## Force

In physics, force is any interaction that changes the motion of an object when unopposed. It can cause an object to accelerate, described as a push or pull resulting from interaction with another object. Force is a vector quantity, having both magnitude and direction, and is measured in Newtons (N) in the International System of Units (SI). Key concepts include the Units of Force, the Centripetal Force Formula, the Resultant Force Formula, and the Drag Force Formula.

## What is Force?

**Force** is a vector quantity that describes any push or pull exerted on an object, causing a change in its motion. It results from interactions between objects and is measured in newtons (N). The net force is the sum of all individual forces acting on an object, leading to acceleration.

## Formula for Force

The formula for force is given by Newton’s second law of motion:

**F=ma**

where:

- F represents the force,
- m is the mass of the object,
- a is the acceleration of the object.

## Units of Force

**SI Unit of Force : Newton (N)**

The force required to accelerate a one-kilogram mass at a rate of one meter per second squared, or kgĀ·mĀ·sā»Ā².

**CGS Unit of Force : Dyne**

The force required to accelerate a one-gram mass by one centimeter per second squared, or gĀ·cmĀ·sā»Ā².

## Examples of Force

**Opening a Door**- When you push or pull a door to open it, you apply a force that causes the door to move on its hinges. The direction and strength of your push or pull determine how the door opens.

**Kicking a Ball**- When you kick a soccer ball, you exert a force with your foot that propels the ball forward. The force you apply determines the speed and distance the ball travels.

**Lifting a Weight**- When you lift a dumbbell, you apply an upward force to counteract the force of gravity acting on the weight. This force must be greater than the weight of the dumbbell to lift it off the ground.

**Pulling a Wagon**- When you pull a wagon, you apply a force that moves the wagon in the direction of the pull. The force you exert can overcome the friction between the wagon’s wheels and the ground.

**Braking a Car**- When you apply the brakes in a car, a force is exerted on the wheels to slow the car down. This force comes from the friction between the brake pads and the wheels.

**Typing on a Keyboard**- When you press the keys on a keyboard, you apply a force that activates the keys. The force you exert determines how effectively the key registers the input.

**Stretching a Rubber Band**- When you stretch a rubber band, you apply a force that changes the shape of the rubber band. The more force you apply, the more the rubber band stretches.

**Hammering a Nail**- When you hammer a nail into wood, you apply a force that drives the nail into the material. The force must be sufficient to overcome the resistance of the wood.

**Cutting Paper with Scissors**- When you cut paper with scissors, you apply a force that slices through the paper. The force must be directed correctly to make a clean cut.

**Pushing a Swing**- When you push a swing, you apply a force that sets the swing in motion. The force and direction of your push determine the swing’s speed and height.

**Rowing a Boat**- When you row a boat, you apply a force with the oars against the water. This force propels the boat forward through the water.

**Twisting a Screwdriver**- When you twist a screwdriver, you apply a rotational force (torque) that drives a screw into a material. The force must be sufficient to turn the screw against resistance.

**Climbing a Rope**- When you climb a rope, you apply an upward force with your hands and legs to counteract gravity. This force allows you to ascend the rope.

**Throwing a Frisbee**- When you throw a Frisbee, you apply a force with your arm that propels the Frisbee through the air. The direction and strength of your throw determine the Frisbee’s flight path.

**Compressing a Spring**- When you compress a spring, you apply a force that shortens the spring. The force must overcome the spring’s resistance to compression, storing potential energy in the spring.

## Push and Pull Forces Examples

**Pushing a Shopping Cart**: When you push a shopping cart, you apply a forward force that moves the cart down the aisle.**Closing a Door**: When you push a door to close it, you apply a force that moves the door toward its frame.**Pushing a Stalled Car**: When you push a stalled car to move it to the side of the road, you apply a force that propels the car forward.**Pushing a Button**: When you press a button, you apply a force that activates a mechanism or electronic device.**Sweeping with a Broom**: When you push a broom across the floor, you apply a force that moves dirt and debris out of the way.**Pulling a Wagon**: When you pull a wagon, you apply a force that moves the wagon towards you.**Opening a Drawer**: When you pull a drawer open, you apply a force that moves the drawer out of its slot.**Pulling on a Rope**: When you pull on a rope in a game of tug-of-war, you apply a force that draws the rope towards your team.**Dragging a Suitcase**: When you pull a suitcase with wheels, you apply a force that moves the suitcase along the ground.**Pulling a Fishing Line**: When you reel in a fishing line, you apply a force that draws the line and the fish attached to it toward you.

