Chapter 2 – Force

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:

Introduction

Have you ever noticed how a football moves away from you when you hit it or when a softball changes its shape when you squeeze it? What causes these two different balls to move or change shape? It is a physical phenomenon called Force. Force is an external agent that can change an object’s shape, speed, position or structure when applied. You can consider the Force as a push or pull, sometimes as compress or stretch as well. The SI. Unit of Force is Newton (N).

Force As A Push Or Pull

As explained earlier, a force can be in the form of a push or a pull. A push force is applied when you try to move an object away from yourself. For example, when you apply an external force to move a table forward, you are using a push force. Similarly, when you move a table towards yourself, you are using a pull force. Hence a pull force is applied when an object is moved towards you.

Effects of force

Let’s discuss some effects of the Force.

Effects Of force On mass
Let’s imagine we have two balls. One is heavier than the other. Now imagine you threw both balls with the same force. Which ball moves farther? To understand this, we need to understand that these balls’ mass affects them’ distance. A force cannot change an object’s mass but can alter the object’s speed and direction.

Therefore, the heavier ball will travel less distance in comparison to the other ball. Hence the effects of force on mass are not changes in the weight of an object but changes in the object’s motion.

Effects of force on speed
As mentioned earlier, a force can change the speed of an object. When you apply force on a stable (resting) ball, it moves. The more force you apply, the faster it moves. When you apply additional force on a moving ball, it moves even faster. Following are the effects of force on speed of an object.

• Force can move an object at rest.
• More force can increase the speed of an already-moving object.
• Less force can decrease the speed of an object.
• Force in the opposite direction can stop the moving object.

Effects of force on the direction
Suppose you apply force opposite to the direction of the moving object. What do you think would happen? The speed of the object reduces, and the object eventually stops. Given below are a few effects of force on the direction of an object:

• If you provide a force in the same direction as a moving ball, it continues.
• If you provide a force in the opposite direction of a moving object, it might slow down or stop.
• The external force can also change the direction of an object without stopping it.

Types of forces

Force is of two types,

• Contact force
• Non-Contact force

As the name suggests, contact force is a force that is applied directly to the body, for example, mechanical force or muscular force. We use muscular force to lift an object. At the same time, the force generated by machines such as vehicles to move is called mechanical force. A unique example of contact force is friction.

Not-Contact forces are the forces that act on the object without making any direct contact. These forces are not generated by touching the object but rather by external influence. For example, gravitational force, magnetic force, or electric forces are not created by direct contact.

Friction

Friction is a type of force that resists the movement of an object. For example, if you move a table using force, why does it stop eventually? It stops because the force of friction is acting opposite to the force with which you pushed the table. Friction definition is the force that acts against the force of a moving object.

It is a type of contact force, friction meaning the force produced when the surfaces of the object come in contact and act in the direction opposite to their motion. Without friction, an object keeps on moving on the surface. Therefore smooth surfaces have less friction, and rough surfaces have more friction (resistance).

Key features of friction are

• They always act in the opposite direction of the motion of the object
• They cause the production of heat
• They cause wear and tear to the object. (For example, tyres of a bicycle.)

Types of friction

The force of friction is of three types:

1. Static friction: This type of friction is produced when there is no motion of the object. Hence the friction is high.
2. Sliding friction: This is a type of friction that is produced when the object is moving (or sliding). When the object is sliding down, friction is low.
3. Rolling friction: This type of friction is produced when the object is rolling down the surface. This type of friction provides very little resistance.

To sum it up, force is necessary to change the shape, direction, speed, and size of an object. To learn more about the types of forces and how each force has a characteristic outcome, visit MSVgo or download MSVgo application at Google Playstore or iOS Apple Store. The smartphone application of MSVgo offers thousands of videos to browse and study mathematics and science’s key concepts. Various quizzes, interactive games and other features are also available to understand the subjects without forgoing the fun of learning.

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