Net force

The title of the Project: Net force

Purpose of the work:

  • Identify when forces are balanced vs unbalanced;
  • Calculate the net force on the object.

Expected results:

  • When the net force is other than zero, the forces are unbalanced and when the net force is zero, the forces are balanced;
  • To calculate net force, consider the direction of the forces. For oppositely directed forces use subtraction and for forces directed in one direction use summation.

Practical part

To start the virtual experiment press “Net force” button.

This is a little instruction on the virtual laboratory.

Virtual experiment.

Step 1. Place 2 people that are the same size the same distance away from the cart. What will happen? The forces that act on the cart are balanced out, so the net force is zero and the cart will not move.

Step 2. Place 2 people that are the same size different distances away from the cart. What will happen? The forces that act on the cart are balanced out, so the net force is zero and the cart will not move.

Step 3. Place 2 people that are different sizes the same distance away from the cart. What will happen? The forces that act on the cart are out of balance, so the net force is not zero. The cart moves to the direction of greater force.

Step 4. Place 2 people that are the different sizes different distances away from the cart. The forces that act on the cart are out of balance, so the net force is not zero. The cart moves to the direction of greater force. Make a conclusion.

Conclusion

When the net force is other than zero, the forces are unbalanced and when the net force is zero, the forces are balanced. To calculate net force, take into account the direction of the forces. For oppositely directed forces use subtraction and for forces directed in one direction use summation.