What is the Difference between Stress and Strain in Physics

Difference between Stress & Strain


When a body is made to change its length, volume or shape by the application of an external force, the opposing force per unit area is called Stress.





Stress = Force / Area

o = F/A (Here o represents (Rho) do not write in your examination paper)




– S.I or M.K.S System – N/m2 or Pascal (Pa)

– C.G.S system – Dyne/cm2

– F.P.S or BE System – lb/ft2 and lb/in2


(Here 2 in all above systems shows square)



Following are some types of stress:


  1. Tensile Stress: It is a stress tending to stretch a body.


  1. Bulk Stress: It is an overall force per unit area, also known as pressure.


  1. Shear Stress: It is a stress tending to produce an angular deformation.





Stress can produce a change in shape, volume or length in an object. This change in the shape of an object is called strain.






Strain = Change in Length/Length or Strain = Change in volume / volume




2 Since strain is a ratio between two similar quantities, it has no unit.



Following are some types of strain.


  1. Tensile Strain: It is a change in length divided by original length.


  1. Bulk Strain: It is the change in volume divided by original volume.


  1. Shear Strain: It is equal to the angular displacement produced.


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