force

(redirected from forceful)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.
Related to forceful: forcefully

force,

commonly, a "push" or "pull," more properly defined in physics as a quantity that changes the motion, size, or shape of a body. Force is a vectorvector,
quantity having both magnitude and direction; it may be represented by a directed line segment. Many physical quantities are vectors, e.g., force, velocity, and momentum.
..... Click the link for more information.
 quantity, having both magnitude and direction. The magnitude of a force is measured in units such as the pound, dynedyne
, unit of force in the cgs system of units, which is based on the metric system; an acceleration of 1 centimeter per second per second is produced when a force of 1 dyne is exerted on a mass of 1 gram.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and newtonnewton,
abbr. N, unit of force in the mks system of units, which is based on the metric system; it is the force that produces an acceleration of 1 meter per second per second when exerted on a mass of 1 kilogram. The newton is named for Sir Isaac Newton.
..... Click the link for more information.
, depending upon the system of measurement being used. An unbalanced force acting on a body free to move will change the motionmotion,
the change of position of one body with respect to another. The rate of change is the speed of the body. If the direction of motion is also given, then the velocity of the body is determined; velocity is a vector quantity, having both magnitude and direction, while speed
..... Click the link for more information.
 of the body. The quantity of motion of a body is measured by its momentummomentum
, in mechanics, the quantity of motion of a body, specifically the product of the mass of the body and its velocity. Momentum is a vector quantity; i.e., it has both a magnitude and a direction, the direction being the same as that of the velocity vector.
..... Click the link for more information.
, the product of its massmass,
in physics, the quantity of matter in a body regardless of its volume or of any forces acting on it. The term should not be confused with weight, which is the measure of the force of gravity (see gravitation) acting on a body.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and its velocityvelocity,
change in displacement with respect to time. Displacement is the vector counterpart of distance, having both magnitude and direction. Velocity is therefore also a vector quantity. The magnitude of velocity is known as the speed of a body.
..... Click the link for more information.
. According to Newton's second law of motion (see motionmotion,
the change of position of one body with respect to another. The rate of change is the speed of the body. If the direction of motion is also given, then the velocity of the body is determined; velocity is a vector quantity, having both magnitude and direction, while speed
..... Click the link for more information.
), the change in momentum is directly proportional to the applied force. Since mass is constant at ordinary velocities, the result of the force is a change in velocity, or an accelerationacceleration,
change in the velocity of a body with respect to time. Since velocity is a vector quantity, involving both magnitude and direction, acceleration is also a vector. In order to produce an acceleration, a force must be applied to the body.
..... Click the link for more information.
, which may be a change either in the speedspeed,
change in distance with respect to time. Speed is a scalar rather than a vector quantity; i.e., the speed of a body tells one how fast the body is moving but not the direction of the motion.
..... Click the link for more information.
 or in the direction of the velocity.

Two or more forces acting on a body in different directions may balance, producing a state of equilibriumequilibrium,
state of balance. When a body or a system is in equilibrium, there is no net tendency to change. In mechanics, equilibrium has to do with the forces acting on a body.
..... Click the link for more information.
. For example, the downward force of gravity (see gravitationgravitation,
the attractive force existing between any two particles of matter. The Law of Universal Gravitation

Since the gravitational force is experienced by all matter in the universe, from the largest galaxies down to the smallest particles, it is often called
..... Click the link for more information.
) on a person weighing 200 lb (91 km) when standing on the ground is balanced by an equivalent upward force exerted by the earth on the person's feet. If the person were to fall into a deep hole, then the upward force would no longer be acting and the person would be accelerated downward by the unbalanced force of gravity. If a body is not completely rigid, then a force acting on it may change its size or shape. Scientists study the strength of materialsstrength of materials,
measurement in engineering of the capacity of metal, wood, concrete, and other materials to withstand stress and strain. Stress is the internal force exerted by one part of an elastic body upon the adjoining part, and strain is the deformation or change in
..... Click the link for more information.
 to anticipate how a given material may behave under the influence of various types of force.

