What is Force?
My video explaining force is now available. In it I explain the concept of force and the effect forces have on objects through a series of high quality animated experiments. Force is a concept used in physics and engineering and you may think of it as a push or a pull.
Force has a magnitude (strength) and a direction. If we apply a force to an object, pulling it to the left, the object will accelerate to the left. If we apply a force to an object, pulling it to the right, the object will accelerate to the right. Therefore you can see that the direction of a force is important, as the effect it has on an object will be different depending on its direction.
Since a force has magnitude and direction, it is referred to as a vector in mathematical calculation. Therefore when analysing forces we use arrows to represent the magnitude and direction of the force.
We use the newton as the unit of measurement of the size of a force. To get a feel for the size of a newton, hold an averaged sized apple in your hand. The vertical force you feel is due to the weight of the apple and is approximately equal to a force of one newton.
Newton’s laws of motion use force to explain the motion of an object. If you know the force applied to an object you can predict the object’s acceleration.
In structural mechanics we can use force to predict the deformation of an object. If the force applied to an object exceeds the object’s strength, there will be failure of the object. In my video, I illustrate this with reference to a poorly constructed wall. When I push on the wall with a force greater than the strength of the wall, the wall fails at its foundation, resulting in the wall collapsing to the ground.
So here is my video. It is a fast paced summary of force and I hope you enjoy it.