Q:

How do you calculate net force?

A:

Quick Answer

To calculate the net force, or unbalanced force, of a Newtonian object, find the sum of all forces presently acting upon it. These include gravity, friction and other forces depending on the scenario. You need only a few figures and computations to calculate an object's net force, which is required for acceleration and is expressed in Newtons.

  Know More
How do you calculate net force?
Credit: Paul L Dineen CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

  1. Draw a free-body diagram of your object

    To help keep track of the forces involved, create a free-body diagram, which is a simple sketch of the object and the forces acting upon it. Draw a rough diagram of the object, and then use arrows to indicate the direction of each force.

  2. Identify the forces

    Identify the forces acting on your object. Note that some forces cancel each other out and have no bearing on your total Newtonian net force. Forces are identified according to the condition, environment and behavior of an object.

  3. Add these forces together

    Find the sum of these relevant forces by applying their force, in Newtons, to your diagram. Forces moving toward the right in the free-body diagram are considered positive forces, and those moving toward the left are negative. Add the forces together. The result is the Newtonian net force.

Learn more about Motion & Mechanics

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What kind of force causes a change in motion?

    A:

    Unbalanced forces that have a net force in a certain direction are what lead to changes in motion. When multiple forces act on a body, the resultant force, calculated as the vectorial sum of the individual forces, determines whether the body moves or not.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is net force?

    A:

    A net force is the remaining force that produces any acceleration of an object when all opposing forces have been canceled out. Opposing forces decrease the effect of acceleration, lowering the net force of acceleration acting on an object.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is net torque?

    A:

    Net torque is the sum of all the individual torques acting on an object. Torque measures how much rotation-causing force is acting on an object. If the sum of all the torques is zero, the object is in rotational equilibrium.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you calculate force?

    A:

    Calculate the amount of force exerted on a moving object by using the formula f = m * a. You need to know the mass of the object and its acceleration.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore