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written by Tom Henderson
This four-part tutorial takes an in-depth look at the meaning of force, types of forces, how to determine net force, and the use of free-body diagrams to represent force interactions. Part of The Physics Classroom interactive tutorial collection, it provides extensive help for both teachers and learners: self-assessments, practice problems with answers, and an image gallery where force interactions are pictured.

Don't miss the Gravitational Fields widget to investigate how location affects the value of the gravitational constant. Just type in a geographic location and it's calculated for you. Students can investigate why the field strength is a bit lower at mountaintop locations.

Learners at all levels will appreciate the simple language, the easy navigation, and the down-to-earth style of this tutorial.

Please note that this resource requires Java Applet Plug-in.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Applications of Newton's Laws
= Friction
- Newton's Second Law
= Force, Acceleration
= Interacting Objects
- High School
- Middle School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Illustration
= Image/Image Set
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Intended User:
Learner
Formats:
text/html
image/gif
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 1996 Tom Henderson
Keywords:
FBD, Types of Forces, Unit of Force, action at a distance, applied force, contact force, friction, non-contact force
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 27, 2011 by Tom Henderson
Record Updated:
March 17, 2014 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
July 1, 2011

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
  • 9-12: 4F/H1. The change in motion (direction or speed) of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely proportional to the mass.
  • 9-12: 4F/H4. Whenever one thing exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it.
  • 9-12: 4F/H7. In most familiar situations, frictional forces complicate the description of motion, although the basic principles still apply.
  • 9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.

9. The Mathematical World

9B. Symbolic Relationships
  • 9-12: 9B/H4. Tables, graphs, and symbols are alternative ways of representing data and relationships that can be translated from one to another.

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Forces and Motion (PS2.A)
  • For any pair of interacting objects, the force exerted by the first object on the second object is equal in strength to the force that the second object exerts on the first, but in the opposite direction (Newton's third law). (6-8)
  • The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it; if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change. The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion. (6-8)
  • Newton's second law accurately predicts changes in the motion of macroscopic objects. (9-12)

This resource is part of 2 Physics Front Topical Units.


Topic: Dynamics: Forces and Motion
Unit Title: Newton's Second Law & Net Force

Looking for a refresher on force interactions? This four-part tutorial features multiple diagrams, illustrations, interactive problem sets, and extras for teachers. It provides a concise exploration of types of forces, how to determine net force, and how to construct free-body diagrams to represent force interactions.

Links to Units:

Topic: Dynamics: Forces and Motion
Unit Title: Newton's Second Law & Net Force

This four-part tutorial takes an up-close look at the meaning of forces, how we determine net force, and the use of free-body diagrams to represent force interactions. Don't miss the Gravitational Fields widget to investigate how location affects the value of the gravitational constant! Highly recommended by the editors.

Link to Unit:
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AIP Format
T. Henderson, (1996), WWW Document, (http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l2a.cfm).
AJP/PRST-PER
T. Henderson, Physics Classroom: Force and Its Representation (1996), <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l2a.cfm>.
APA Format
Henderson, T. (2011, July 1). Physics Classroom: Force and Its Representation . Retrieved August 31, 2014, from http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l2a.cfm
Chicago Format
Henderson, Tom. Physics Classroom: Force and Its Representation . July 1, 2011. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l2a.cfm (accessed 31 August 2014).
MLA Format
Henderson, Tom. Physics Classroom: Force and Its Representation . 1996. 1 July 2011. 31 Aug. 2014 <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l2a.cfm>.
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@misc{ Author = "Tom Henderson", Title = {Physics Classroom: Force and Its Representation }, Volume = {2014}, Number = {31 August 2014}, Month = {July 1, 2011}, Year = {1996} }
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%A Tom Henderson
%T Physics Classroom: Force and Its Representation
%D July 1, 2011
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l2a.cfm
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Henderson, Tom
%D July 1, 2011
%T Physics Classroom: Force and Its Representation
%V 2014
%N 31 August 2014
%8 July 1, 2011
%9 text/html
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l2a.cfm


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