About This Chapter
Forces in Physics - Chapter Summary
Study information about forces in physics with this chapter. Increase what you know about various types of forces and learn about how they are applied. Our lessons allow you to find out more about:
- Inertia, mass and weight
- The connection between state of motion and velocity
- Types of forces and net force
- Using free-body diagrams
- How to determine an object's acceleration and the forces acting on it
- Air resistance and friction
- Force pairs, inclined planes and centripetal force
View our short, engaging video lessons to learn more about this topic. You can use our video timelines to find the subject you want to study, or look at this information from another perspective by accessing our transcripts. Physics experts support these lessons, and are available to answer any questions you have about this chapter.
1. Distinguishing Between Inertia and Mass
Mass and inertia are both related to the amount of matter an object has, but they aren't exactly the same thing. In this video lesson, you'll see how mass affects an object's inertia, which in turn affects that object's motion.
2. Mass and Weight: Differences and Calculations
We often talk about mass and weight as if they are the same. While they are proportional to each other, they are not, in fact, the same. In this video lesson, you will learn to distinguish between the two, as well as convert one to the other.
3. State of Motion and Velocity
An object's state of motion describes how it is moving. But there are many ways we can describe motion, such as speed and velocity. This motion is relative to other objects around it, such as the earth, the sun, and even other stars in our galaxy.
4. Force: Definition and Types
Force is everywhere and it comes in a variety of sizes, directions, and types. In this video lesson, you'll identify force as well the different types of force that objects may experience.
5. Forces: Balanced and Unbalanced
Forces are needed to start or stop an object's motion, but can also be involved when an object is at rest or already traveling at constant velocity. In this video lesson, you'll identify the difference between balanced and unbalanced forces, understanding how they affect the movement of objects.
6. Free-Body Diagrams
Forces that act on an object can be drawn through special vector diagrams called free-body diagrams. In this video lesson you'll identify how to correctly represent forces in a free-body diagram through vector arrows and force labels.
7. Net Force: Definition and Calculations
Because forces are vectors, we can't simply add them up to get a total amount of force on an object. Instead, we calculate the net force, which is important to understand because it tells us about an object's state of motion.
8. Determining the Acceleration of an Object
Acceleration is a change in an object's state of motion. A few variables need to be identified to calculate an object's acceleration, but once we have those values, we can put them into a simple equation to find out how quickly or slowly an object's velocity is changing.
9. Determining the Individual Forces Acting Upon an Object
Objects constantly have forces acting on them whether they are moving or at rest. In this video lesson, you'll understand how to identify the individual forces acting on an object by reviewing the different types of forces and the use of free-body diagrams.
10. Air Resistance and Free Fall
Through experiments by Galileo and Newton, we can understand why all objects in free-fall experience the same acceleration, ''g''. We can also see why air resistance affects a falling object's velocity and how this can lead to a falling object reaching a terminal velocity.
11. Identifying Action and Reaction Force Pairs
Good things often come in pairs, and forces are no exception. In this lesson you'll explore Newton's second and third laws of motion to understand how action and reaction pairs affect objects interacting with each other.
12. The Normal Force: Definition and Examples
The normal force is also called the contact force because it only exists when objects are touching. In this lesson, we will investigate what the normal force is and how to calculate it on flat and inclined surfaces.
13. Friction: Definition and Types
You experience friction all the time, and you should be glad you do! Friction helps keep stationary objects in place as well as slow moving objects down as they slide across a surface. This lesson identifies what friction is and explains the two ways we find this force on earth.
14. Inclined Planes in Physics: Definition, Facts, and Examples
If an object is not horizontal to the ground, it may be on an inclined plane. We need to adjust both the calculations and the free-body diagram when determining the net force on an object on an inclined plane. Learn how in this lesson.
15. Centripetal Force: Definition, Examples & Problems
After watching this video, you should be able to explain what centripetal force is, identify the centripetal force in a particular situation, and solve problems using the centripetal force equation. A short quiz will follow.
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Other chapters within the MEGA Physics: Practice & Study Guide course
- Applications of Science & Engineering
- Science, Technology & Society
- Analyzing Scientific & Technical Information
- Math Concepts for Physics
- Kinematics Basics
- Kinematics & Graphs
- Work and Energy in Physics
- Linear Momentum in Physics
- Rotational Motion
- Newton's Three Laws of Motion
- Electric Force & Charge
- Circuits & Electric Current in Physics
- Magnetism & Physical Laws
- Waves & Interference
- The Physics of Light
- Optics, Mirrors & Lenses
- Thermodynamics & Heat Transfer
- Nuclear Reactions in Physics
- Quantum Mechanics
- MEGA Physics Flashcards