Newton (unit)

The newton is the SI unit of force, and is the force which will accelerate one kilogram one metre per second squared. The symbol of the newton in SI is N. The newton is also the unit of weight (force acting on a mass by gravitation).

The newton is named for Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727), who developed the laws of motion in classical mechanics.

The newton is a derived unit in the SI: $\text{N} = \text{kg}\cdot \text{m}\cdot \text{s}^{-2} = \frac{\text{kg}\cdot \text{m}}{\text{s}^2}$.

Related units

• The joule (J) is the SI unit of energy, and is the energy of one newton acting over one meter. $\text{N} = \frac{\text{J}}{\text{m}}$
• The watt (W) is the SI unit of power, and is the power which gives rise to one joule in one second. $\text{N} = \frac{\text{W}\cdot \text{s}}{\text{m}}$
• The pascal (Pa) is the SI unit of pressure, and is equal to one newton acting over an area of one square metre. $\text{N} = \text{Pa} \cdot \text{m}^2$
• The newton-metre (N·m) is the SI unit of torque, and is the amount of torque generated by a force of one newton acting at a radius of one metre. There is no distinct name for this unit.

Practical use

A kilogram mass has a weight of about 9.81 N, because g (acceleration due to gravity) is on earth 9.81 m/s2). A healthy adult human subject to earth's surface gravity typically weighs between 450 N and 900 N. (taking g approximately equal to 10 m/s2: the typical mass of an adult is between 45 kg and 90 kg).

The drive train of a 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 can produce approximately 10.3 kN while accelerating the car from 0 to 26.8 m/s (60 miles per hour). Some content on this page may previously have appeared on Citizendium.