## Types of Force

**Force** can be classified into various types based on the nature of the interaction between objects and the effects they produce. Here are the primary types of forces:

**Gravitational Force**: The attractive force between two objects with mass. It is responsible for keeping planets in orbit around the sun and for objects falling to the ground on Earth. Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation quantifies this force as: F = Gm1m2/ rĀ² where F is the gravitational force, G is the gravitational constant, m1ā and m2 are the masses of the objects, and r is the distance between their centers.**Electromagnetic Force**: Electromagnetic force acts between charged particles. It encompasses both electric forces (between static charges) and magnetic forces (between moving charges). The force can be attractive or repulsive and is described by Coulomb’s law for electric forces: F= (ke) (q1q2)/ rĀ²āā where F is the force, keā is Coulomb’s constant, q1 and q2ā are the magnitudes of the charges, and r is the distance between the charges.**Nuclear Force**: Nuclear forces are the forces that act between particles in the nucleus of an atom. There are two types:**Strong Nuclear Force**, which holds protons and neutrons together in the nucleus. It is extremely strong but acts over very short distances; and**Weak Nuclear Force**, which is responsible for radioactive decay and certain types of nuclear reactions. It is weaker than the strong nuclear force and also acts over short distances.**Frictional Force**: Frictional force is the force that opposes the relative motion of two surfaces in contact. It can be static (preventing motion) or kinetic (opposing ongoing motion). The force depends on the nature of the surfaces and the normal force pressing them together, described by: FÕ¢=Ī¼Fn where FÕ¢ā is the frictional force, Ī¼ is the coefficient of friction, and Fn is the normal force.**Tension Force**: Tension force is the pulling force transmitted through a string, rope, cable, or any other flexible connector when it is pulled tight by forces acting from opposite ends. It is directed along the length of the wire and pulls equally on the objects on either end of the wire.**Normal Force**: Normal force is the support force exerted by a surface perpendicular to an object resting on it. It balances the force of gravity and prevents objects from falling through solid surfaces.**Applied Force**: Applied force is any force that is applied to an object by a person or another object. This force can cause the object to move or change its velocity.**Air Resistance Force**: Air resistance force, also known as drag, opposes the motion of an object through air. It is a type of frictional force that depends on the object’s speed, surface area, and the density of the air.**Spring Force**: Spring force is the force exerted by a compressed or stretched spring upon any object attached to it. Hooke’s Law describes this force as: Fs=ākx where Fs is the spring force, k is the spring constant, and x is the displacement from the equilibrium position.

## Characteristics of Force

**Magnitude**: The strength or amount of force applied. It is measured in Newtons (N) in the International System of Units (SI). For example, pushing a car with a force of 100 N.**Direction**: The line along which the force acts. Force is a vector quantity, meaning it has both magnitude and direction. An example is a force applied downward due to gravity, which acts in the direction of the center of the Earth.**Point of Application**: The exact location on an object where the force is applied. The effect of the force depends on where it is applied on the object. For instance, pushing at the center of a swing versus pushing at one end will have different effects on the swing’s motion.**Line of Action**: The imaginary line along which the force acts, extending infinitely in both directions. This characteristic determines the torque produced by the force. For example, for a force applied to a rotating door, the line of action is crucial in determining how the door rotates around its hinge.**Resultant Force**: The single force which represents the vector sum of all the forces acting on an object. It combines all the individual forces to produce the same effect as all those forces acting together. An example is if two people push a box from opposite sides with equal force, the resultant force is zero, and the box does not move.**Equilibrium**: A state in which all the forces acting on an object are balanced. For an object to be in equilibrium, the sum of all forces and the sum of all torques acting on it must be zero. For example, a book lying on a table is in equilibrium because the gravitational force pulling it down is balanced by the normal force pushing it up.**Newton’s Third Law of Motion**: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Forces always occur in pairs; when one body exerts a force on another, the second body exerts an equal and opposite force on the first. An example is when you push against a wall, the wall pushes back with an equal and opposite force.

## FAQ’s

## How is force measured?

Force is measured in newtons (N) using a force meter or a spring scale, where one newton equals the force needed to accelerate one kilogram of mass by one meter per second squared.

## What is Newton’s first law of motion?

An object will remain at rest or in uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force, illustrating the concept of inertia.

## What is Newton’s second law of motion?

The acceleration of an object depends on the net force acting upon it and its mass, formulated as F = ma (Force = mass Ć acceleration).

## What is Newton’s third law of motion?

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, meaning forces always occur in pairs that act on different objects.

## What is gravitational force?

Gravitational force is the attractive force between two masses, proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.

## What is friction?

Friction is the force that opposes the relative motion of two surfaces in contact, dependent on the nature of the surfaces and the normal force pressing them together.

## What is tension force?

Tension force is the force transmitted through a string, rope, or wire when it is pulled tight by forces acting from opposite ends.

## What is normal force?

Normal force is the support force exerted upon an object in contact with a stable surface, acting perpendicular to the surface.

## What is air resistance?

Air resistance is the force that opposes the motion of objects through air, depending on the object’s speed, shape, and surface area.

## What is the difference between mass and weight?

Mass is the measure of the amount of matter in an object, while weight is the force exerted by gravity on that mass, calculated as weight = mass Ć gravitational acceleration.