Facts about Force

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Force in simple terms can be described as an interaction between one or more objects which cause to change its size, shape or the state of motion. It can be also described with concepts such as push or pull, an agent that causes acceleration etc. It can be experienced in every sphere of life in form of thrust, drag, stress, torque etc.

Philosophers like Aristotle and Archimedes used the concept of force to study the state of motion but had developed erroneous fundamentals about it. A philosophical description of force was provided first by Aristotle in Aristotelian Cosmology. His description faced a lot of shortcomings until the work of Galileo Galilei.

Force was first coined and described by Sir Isaac Newton in Newton’s Second Law of Motion. In 1687 he went on to publish his thesis Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica in which he described how forces are described in physics and how do they influence the motion of an object.

Force is a vector quantity that is it has both magnitude and direction. Mathematically force can be both positive and negative. The direction of the force influences the direction of motion and acceleration.

The unit of force in SI unit is Newton. One Newton can be described as the amount of force which is required to produce an acceleration of 1 metre/(second)2 in an object of mass 1 kilogram. On the basis of Second Law the equation of force can represented as F=ma, where F is force, m is Mass and a is Acceleration.

In CGS units force is measured in dynes. One newton is equal to 100,000 dynes.

Anything that creates a push or pull, changes shape or size and can change the state of motion or inertia can be called force. For example magnetism, wind, biting, twisting, rolling, stretching etc can be called force.

Every phenomena observed on earth is directly or indirectly linked to some or the other force. For example we stand on earth due to gravitational force; we walk due to frictional force etc.

Force can be broadly classifies into Fundamental forces and Non-Fundamental forces. The Fundamental Forces can be further divide into Gravitational Force, Electromagnetic force or Nuclear force. The Non-Fundamental forces can be divided into Normal force, tension, friction, elastic force, continuum mechanics and fictitious forces. Some other types of forces which cannot be classified in the above categories are rotational forces and Torque.

All the forces in the universe are based on the fundamental forces only. The non fundamental forces are based or are a consequence of the fundamental forces.

Forces can also be classified as conservative force or non-conservative force. Conservative forces are those in which the work done by the body depends only on the displacement of the body. That means if you keep holding a bucket full of water on the same spot or hours, you will be tired but by the concepts of physics the work done by you is zero.

Force required to break an average human body is about 1 million kilograms per square metre. An expert can generate 5000 Newton of force in one punch and over 9000 Newton in one kick.

A single human action can involve more than one force. For example if you throw a ball up in the air, on force acts with which it moves upwards, gravitational force pulls it down and air drag causes it to slow down. So one action here involved three forces.

Liquids and gases exert same amount of force in every direction. This is a property of fluids and is conceptualised in the Pascal’s law of pressure.

Force upon unit area derives pressure. This pressure can be easily observed in fluids. Fluids apply pressure on any object inside them and try to compress them.

Aerodynamics is one of the greatest concepts invented to reduce the effect of air drag and frictional resistance to increase the speed of automobiles.

One single hair strand of humans can withstand 100 grams, therefore 100 strands can withstand 10 kilograms of force.

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