Elasticity is the ability of a material to return to its original shape after being stretched or compressed. When an elastic material is stretched or compressed, it exerts an elastic force.

The restoring force is a force that acts to bring a body to its equilibrium position.

Are elastic force and restoring force same?


1 Answer 1


This is a matter of semantics, but I’d say that an elastic force is a specific type of restoring force, in the context of a physical elastic/spring type system. A restoring force is any general force that opposes an applied force, usually describing harmonic oscillation. A different type of restoring force could be electromagnetic, for example.

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    $\begingroup$ Put another way, it’s elastic if the energy potential that’s increasing with increasing displacement is the strain energy (as opposed to surface energy or gravitational energy or electrical energy, as you note). $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2021 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Chemomechanics yes, that’s a nice, rigorous way to put it. $\endgroup$
    – Gilbert
    Jul 17, 2021 at 16:52

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