Calculate the total force exerted on an object. Enter the mass of that object and the acceleration, and this calculator will evaluate the total force.

Force Formula

The following formula is used to calculate a total force:

F = m * a

  • F is the force (N)
  • m is the mass (kg)
  • a is the acceleration (m/s^2)

The SI unit for force is Newtons (N) where mass is measured in kilograms (kg) and acceleration is measure in meters per second squared (m/s^2). The calculator above is again unit-less like most of our other calculators in science and engineering so that it allows you to determine the proper units yourself, or use whichever units your questions are using.

Force Definition

Force is an interaction on an object or system that will change the motion of the said object. This force will also cause the velocity of the system to change given there are no opposing forces.

Calculating force can be as simple as using the formula above. If mass and acceleration are both known, simply multiply them, and you are set. However, many times the acceleration is not quite known. Therefore, you must use the change in velocity or position to calculate the acceleration first.

Unlike velocity and acceleration, force is not a product of a time derivative. That means it is calculated at any moment of time, not of some change in time.

Force Example Problem

How to calculate force from mass and acceleration?

Let’s take a look at an example of how to use the force equation above. Let’s assume you are given an object with a mass of 10kg and an initial velocity of 2m/s and a final velocity of 4m/s over a period of 2s. To calculate the acceleration of that object over time, you need to use the acceleration formula as follows:

(4m/s=2m/s)/2s = 1 m/s^2

Now that you have acceleration, you can plug it into the formula from above.

F = 1 m/s^2 * 10kg = 10N

The answer is, the force required to accelerate an object 1 m/s^2 that has a mass of 10kg is 10 Newtons.

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