What is a Force?

Forces can change the speed, shape and direction of objects.

Whenever you push or pull, it 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.

In the image below, water falls out of the bucket due to a force acting upon it. That force is gravity, which pulls the water out of the bucket and down towards the ground.

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 spring stretches; therefore, we can measure the force by observing the stretch.

The image above shows a force meter (otherwise known as a Newton meter). When an object is attached to the hook, the spring stretches. The heavier the object is, the more the spring stretches, giving a higher reading.