There are four basic types of force in nature. Two of these are easily observed; the other two are detectable only at the atomic level. Although the weakest of the four forces is the gravitational force, it is the most easily observed because it affects all matter, is always attractive and because its range is theoretically infinite, i.e., the force decreases with distance but remains measurable at the largest separations. Thus, a very large mass, such as the sun, can exert over a distance of many millions of miles a force sufficient to keep a planet in orbit. The electromagnetic force, which can be observed between electric charges, is stronger than the gravitational force and also has infinite range. Both electric and magnetic forces are ultimately based on the electrical properties of matter; they are propagated together through space as an electromagnetic fieldfield,
in physics, region throughout which a force may be exerted; examples are the gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields that surround, respectively, masses, electric charges, and magnets. The field concept was developed by M.
..... Click the link for more information.
 of force (see electromagnetic radiationelectromagnetic radiation,
energy radiated in the form of a wave as a result of the motion of electric charges. A moving charge gives rise to a magnetic field, and if the motion is changing (accelerated), then the magnetic field varies and in turn produces an electric field.
..... Click the link for more information.
). At the atomic level, two additional types of force exist, both having extremely short range. The strong nuclear force, or strong interaction, is associated with certain reactions between elementary particleselementary particles,
the most basic physical constituents of the universe. Basic Constituents of Matter

Molecules are built up from the atom, which is the basic unit of any chemical element. The atom in turn is made from the proton, neutron, and electron.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and is responsible for holding the atomic nucleusnucleus,
in physics, the extremely dense central core of an atom. The Nature of the Nucleus
Composition

Atomic nuclei are composed of two types of particles, protons and neutrons, which are collectively known as nucleons.
..... Click the link for more information.
 together. The weak nuclear force, or weak interaction, is associated with beta particlebeta particle,
one of the three types of radiation resulting from natural radioactivity. Beta radiation (or beta rays) was identified and named by E. Rutherford, who found that it consists of high-speed electrons.
..... Click the link for more information.
 emission and particle decay; it is weaker than the electromagnetic force but stronger than the gravitational force.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

Force

Force may be briefly described as that influence on a body which causes it to accelerate. In this way, force is defined through Newton's second law of motion.

This law states in part that the acceleration of a body is proportional to the resultant force exerted on the body and is inversely proportional to the mass of the body. An alternative procedure is to try to formulate a definition in terms of a standard force, for example, that necessary to stretch a particular spring a certain amount, or the gravitational attraction which the Earth exerts on a standard object. Even so, Newton's second law inextricably links mass and force. See Acceleration, Mass

One may choose either the absolute or the gravitational approach in selecting a standard particle or object. In the so-called absolute systems of units, it is said that the standard object has a mass of one unit. Then the second law of Newton defines unit force as that force which gives unit acceleration to the unit mass. Any other mass may in principle be compared with the standard mass (m) by subjecting it to unit force and measuring the acceleration ( a ), with which it varies inversely. By suitable appeal to experiment, it is possible to conclude that masses are scalar quantities and that forces are vector quantities which may be superimposed or resolved by the rules of vector addition and resolution.

In the absolute scheme, then, the equation F = m a is written for nonrelativistic mechanics; boldface type denotes vector quantities. This statement of the second law of Newton is in fact the definition of force. In the absolute system, mass is taken as a fundamental quantity and force is a derived unit of dimensions MLT-2 (M = mass, L = length, T = time).

The gravitational system of units uses the attraction of the Earth for the standard object as the standard force. Newton's second law still couples force and mass, but since force is here taken as the fundamental quantity, mass becomes the derived factor of proportionality between force and the acceleration it produces. In particular, the standard force (the Earth's attraction for the standard object) produces in free fall what one measures as the gravitational acceleration, a vector quantity proportional to the standard force (weight) for any object. It follows from the use of Newton's second law as a defining relation that the mass of that object is m = w/g, with g the magnitude of the gravitational acceleration and w the magnitude of the weight. The derived quantity mass has dimensions FT2 L-1. See Free fall

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

force

Symbol: F . According to Newton's laws of motion, any physical agency that alters or attempts to alter a body's state of rest or of uniform motion. The force required to accelerate a body of mass m is given by ma , where a is the acceleration imparted. There are many kinds of forces, including the gravitational force. The SI unit of force is the newton. See also fundamental forces; field.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006

Force

Anything that changes or tends to change the state of rest of a body; common forces in buildings are the weight of the materials from which they are built, the weight of the contents, and the forces due to wind, snow, and earthquakes.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Force

 

in mechanics, a quantity that is a measure of the mechanical action on a given physical body by other bodies. This action causes a change in the velocities of points of the body or produces deformation of the body. The action can occur through direct contact—as in friction or the pressures exerted by bodies that are pressed against each other—or through fields generated by the bodies—such as a gravitational field or an electromagnetic field.

