integrals, Potential Energy, Units of Measurement
Famous quotes containing the word force:
“Force was his juices and force was his meat.”
—Zora Neale Hurston (18911960)
“Who were the fools who spread the story that brute force cannot kill ideas? Nothing is easier. And once they are dead they are no more than corpses.”
—Simone Weil (19091943)
“...here he is, fully alive, and it is hard to picture him fully dead. Death is thirty-three hours away and here we are talking about the brain size of birds and bloodhounds and hunting in the woods. You can only attend to death for so long before the life force sucks you right in again.”
—Helen Prejean (b. 1940)