newton

Convert between newtons or kilonewtons and other major units of force.

The unit of force in SI, defined as that force which, applied to a mass of 1 kilogram, gives it an acceleration of 1 meter per second per second. Symbol, N, but see below.

In terms of SI’s base units, the newton’s dimensions are:

A fraction: the product of meters and kilograms, over seconds squared.

The newton is named for Sir Isaac Newton. The name was first suggested by Robertson in 1904.1 The International Electrotechnical Commission advisory committee number 24, on electric and magnetic magnitudes and units adopted the name newton for the unit of force of the Giorgi MKS system on June 23–24, 1938, at a meeting in Torquay, England. The vote was ten to three with one country abstaining, the Germans leading the opposition.2

Prior to the standardization of the symbol for the newton by the CGPM, the symbol n (lowercase) was sometimes used, and also Nw.3

1. B. Swindells.
Understanding units of force.
Engineering, February 1971.

Page 770.

2. A[rthur] E. Kennelly.
Recent developments in electrical units.
Electrical Engineering, volume 58, (February 1938).

Page 79.

3. See for example:
R. K. Sas and F. B Pidduck.
The Metre-Kilogram-Second System of Electrical Units.
London: Methuen and Co., 1947.

Page 19.

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