# 4.3 Newton’s second law of motion: concept of a system  (Page 3/14)

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## Units of force

${\mathbf{\text{F}}}_{\text{net}}=m\mathbf{\text{a}}$ is used to define the units of force in terms of the three basic units for mass, length, and time. The SI unit of force is called the newton (abbreviated N) and is the force needed to accelerate a 1-kg system at the rate of $1{\text{m/s}}^{2}$ . That is, since ${\mathbf{\text{F}}}_{\text{net}}=m\mathbf{\text{a}}$ ,

$\text{1 N}=\text{1 kg}\cdot {\text{m/s}}^{2}.$

While almost the entire world uses the newton for the unit of force, in the United States the most familiar unit of force is the pound (lb), where 1 N = 0.225 lb.

## Weight and the gravitational force

When an object is dropped, it accelerates toward the center of Earth. Newton’s second law states that a net force on an object is responsible for its acceleration. If air resistance is negligible, the net force on a falling object is the gravitational force, commonly called its weight     $\mathbf{\text{w}}$ . Weight can be denoted as a vector $\mathbf{\text{w}}$ because it has a direction; down is, by definition, the direction of gravity, and hence weight is a downward force. The magnitude of weight is denoted as $w$ . Galileo was instrumental in showing that, in the absence of air resistance, all objects fall with the same acceleration $g$ . Using Galileo’s result and Newton’s second law, we can derive an equation for weight.

Consider an object with mass $m$ falling downward toward Earth. It experiences only the downward force of gravity, which has magnitude $w$ . Newton’s second law states that the magnitude of the net external force on an object is ${F}_{\text{net}}=\text{ma}$ .

Since the object experiences only the downward force of gravity, ${F}_{\text{net}}=w$ . We know that the acceleration of an object due to gravity is $g$ , or $a=g$ . Substituting these into Newton’s second law gives

## Weight

This is the equation for weight —the gravitational force on a mass $m$ :

$w=\text{mg}.$

Since $g=9.80\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{m/s}}^{2}$ on Earth, the weight of a 1.0 kg object on Earth is 9.8 N, as we see:

$w=\text{mg}=\left(1\text{.}\text{0 kg}\right)\left(9.80\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{m/s}}^{2}\right)=9.8\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{N}.$

Recall that $g$ can take a positive or negative value, depending on the positive direction in the coordinate system. Be sure to take this into consideration when solving problems with weight.

When the net external force on an object is its weight, we say that it is in free-fall    . That is, the only force acting on the object is the force of gravity. In the real world, when objects fall downward toward Earth, they are never truly in free-fall because there is always some upward force from the air acting on the object.

The acceleration due to gravity $g$ varies slightly over the surface of Earth, so that the weight of an object depends on location and is not an intrinsic property of the object. Weight varies dramatically if one leaves Earth’s surface. On the Moon, for example, the acceleration due to gravity is only $1.67\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{m/s}}^{2}$ . A 1.0-kg mass thus has a weight of 9.8 N on Earth and only about 1.7 N on the Moon.

The broadest definition of weight in this sense is that the weight of an object is the gravitational force on it from the nearest large body , such as Earth, the Moon, the Sun, and so on. This is the most common and useful definition of weight in physics. It differs dramatically, however, from the definition of weight used by NASA and the popular media in relation to space travel and exploration. When they speak of “weightlessness” and “microgravity,” they are really referring to the phenomenon we call “free-fall” in physics. We shall use the above definition of weight, and we will make careful distinctions between free-fall and actual weightlessness.

#### Questions & Answers

tree physical properties of heat
what are the uses of dimensional analysis
Dimensional Analysis. The study of relationships between physical quantities with the help of their dimensions and units of measurements is called dimensional analysis. We use dimensional analysis in order to convert a unit from one form to another.
Emmanuel
meaning of OE and making of the subscript nc
can I ask a question
Negash
kinetic functional force
what is a principal wave?
A wave the movement of particles on rest position transferring energy from one place to another
Gabche
not wave. i need to know principal wave or waves.
Haider
principle wave is a superposition of wave when two or more waves meet at a point , whose amplitude is the algebraic sum of the amplitude of the waves
kindly define principal wave not principle wave (principle of super position) if u can understand my question
Haider
what is a model?
hi
Muhanned
why are electros emitted only when the frequency of the incident radiation is greater than a certain value
b/c u have to know that for emission of electron need specific amount of energy which are gain by electron for emission . if incident rays have that amount of energy electron can be emitted, otherwise no way.
Nazir
search photoelectric effect on Google
Nazir
what is ohm's law
states that electric current in a given metallic conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference applied between its end, provided that the temperature of the conductor and other physical factors such as length and cross-sectional area remains constant. mathematically V=IR
ANIEFIOK
hi
Gundala
A body travelling at a velocity of 30ms^-1 in a straight line is brought to rest by application of brakes. if it covers a distance of 100m during this period, find the retardation.
just use v^2-u^2=2as
Gundala
how often does electrolyte emits?
alhassan
just use +€^3.7°√π%-4¢•∆¥%
v^2-u^2=2as v=0,u=30,s=100 -30^2=2a*100 -900=200a a=-900/200 a=-4.5m/s^2
akinyemi
what is distribution of trade
what's acceleration
The change in position of an object with respect to time
Mfizi
Acceleration is velocity all over time
Pamilerin
hi
Stephen
It's not It's the change of velocity relative to time
Laura
Velocity is the change of position relative to time
Laura
acceleration it is the rate of change in velocity with time
Stephen
acceleration is change in velocity per rate of time
Noara
what is ohm's law
Stephen
Ohm's law is related to resistance by which volatge is the multiplication of current and resistance ( U=RI)
Laura
acceleration is the rate of change. of displacement with time.
the rate of change of velocity is called acceleration
Asma
how i don understand
how do I access the Multiple Choice Questions? the button never works and the essay one doesn't either
How do you determine the magnitude of force
mass × acceleration OR Work done ÷ distance
Seema
Which eye defect is corrected by a lens having different curvatures in two perpendicular directions?
acute astigmatism?