What is Force? – Calculation, Definition, Formula, Types

Force is a term the students in high school often encounter when studying physics, as most of the topics and chapters are derived directly from it. So here in this section, we have decided to provide a brief explanation of the term force, its various effects, formulas, and many more. Now, let us jump into the topic. 


Force is an external attribute that results in a change of state whether in rest or in motion on a particular body when applied. For instance, when force is applied, a moving body will come to rest, while a body in rest will be in motion. Moreover, force always results in a change of direction, shape, size, etc, of the body. Moreover, the term force is said to be a vector quantity, that has both magnitude and direction. 

What is Force? - Calculation, Definition, Formula, Types

According to Newton’s Second Law, Force is actively distinguished as the product of mass and acceleration of the body, and it is measured using a spring balance. 

Force Symbol  F →, F 
SI Unit   Newton 
Base SI Unit  Kg∙m/s² 
Newton Second Law  F = m a 
Dimension  LMT⁻² 
Other Quantities  Pound Force, Kilo Pond, Poundal, dyne 

What Are the Effects of Force?

Now that you have understood the basics of Force, let us talk about the effects of force in much more detail here in this section. As explained above, the force causes a change in movement or shape of the body with respect to time. 

Different Effects of Force 

  • Force makes a body in rest move while increasing the speed of the body that is already in motion. 
  • The force decreases the speed of the body when applied against it, or stops the motion of the body. 
  • It also results in changes in the shape and size of the body. 
  • Moreover, the force when applied changes the direction of the body. 

What Are the Different Types of Force? 

As you can guess, from the above description there are different types of force, which we are going to explain briefly below. 

Contact Force 

As you can understand from the name itself this force is only applicable if the force acts directly on the body or through a medium. Furthermore, contact force can be further distinguished into multiple types, such as Tension Force, Normal Force, Applied Force, Air Resistance Force, Force of Gravity, Frictional Force, Spring Force, etc. 

Tension Force 

 It is a force that is applied to a rope, cables, and strings at the ends. In other terms, it is a force extended on a wire when it is pulled from two different ends, which is equal and results in an increase in the length of the wire. 

T = mg + ma

T = Tension(N) 

G = Gravitational Force(G) 

M = mass (Kg) 

Applied Force

When a person or a body applies force on another body, that results in a change in the direction or velocity of the body, then it is called Applied Force, which is further distinguished into three types. 

  • Pull 
  • Drag 
  • Push 

Air Resistance Force

When an object flies through the air, it will experience a force, which tries to reduce its movement and speed, which is called Air Resistance Force. In more detail, the air acts as friction against the body. 

Force of Gravity 

It is defined as a force that pulls a body or person towards the center of the earth. 

W = mg 

W = Weight 

M = Mass of Body 

G = Acceleration due to Gravity 

Frictional Force

Frictional Force is an opposing force that is generated as a result when two surfaces or bodies come into contact or slide. However, it depends on the surface of the body. For instance, if the surface of the body is rougher, then the friction on the surface is much higher. 

Spring Force

The force acts as a restoring force to return the body to its equilibrium when another force is acting to stretch or compress the body.  

F = kx 

F = Spring Force 

K = Spring Constant 

X = Distance Stretched or Compressed 

Non-Contact Forces

A force that is capable of acting on a body, without any physical or direct contact. And there are different types of non-contact forces such as Gravitational Force, Magnetic Force, and Electrostatic Force. 

Magnetic Force

The force which exists between two different magnetic poles, a magnet and metal is known as a magnetic force. 

Gravitational Force

Gravitational Force is an attractive force that acts between two bodies that have some mass. For instance, the bodies with some mass, experience an attractive force towards each other, and they don’t want to be separated. 

Electrostatic Force

 A force that is very similar to the gravitational force, but it acts in between charged bodies. For instance, when a scale is rubbed on woolen cloth, it will attract the paper, if it is taken to near the scale. 


If you are finding any difficulty understanding the different concepts and basics of Physics, then online coaching might be helpful for you. Moreover, if you are interested in online interactive classes at budget-friendly prices, they come along with various unique features such as Doubt Clarification Sessions, Expert Staff, Access to Best Educational Guides, Customizable learning experience, etc. Then check out the online interactive classes offered by Tutoroot. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Strong Force in Physics?

A Strong Force is a fundamental interaction of nature, that generally acts between subatomic particles of matter. 

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