An antique Imperial unit no longer used in England, but probably used by
Lockheed (and other US) Engineers when doing orbit calculations.
If my recollection serves me well, a force of one poundal will give a mass
of 1 pound an acceleration of 1 ft per second squared.
The word "pound" itself comes from the Latin pendere, to weigh.
So, perhaps P comes from pendere as weight. Just to propogate this on to
examine all potential principles (there are 3 "P" words in this sentence).
I seem to remember that the symbol P tended to be associated with
weight. F for force was for animals and machines pushing in directions
often other than the local direction of gravity forces.
P is often used for pressure as well. A whole different meaning that. This
gave me great difficulty in my thesis, because I was using P for porosity,
then had to find another letter for atmospheric pressure.
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.