Force Arrows
Forces and Motion

Trying out adding arrows

Physics Narrative for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Adding force arrows to a familiar situation

The image shows a situation familiar to most teachers. Think how this will look when seen through forces spectacles. Focus on the forces which act on the hanging masses.

Make a simplifying sketch to model the forces acting on the hanging masses.

Here's what to do:

  1. Identify one object.
  2. Isolate that object from it's environment.
  3. Identify the forces acting by thinking about interactions with the environment.

In episodes 2 and 3 we'll introduce a kind of force-spotter's guide – a series of clues to look for in the environment that allow you to identify the force arrows to add to your description.

Teacher Tip: Don't forget to actually try to do the drawing.

Force Arrows
can be used to represent Force
2023 IOP Awards

Teachers of Physics Awards

Recognising and celebrating outstanding contributions to the field of physics education.

Learn more