|What is the main difference between a Newton
and a spring balance?|
|Question Date: 2012-12-31|
A Newton meter is just any device that
measures force (it's called a "Newton meter"
because a "Newton" is a unit of force). A
spring balance is a device that measures force
by measuring how much a string stretches when a
force is applied to it. So, a spring balance is
actually a type of Newton meter. There can be
other types of Newton meters, too: for example,
there are devices called piezoelectric sensors
which generate a voltage when a force is applied
to them. By measuring the voltage generated,
it's possible to measure the force applied to
In short, a spring balance is just a type of
A Newton meter is a unit of torque, which is
a form of work or energy; in other words it is a
unit of measurement. We use different units to
describe amounts of different physical
quantities. Some examples to help you think
about it: we can measure temperature in
Farenheit or Centigrade; we can measure
distances in feet or meters, we can measure mass
in pounds or kilograms. These are all different
types of "units." On the other hand, a spring
balance is an instrument that measures how much
mass an object has. I hope this helps.
A Newton is a unit of force, like a pound (we
think of pounds as units of weight, but really
they're units of force; weight is just the force
exerted by gravity).
I don't know what units the spring balance
measures force in. If it measures force in
Newtons, then it seems to me that they would be
the same thing. If it measures force in pounds,
then they're different because a pound is a
different amount of force than a Newton.
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