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Forces & Newtons Laws

Identifying and defining forces Free Body Diagrams Gravitational Forces Mass and weight The Law of Inertia The Law of Acceleration The Law of Force-Counterforce Normal force, Tension, and friction The vector nature of forces

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So, what is a force, anyway?

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So, what is a force

Forces cause cars to move!

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So, what is a force?

Forces cause planes to fly!

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So, what is a force?

Forces cause planets

to orbit the sun!

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So, what is a force?

Forces hold atoms together!
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So, what is a force

Defn: a force is a push or a pull that causes a change in motion, shape, or direction.

two forces are equal and opposite they are called balanced forces. More than one force can combine to make a net force (total force).
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Think About It...

Think of all the different kinds of forces in the universe... List as many of them as you can. How many different forces are there?
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The Forces of Nature

I. Gravitational:
attraction bet. masses tides, gravity, weight

II. Weak Nuclear:

helps to explain atomic collisions

II. Electromagnetic:
friction adhesion electrostatic buoyant
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tension lift drag magnetic

III. Strong Nuclear:

binds atomic nuclei

Representing Forces...

are vectors

Forces are drawn as arrows (vectors) forces add like vectors. the sum of all the forces is called the net force.

picture of a body with arrows drawn representing all the forces acting upon it is called a FREE BODY DIAGRAM.

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Try it...
Draw a picture of your book sitting on the desk. Identify all the forces acting on it.
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Free Body Diagrams...

T (table)

W (weight)

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Free Body Diagrams...

What forces are acting on a skier as she races down a hill?

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The Answer...
FN d&f

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The Answer...
FN f and d

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Gravity and Weight...

The force pulling on your mass (toward the ground) is called your weight.



are the units of weight (force)?

1 Newton (N) 2 = 1 kgm/s


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Guess Some Common Masses/Weights

Weight SI (N) Eng (lb) you a car a bowling ball a quarter a bus Mass SI (kg) Eng (slug)

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Howd you do?

Weight SI (N) Eng (lb) 667 150 8,896 2,000 71.2 16.0 0.139 0.031 177,920 40,000 Mass SI (kg) Eng (slug) 68 4.66 907 62.17 7.3 0.50 0.0 0.00 18,141 1,243

you a car a bowling ball a quarter a bus

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As the skydiver falls what are the magnitudes of the forces acting on him?
QuickTime and a GIF decompressor are neede d to see this picture.

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Apparent Weight
Is your weight always the same on the Earth? How about in an elevator?

What is this sky divers apparent weight?

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QuickTime and a Cinepak decompressor are needed to see this picture.


Apparent Weight
When accelerating up

WA = mg + ma
When accelerating down

Your rate of acceleration!

WA = mg - ma
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Apparent Weight Example

On the Mantis (at Cedar Point) at the bottom of the first hill you experience an acceleration of 27 m/s/s (about 3 gs). What is your apparent weight at that point? What is your apparent weight at the top of the 2nd hill when you experience an acceleration of 2.2 m/s/s?

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Free Fall
In the absence of air resistance ALL objects accelerate at 9.81 m/s/s!
QuickTime and a GIF dec ompres sor are needed to see this picture.

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True or False
1. The elephant and the feather each experience the same force of gravity. 2. The elephant experiences a greater force of gravity, yet both the elephant and the feather have the same mass. 3. On earth, all objects (whether an elephant or a feather) have the same acceleration. 4. The elephant clearly has more mass than the feather, yet they each weigh the same. 5. The elephant has the greatest acceleration, yet the amount of gravity is the same for each.
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Think about it...

What does gravity depend on?

youre standing on a scale and the pressure in the room rises what happens? If the Earth stopped spinning how would your weight change? So, what is gravity caused by?
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Law of Universal Gravitation

Any two bodies with mass will attract eachother with a gravitational force!
More mass ==> more force farther away ==> less force
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m1m2 Fg G 2 r
G 6.67 10
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Nm 2 kg



the force of attraction between you and your neighbor (estimate distances and masses).
the force of gravitational attraction between the Earth and you.


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Think about it...


a baseball is hit, what causes it to slow down? What prevents it from slowing down? When your car stops fast, why do you lunge forward? Under low friction circumstances which is harder to start moving, a large object or a small object?
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Def: An objects tendency to resist a change in motion is called its inertia.

inertia is an intrinsic property that depends only on mass

more mass --> more inertia!
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The Law of Inertia...

