Whence the force of F = ma? III: Cultural diversity

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

12 Scopus citations


The concept of force, F = ma, which defines a cultural diversity and contains both approximations under appropriate conditions from modern foundations and also rough generalizations abstracted from experience, was described. The conservation of m for ordinary matter provided a instructive example of an emergent law. It captured in a simple statement an important consequence of broad regularities whose basis in modern fundamentals is robust but complicated. It was concluded that the law F = ma, which is sometimes presented as the epitome of an algorithm describing nature is more like a language to express important facts about the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages2
Specialist publicationPhysics Today
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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