James Watt

The Watt is the measurement of power, and gets its name from James Watt. This is the modern metric way of measuring power.

The old way of doing it was to measure the power of something relative to the power of a horse:

  • HP: Throughout the United Kingdom, and in many other parts of the world - horsepower
  • CV: In France and other areas of the world under French influence, 'cheval vapeur', or 'steam horse'
  • PS: Often referred to as 'the metric horsepower', this is a German version of measuring power and means 'the strength of a horse'

If a force of 1 Newton moves an object through a distance of 1 metre in 1 second, then 1 Watt of power is said to have been expended.

» Course Glossary