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9 Forces in Equilibrium
Learning Outcome :
• Describe situation where forces are
in equilibrium.
• State what a resultant force is.
• Add two forces to determine the
resultant forces.
• Resolve a force into the effective
component forces.
Newton’s 3 Law of
• Where there is an action, there is a
reaction which is equal in magnitude
but opposite in direction
Illustrations of Newton’s
3 Law
Vector and Scalar
• A scalar quantity is a quantity which
can be fully described by magnitude
• A vector quantity is a quantity which
is fully described by both magnitude
and direction.
What is Vector Diagram?
• Vector Diagram
• The arrow shows the direction of the
• The length representing the
magnitude of the vector.
Vector Addition
Vector Addition by parallelogram Vector Addition by triangular
method method

Join the tail of the 2nd vector to

Join the tail of the 2nd vector to the head of the 1st vector. Normally
the tail of the 1st vector. Normally the resultant vector is marked with
the resultant vector is marked with double arrow.
double arrow.
Addition of 2
perpendicular vector
• If 2 vectors (a and b) are
perpendicular to each others, the
magnitude and direction of the
resultant vector can be determined
by the following equation
• With that, Fx = F cosα
Fy = F sin α
Example 1
• Two forces, P and Q of magnitude
10N and 12N are perpendicular to
each others. What is the magnitude
of the resultant force if P and Q are
acting on an object?

102 + 122 =
Example 2
Diagram above shows that
four forces of magnitude
2N, 4N, 5N and 8N are
acting on point O. All the
forces are perpendicular to
each others. What is the
magnitude of the resulatant
force that acts on point O?
Answer :
• he resultant force of the horizntal
component = 5 - 2 = 3N to the right
The resultant force of the vertical
component = 8 - 4 = 4N acting
• Therefore, the magtitude of these 2
force components,
• 32 + 42 = 25 = 5
Vector Resolution

• A vector can be resolve into 2

component which is perpendicular to
each others.
Example 3

• Diagram above shows a lorry

pulling a log with an iron cable.
If the tension of the cable is
3000N and the friction between
the log and the ground is 500N,
find the horizontal force that
acting on the log.
Answer :
• Horizontal component of the tension
= 3000 cos30o =2598N
Friction = 500N
• Resultant horizontal force = 2598N -
500N =2098N
Example 4
• Diagram above shows two forces of
magnitude 25N are acting on an
object of mass 2kg. Find the
acceleration of object P, in ms -2.
• Horizontal component of the
forces = 25cos45o + 25cos45o =
• Vertical component of the forces
= 25sin45o - 25sin45o = 0N
• The acceleration of the object
can be determined by the
• F = ma
(35.36) = (2)a
a = 17.68 ms-2
Inclined Plane

• Weight component along the plane =

Weight component perpendicular to
the plane = Wcosθ
Example 5

• A block of mass 2 kg is pulling along a plane by

a 20N force as shown in diagram above. Given
that the fiction between block and the plane
is 2N, find the magnitude of the resultant
force parallel to the plane.

Answer :
First of all, let's examine all the
forces or component of forces
acting along the plane.
• The force pulling the block, F =
• The frictional force, f = 2N
The weight component along the
plane = 20sin30o = 10N
• The resultant force along the plane
= 20 - 2 - 10 = 8N
What does the phrase of
force in equilibrium
• When 3 vectors are in equilibrium, the
resultant vector = 0. After joining all the
vectors tail to head, the head of the last
vector will join to the tail of the first
• Forces are in equilibrium means the
resultant force in all directions are zero.
Force in equilibrium
Equilibrium of 3 forces
• The resultant of the two
forces 3 N and 4 N is 5N
acting in the direction
• The third force 5 N acting A
downward will balance the
resultant of the two forces
5N and 4N
• When the three forces 3N,
4N and 5N acting at a point
are in equilibrium, the vector
sum of the forces is zero.
• Notice that the three forces
form a closed triangle ABC,
when the vectors
representing the forces are
placed head to tail drawn
according to scale.
Example 6

• Diagram above shows a load of mass

500g is hung on a string C, which is
tied to 2 other strings A and B. Find
the tension of string A.
Answer :
• Tension of string C, TC =
weight of the load = 5N
All forces in the system
are in equilibrium, hence
• Vertical component of
tension A (TA) = TC
TAcos60o = TC
TA = TC/cos60o
TA = 5/cos60o = 10N