The Concept of Force


MR. JOSHUA C. GREGORY'S statement1 "When a motor-car turns sharply round a corner the passenger feels as if he were shoved but not as if a thing shoved him" suggests that he has not clearly analysed the experience. The main sensations (other than visual) are of contact and pressure on the side of the body on the outside of the curve; in other words, of a force as ordinarily experienced acting towards the centre, in the same direction as the acceleration. The sensations are exactly similar to those felt in the back when a car accelerates rapidly. If there is no contact there is no sensation and no force, and the passenger continues in his previous uniform motion in accordance with Newton's First Law. In the same way, with high acceleration the head and shoulders which are not in contact with the back of the seat move relatively backwards over the top of this and experience no sensation of force.

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YAPP, W. The Concept of Force. Nature 154, 273 (1944).

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