What is a Force?

Forces change the speed, shape and direction of almost everything.

Whenever you push or pull, that can be described as a force. Forces take place all around us. Even though they are invisible, we can still see their effects on the environment. As you can see from the image below, the water is falling out of the bucket because there is a force acting upon it. That force is gravity (which pulls the water, out of the bucket, down towards the ground. Forces change the speed and direction of movement.

If gravity was not present…

How exactly do we measure force?

We measure force in newtons (N). For example, the force exerted on the spring can be 10 newtons (N). The greater the force. the more the string stretches, so we can measure the force by measuring the stretch.

The image above shows a force meter (otherwise called a newton meter). When an object is attached to the hook, the spring stretches. So, the heavier the object is, the longer the spring will stretch, which will provide a bigger reading.