Saturday, February 11, 2006

force - definition

Definition: That which tends to change the momentum of a massive body. Force is defined as being proportional to the rate of change of momentum. For a body of mass m moving at non-relativistic velocity v, the momentum is mv. The force, F, is then defined as d(mv)/dt. If the mass is constant, F = m dv/dt = ma where a is the acceleration. Forces always occur in equal and opposite action-reaction pairs between bodies although it is often convenient to think of one body being in a force field.

Unit: newton, 1 N = 1 kg•m/s2

Symbol: F

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