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Science

Forces

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What are forces?

A force can be a push or a pull. For example, when you push open a door you have to apply a force to the door. You also have to apply a force to pull open a drawer.

You cannot see a force but often you can see what it does. Forces can change the speed of something, the direction it is moving in or its shape. For example, an elastic band gets longer if you pull it.

Measuring forces

Newton meters weighing objects

A force meter is used to measure forces.

Forces can be measured using a force meter. Force meters contain a spring connected to a metal hook. The spring stretches when a force is applied to the hook. The bigger the force applied, the longer the spring stretches and the bigger the reading.

The unit of force is called the newton, and it has the symbol N. So 100 N is a bigger force than 5 N.

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