What Is Force? – Definition, Formula, Unit, Types

What is Force?

A force is a push or a pull that changes or tends to change an object’s state of rest or uniform motion, as well as its direction or shape.

Force can also be described as a push or a pull of an object.

A force has both magnitude and direction, So it is a vector quantity.

What are the Effects of Force?

The Force has different effects, which are listed below:

  • Even if a body is at rest, force may cause it to move.
  • It has the ability to either stop or slow down a moving body.
  • It has the ability to increase the speed of a moving body.
  • It may also modify the form and size of a moving body as well as its direction.

Formula for Force

The vector product of mass (m) and acceleration (a) is used to express the quantity of force (a). The equation or formula for force can be expressed mathematically as follows:

what is force
F = ma


m = mass
a = acceleration

Unit of Force

  • Centimeter gram second system of unit (CGS unit) of force is expressed in dyne.
  • Standard international system of unit (SI unit) of force is expressed in Newton (N).

Types of Force

There are two types of forces based on their applications:

  1. Contact Force
  2. Non-Contact Force

Examples of contact forces

  • Frictional Force
  • Muscular Force
  • Mechanical Force

Examples of non-contact forces

  • Gravitational Force
  • Electrostatic Force
  • Magnetic Force

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