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Lexicon> Letter N> Newton

Definition: the basic unit for the strength of a mechanical force

English: Newton

Category: Units

Author: Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta

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Original creation: 01/19/2015; last change: 15.05.2021

URL: https://www.energie-lexikon.info/newton.html

The newton (N) is the official unit of the international system of units (SI) for the strength of a force. This unit is named after the physicist Isaac Newton. One newton roughly corresponds to the weight of a body weighing 102 grams on earth - i.e. roughly the weight of a typical bar of chocolate.

According to Newton's law, the acceleration that a driving force can produce on a body is equal to the force divided by the mass of the body. In the international system of units, this corresponds to the relationship 1 N = 1 kg · m / s2. The Newton can therefore also be seen as the force that is required to move a mass of 1 kg at 1 m / s2 to accelerate. When the accelerating force acts in the direction of movement, it means that the speed of this mass is increased by 1 m / s per second.

For larger forces, the usual unit attachments are used; for example, one kilonewton (kN) = 1000 newtons and 1 meganewton (MN) is one million newtons. The thrust of an aircraft's jet engine is usually specified in kilonewtons (kN); in large airliners it is normally in the order of 100 kN.

Related units

When a force acts on a lever arm, the resulting torque is the product of the force and length of the lever arm. Therefore, the unit of measurement for the lever arm is Newton meter (N m) = one Newton times one meter.

When a body is moved over a certain distance by a force, this force performs mechanical work that is the product of force and distance: W. = F · d. Here again the product of a newton and a meter occurs, but in this case it is not referred to as a newton meter. The unit joule is then used directly.

A pressure is a force per unit area and therefore has the basic unit N / m2 (Newtons per square meter), which is also known as Pascal (Pa). The unit bar, which is also used, corresponds to 10 N / cm2 = 100 kPa = 1000 hPa.

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See also: force, pressure, torque, joule
as well as other items in the Units category