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Unit of Force


Units play a great role in physics. It is used to designate the magnitude of dimension.The force is a push or a pull that acts on mass and changes its acceleration.The dimensional formula of force is [MLT -2]. Like all quantities it is also has units. There are ways of representing units of force. Lets see about it.

Force Unit

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The unit of measurement of force in the metric system is the Newton, that is kilogram times meters per second square (kgm/s2). In US standards it is measured in pounds (lbf). Like wise there are 5 units of force namely
  1. Centimeter Gram Second unit (C.G.S)
  2. Foot Pound Second unit (F.P.S)
  3. Meter Kilogram Second unit (M.K.S)
  4. System of International unit (S.I)

Here is given the force unit based on the system

  • C.G.S system : A dyne is defined as a force that acts upon a mass of 1 gram that produces an acceleration of 1 cm/s2 in the direction in which it acts.
  • F.P.S system : When a mass of 1 pound is subjected to an acceleration of 1ft/sec2 the force applied is called 1 poundal. It is abbreviated as pdl. One poundal is 1lbm-ft/sec2.
  • M.K.S system : A Newton (N) is that much force which produces an acceleration of 1 cm/s2 in the direction in which it acts.
  • S.I system : It is unit used globally. Most of the time we go for metric unit as S.I unit. Hence the S.I unit of force is Newton (N).

Unit of Measurement of Force

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Force is that which is experienced when a mass being accelerated or decelerated in a certain direction. There are five ways to represent the units for force:

Abbreviated as
Dyne dyn C.G.S
Kilo pound force kp F.P.S
Poundal force
lbf F.P.S
pdl F.P.S

Metric Unit of Force

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The Metric system is that system is commonly used as it is a easy way to express the dimension as compared to system used in US states. It called as meter-kilogram-second (MKS or mks) system of units is based on three fundamental units named after meter, kilogram and second. The MKS unit is easy to work in scientific notation.
The force unit in metric system is Newton (N). It is the force that produces an acceleration of 1 kg of mass.  It is abbreviated as N.

1 N = 1 kg $\times$ 1 m/s2
                  = 1000 gm $\times$ 100 cm/s
      = 105 gm cm/s
      = 105 dynes

Thus One Newton is that a body of mass 1 kg moving with the acceleration of 1 m/s2. If the body is moving with an acceleration of 9.81 m/s2 then the force acting on the body will be 9.81 newtons.

SI Units of Force

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All systems of weighs and measures metric and non metric are linked through a network of international agreements supporting the International system of units. The SI unit was named after the two initials of the French name Le Systeme International d' units. So it can be expanded as System unit of International.
The S.I unit is measured by a small agency in Paris known as BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures) and is updated every few years by an international conference called CGPM (Conference Generale des Poids et Mesures). This is the only type of unit that is globally recognized. It can be used anywhere in science, engineering and commerce.

The S.I unit of force is Newton (N).

Newton Unit of Force

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A Newton unit is a standard unit we use. It was named after Isaac newton as he was the one who proposed the second law. According to newtons second law the force is given as
F = ma
Here F is the Force applied
        m is the mass
        a is the acceleration
In dimensional analysis we have
F = $\frac{ML}{T^2}$

Replace it by standard units. If mass of 1 kg is given a acceleration of 1 m/s2 then the force is
1 N = 1 kg $\frac{m}{s^2}$