A force is a vector quantity and at every moment of time is characterized by a magnitude, direction in space, and point of application. Forces are added according to the parallelogram law. The straight line along which a force is directed is called the line of action of the force. In the case of a nondeformable rigid body, the force can be considered to be applied at any point on its line of action. A force acting on a particle can be constant or variable. The force of gravity is an example of a constant force. A variable force can be dependent on time (for example, an alternating electromagnetic field), the position of the particle in space (a gravitational force), or on the particle’s velocity (the resisting force of the medium).

Forces are measured by static or dynamic methods. The static method is based on the balancing of the force being measured by another, known force (seeDYNAMOMETER). The dynamic method is based on the law of dynamics mw = F. If the mass m of the body is known and the acceleration w of the body’s free translational motion with respect to the inertial frame of reference is measured, the force F can be found from this law. Frequently used units of force are the newton (N) and dyne(dyn): 1 dyn = 10–5 N, and 1 kilogram-force ≈ 9.81 N.

S. M. TARG

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

force

[fȯrs]
(computer science)
To intervene manually in a computer routine and cause the computer to execute a jump instruction.
(mechanics)
That influence on a body which causes it to accelerate; quantitatively it is a vector, equal to the body's time rate of change of momentum.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

force

1. Physics
a. a dynamic influence that changes a body from a state of rest to one of motion or changes its rate of motion. The magnitude of the force is equal to the product of the mass of the body and its acceleration
b. a static influence that produces an elastic strain in a body or system or bears weight.
2. Physics any operating influence that produces or tends to produce a change in a physical quantity
3. Criminal law violence unlawfully committed or threatened
4. Philosophy Logic that which an expression is normally used to achieve
5. in force (of a law) having legal validity or binding effect
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

Force

A dBASE dialect for MS-DOS.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

Force

(1) See force quit and force touching.

(2) An earlier dBASE compiler developed by Sophco, Inc. that combined C and dBASE structures. Force was noted for generating very small executable programs.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
Also celebrating was owner Mark McAllister who got involved in Forceful Appeal six months ago to have some winter fun on the all-weather with a horse who seems to thrive around the new year with most of his wins coming in January.
Forceful Appeal was held up in a seven-furlong handicap, but he had no luck whatsoever when carried wide a furlong out.
They found clear differences between humans, who have a unique ability for forceful precision gripping between thumb and fingers, and chimpanzees, who cannot adopt human-like postures.
" Postmortem report of the deceased exhibits that penetration was so forceful that pushed food from stomach to lungs which led to asphyxiation and her death ultimately.
"Rapid and forceful control measures are necessary, as is demonstrated by the Nigerian success story.
Mr Etheridge reportedly told the class: "Look back to the most magnetic and forceful public speaker possibly in history.
Khartoum, July 31(SUNA)-The Chairman of the National Group for Human Rights, Chairman of the Higher Committee Against the Forceful Measures against Sudan, Ibrahim Abdul-Haleem has affirmed completion of all arrangements for launching the international anti- bilateral forceful measures against Sudan in next September.In a statement to SUNA , Abdul-Haleem said the preparations have finalized for convocation of the conference and that a number of activists from different countries of the World are expected to partake in the campaign.He added that a special conference on anti-sanctions will be held at the fringe of the 27th session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next September.ASA/ASA
TIPS LINGFIELD: 1.30 Moonlit Sky, 2.00 Mahadee, 2.30 Devon Drum, 3.00 Assertive Agent, 3.30 Ghost Train, 4.00 FORCEFUL APPEAL (NAP), 4.30 Club House, 5.00 Candy Kitten.
FORCEFUL Appeal should appreciate a slight drop in class as he tackles the Ladbrokes Handicap at Lingfield.
"He has been extremely forceful in his belief that Chambers should have a lead role in galvanising the support of other business organisations and Birmingham Chamber looks forward to working to ensure Lord Heseltine's vision becomes a reality."
After that the court considered SMC-related criminal cases including charges of forceful occupation of a public building, possession of unlicensed weapons, instigation of forceful ouster of the regime, misappropriating medical equipment, purposeful dissemination of false news and statements, and provoking sectarian hatred.
Global Banking News-July 18, 2011--Geithener urges more forceful action from EU(C)2011 ENPublishing - http://www.enpublishing.co.uk