An object will stay in a state of rest or straight line motion unless acted on by an unbalanced force.

inertial reference frame is a f.o.r. in which the law of inertia holds true.

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IRFs or not???

car moving w/ constant velocity the Earth a bus that is slowing down a skier going down a hill a person on a merry-go-round a skateboard rolling on a level sidewalk?
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Think about it...

A little girl sits on a skate board and her friend pulls her with a constant force. Describe the motion of the girl.
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The Law of Acceleration

When an unbalanced force is applied to an object it will accelerate in the direction of the net force with an acceleration proportional to the force applied and inversely prop. to the mass.

F = m x a

If there is only one force then the equation is simply: F=m x a


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force is needed to decelerate a 2,000 lb car from 35 mph to rest in 5 seconds? ~2900N

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jet thruster applies a force of 200,000N at maximum burn. If the jet has a mass of 15,500kg what is the acceleration of the jet? How long will it take to increase speed from 100 m/s to 150 m/s? a ~ 13 m/s2 and t ~ 4sec!!

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Think About it...


textbook rests on a table. What forces act on the book? On the table? True or False. When you jump the Earth accelerates. An 8 ton bus crashes into a 1200 lb VW Rabbit. If the bus applies a force of 20,000 lb on the car, what is the force of the car on the bus?
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The Law of Force-Counterforce

When one body exerts a force on another body the second one exerts an equal and opposite force on the first.

forces do not exist in

nature. action-reaction forces are not the same as balanced forces.

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Questions to consider...

Identify the counterforce

The push of a rifle on your shoulder when you shoot a gun. The hit of the lineman on the QB. The backwards force of the tires on the road. The gravity of the Earth on the Moon.

Why can you push harder on the pedals when pulling up on the handle bars?

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Think About It...


feather rests on a strong, solid oak table. Does the table exert any forces on the feather? I lean on a solid cement wall. Does it exert forces on me? What force causes a ball to bounce?

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Normal Forces...

you stand on the ground your weight pushes down on it. It pushes up on you with the same force! Thats called a normal force. a normal force is always perpendicular to the surface in contact. Take a minute and identify all the normal forces in the room.
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Think about it...


is the reading on the scales in the two diagrams below?

fig. 1 fig. 2

(weights are 200 N each)

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Tension is a force that pulls things apart. Tension is an electromagnetic force. Tension is the force that pulls in BOTH directions

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TensionA Deeper Analysis

Massless ropes and things...

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Think about it...

an ice skater coasts to a stop... a marble rolls across the table and comes to rest A boy in the back of a truck stays still while the truck accelerates. a skydiver reaches terminal velocity... What force is responsible for the above?

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you said FRICTION, you are correct!



what exactly is friction and what does it depend on? Friction is a resistive force:
surface locking electrostatic attraction air drag fluid viscosity
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(Greek mu) is a constant which is different for each situation. N is the normal force
What is N for a book sliding across the floor?
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Types of friction...

Friction (kinetic)

fk = k x N

Friction (static)

fs = s x N

In each case the only difference is the coefficient of friction, .

k s
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Determining ...
To determine the coefficient of friction between two surfaces just pull a block at a constant speed across the table top with a spring scale. What force is necessary to do this? Draw a Free Body Diagram. How can you find (this is for kinetic friction)? How is it possible to find the coefficient of static friction?

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What is the force of friction when a 150 lb boy (bike weight included) applies the brakes w/o skidding while riding down the street on his bike (s=0.9)? How would it change if he locked up his brakes (k=0.7)? How many meters will the boy above take to come to rest in each situation if his initial speed is 26 mph?

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Forces are vectors

Forces can be resolved into vertical and horizontal components. Ex. A boy pushes on a lawn mower with a force of 400 N. If the mower weighs 65 lbs and the handle makes an angle of 45 with the ground what is the horizontal acceleration (ignore friction)? How would the problem change if you dont ignore friction?

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Lawnmower Problem
Fx Fcos(45) Fx 400cos (45) 283N Now, W mg and 65lb 289N So, 289N m(9.81) m 29.5kg Finally, Fx 283N ax 9.59 m / s2 m 29.5kg
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Wrap-Up Questions

What are the four basic forces of the universe? Which is the strongest? What is inertia? How does it relate to Newtons first Law? What is equilibrium? What kind of motion do forces cause? How does the force of your cars windshield on a mosquito compare to the force of the mosquito on the wind shield? What is a tension? Normal force? Friction?

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