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Newton (unit)

The newton (symbol: N) is the International System of Units (SI) derived unit of force. It is named after Isaac Newton in recognition of his work on classical mechanics, specifically Newton's second law of motion. See below for the conversion factors.


One newton is the force needed to accelerate one kilogram of mass at the rate of one metre per second squared in direction of the applied force. In 1946, Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures (CGPM) Resolution 2 standardized the unit of force in the MKS system of units to be the amount needed to accelerate 1 kilogram of mass at the rate of 1 metre per second squared. In 1948, the 9th CGPM Resolution 7 adopted the name newton for this force. The MKS system then became the blueprint for today's SI system of units. The newton thus became the standard unit of force in the (SI), or International System of Units. Newton's second law of motion states that , where is the force applied, is the mass of the object receiving the force, and is the acceleration of the object. The newton is therefore: where the following symbols are used for the units: N for newton, kg for kilogram, m for metre, and s for second. In dimensional analysis: \mathsf F = \frac{\mathsf{ML}} {\mathsf T^2} where \mathsf F is force, \mathsf M is mass, \mathsf L is length and \mathsf T is time.


At average gravity on Earth (conventionally, = }}), a kilogram mass exerts a force of about 9.8 newtons. An average-sized apple exerts about one newton of force, which we measure as the apple's weight. 1 N }}0.102 kg × 9.80665 m/s2 () The weight of an average adult exerts a force of about 550 – 800 N. 566 N }} 57.7 kg × 9.80665 m/s2 (where 57.7 kg is the average Asian adult mass) 791 N }} 80.7 kg × 9.80665 m/s2 (where 80.7 kg is average North American adult mass)

Commonly seen as kilonewtons

It is common to see forces expressed in kilonewtons (kN) where }}1000 N}}. For example, the tractive effort of a Class Y steam train locomotive and the thrust of an F100 fighter jet engine are both around 130 kN. One kilonewton, 1 kN, is , or about 100 kg of load. 1 kN }}102 kg × 9.81 m/s2 So for example, a platform that shows it is rated at , will safely support a load. Specifications in kilonewtons are common in safety specifications for:

Conversion factors

See also

Notes and references

"green air" © 2007 - Ingo Malchow, Webdesign Neustrelitz
This article based upon the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton_(unit), the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Further informations available on the list of authors and history: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Newton_(unit)&action=history
presented by: Ingo Malchow, Mirower Bogen 22, 17235 Neustrelitz, Germany