What Is G Force?

What is G force? Well, this is the main objective of this article - to find the meaning of g forces, especially for those who have little or no idea about g forces. Read on.

G-force stands for either the force of gravity on a particular extraterrestrial body or the force of acceleration anywhere. It is measured in g's, where 1 g is equal to the force of gravity at the Earth's surface, which is 9.8 meters per second per second. Moving on with the explanation of G force, the g-force on an object is its acceleration relative to free-fall. The object experiences this acceleration due to the vector sum of non-gravitational forces acting per unit of the object's mass. These accelerations, also known as "proper accelerations,” are not the result of gravity itself. Because of the stresses and strains on objects, sufficiently large g-forces may result which can be highly destructive to objects and organisms.

Today the analysis and study of g-forces is significant in a variety of scientific and engineering fields, such as planetary science, rocket science and astrophysics. It is equally important in the engineering fields of various machines such as race cars, fighter jets, and large engines. G-force can vary on different planets or celestial bodies. A body having a bigger mass will produce a higher gravitational field, thus resulting in higher g-forces. For example, the g-force on the Moon is about 1/6 g, and on Mars it is about 1/3 g. Humans are able to bear localized g-forces in the 100s of g's for a split second, such as a slap on the face. But continued g-forces above about 10 g can lead to permanent injury and are deadly. It has been seen that there is significant disparity among individuals on the tolerance to g-force. For example, Race car drivers have survived instant accelerations of up to 214 g during accidents. Some rocket sled experiments are designed to examine the effects of high acceleration on the human body. In 1954 Colonel John Stapp experienced 46.2 g for several seconds. Generally, accelerations beyond 100 g are lethal even if momentary.

Before concluding the explanation of G force, it is essential to mention the International System of Units (SI) for the g-force, which is m/s2. However, for easy comparison the unit g is also often used, which stands for the acceleration due to gravity at the Earth's surface. It is written g, or G.