Forces and Motion

Lessons from this first look at forces

Physics Narrative for 5-11 Supporting Physics Teaching

Helpful approaches: a summary

When describing a situation using forces, aim to answer these questions:

  • What exerts the force?
  • What kind of force is acting?
  • What is the force acting on?

When drawing force diagrams, a helpful process is to:

  • Imagine you are looking through forces spectacles.
  • Focus on one object of interest.
  • Reduce this object of interest to its simplest representation. This can often be just a point.
  • Only then add the force arrows.

In many cases all the forces acting on an object will balance. The net effect is than nothing changes. We describe such objects as being in equilibrium.

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