dyne poundal Newton
pound kilopond Kip

Force megaConverter #8

Introduction and Overview
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Force is that quantity which causes a mass to accelerate. The formula for force is mass times acceleration. Thus, force can be represented by any mass unit times any acceleration unit, but, few but the common ones would have any practical application.

Force is the same quantity that causes a mass to have weight. However, as a force unit, it can be considered in all types of directions besides straight down. And, while the weight of a one kilogram mass on earth is one kilogram-force, the weight of the same mass on the moon would be considerably less. So used as a weight unit, a kilogram-force is defined only on the earth’s surface, but as a force unit it is more flexible. Still, the Newton is the preferred force unit in the metric system.

Force is what causes a bullet to come out the end of a gun, a rocket ship to blast off, a clock to tick, water to come out of a hose, wind to blow, and all things that have motion.

Force, as a quantity separate from weight, was not a quantity people dealt with in earlier times, and so the British and metric units are the only ones in common use. This megaConverter converts between the most commonly used force units of today.

For a more comprehensive treatment of measurements, find "NTC’s Encyclopedia of International Weights & Measures" by William D. Johnstone at your local library. For a better discussion of force, see any college physics textbook.

* Much of our written history still refers to things in common units. The Bible does not refer to meters or kilograms, but to cubits and stadia, or shekels and drachma. Wouldn't it be nice to know what they were talking about way back then? Now you can use megaConverter! For a more complete listing of ancient, foreign, and obsolete measures, download our 'megaSpreadsheet' of conversions in MS Excel format.

Glossary of Conversions:

The dyne is a force under whose influence a body with 1.0 gram mass experiences an acceleration of 1.0 centimeter per second 2.

The poundal is the force needed to accelerate one pound-mass by one foot per second 2.

The newton is the force required to cause one kilogram to accelerate by one meter per second 2.

The pound is the force needed to accelerate one slug-mass by one foot per second 2, or the force exerted on one pound-mass by earth’s gravity.

The kilopond or kilogram-force is the force exerted on one kilogram by earth’s gravity

One Kip is equal to 1000 pound-force

Note: Because of round-off errors, converting from very large units to very small units or vice-versa may not be accurate (or practical). Conversion factors can be found by converting a quantity of 1 unit to another unit several steps above or below the first. You may need to string several conversion factors together to find the factor from a very large unit to a very small unit, and then you can use a calculator with sufficient digits to find your answer.