How do I measure g forces? Also, how would I subject a
person to any number of g's for a period of time? Also, what are the
effects of g forces on the body?
The measurement of g-forces is done with an accelerometer. The term
'g-force' is really a misnomer. It is actually the acceleration a mass
experiences in a given situation. On earth, one g is about 9.8 m/s^2. Let
us call it 10 m/s^2 as an approximation. If you are at 2 g's, you are at
about 20 m/s^2 acceleration. Most people begin to feel very lightheaded
and may even grey out at about 4 g's. That is why amusement rides try to
stay under this acceleration.
---Nathan A. Unterman
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012