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Why F=ma

  1. Nov 11, 2012 #1
    I thought to myself yesterday: Is there really any way of measuring a force independent of F=ma? I don't see there is so you can more or less take F=ma as the definition of force and then use that to derive the expressions for the fundamental forces of nature. But then it occured to me: Why did we then choose F=ma. Why didnøt we just pick F=mdx/dt and adjusted the expressions for the fundamental forces from that?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2012 #2

    PeterO

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torsion_bar_experiment
     
  4. Nov 11, 2012 #3

    Andrew Mason

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    This has been discussed at length in several threads eg: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=631147.

    The concept of force exists independently of the second law eg. a standard spring exerts a standard force if stretched a standard distance. Double the number of such stretched springs and you double the force.

    AM
     
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