Pounds, Kilograms, Newtons, and Units of Force

P. Barton Duell, Emanuel Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


To the Editor: A recurrent problem in the medical literature is the incorrect choice of units to express force or tension. This error is pervasive and is found in textbooks of medicine and physiology as well as in two recent articles in the Journal,1,2 Urbano-Marquez and colleagues mistakenly expressed strength and force in kilograms, and Lüscher et al. incorrectly reported tension in grams. Although the use of units of mass to express a magnitude of force may be conceptually satisfying, it is scientifically incorrect. The confusion about these units appears to arise from the commonly used formula for converting…

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1200
Number of pages1
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number17
StatePublished - Oct 26 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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