FORCE AND WEIGHT
Application of Newton's Laws
Force and Weight Summary
Force is a vector quantity that tends to produce an acceleration of a body
in the direction of its application.
F = ma
Weight is the force exerted on an object due to gravity. (On the earth it is
the gravitational pull of the earth on the body.)
W = mg/gc
With the idea of mass and weight understood, especially their differences, the concept of
gravitational force is more easily explained. Any object that is dropped will accelerate as it falls,
even though it is not in physical contact with any other body. To explain this, the idea of
gravitational force was developed, resulting in the concept that one body, such as the earth, exerts
a force on another body, even though they are far apart. The gravitational attraction of two objects
depends upon the mass of each and the distance between them. This concept is known as Newton's
law of gravitation, which was introduced in an earlier chapter.
The important concepts of force and weight are summarized below.