Understanding Force

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Force | Gravity | Calculating Force | Force Work | Friction Force | Motion | Momentum | Newton's Laws of Motion | Newton | Velocity | Acceleration | Weight and Mass


Definition of Force/Types of Force


Force Lessons

Newton's First Law of Motion
Newton's Second Law of Motion
Newton's Third Law of Motion
Weight and Mass
Calculating Force




Definition of Force

From Newton's first law of motion, we have that an object will forever remain where it is kept unless a force is applied to move it; and also that an object will continue to move along a straight line forever at uniform speed unless a force is acted on it to change its speed and direction.

Therefore, we can define force as:

An agent which changes a body's state of rest or uniform motion along a straight line.


Force can broadly be divided into two groups, namely Contact forces and force field.

Contact Forces: These are forces that make contact with the bodies they impact. They include such forces as forces of pull and push, tension, friction, and reaction.

Force Field: Unlike contact forces, force fields do not make contact with the bodies they affect. They impact bodies from a distance within their fields. Examples include gravitational forces, electrical forces, and magnetic forces.

Force is a vector quantity. This means that it has both magnitude and direction. In physics, things which have both magnitude and direction are regarded as vector quantities.


Calculating Force: the magnitude of force which acts on a body can be deduced by applying Newton's second law of motion.


See calculation of force based on Newton's second law of motion here.


Newton's First Law Of Motion