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# What is the equation for force?

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The equation for determining the net force acting on an object is F = ma, or force equals mass times acceleration. Net force is measured in terms of acceleration, which means a change in velocity. If there is no change in velocity, the net force is considered to be zero.

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At any time, there can be many forces acting upon an object, including gravity, friction and any external forces pushing or pulling on the object. The net effect of all of these forces is determined by the acceleration of the object. Acceleration is observed when a stationary object begins to move, a moving object changes speed or when an object in motion changes direction.

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## Related Questions

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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.

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When a force is applied to an object resting on a surface, a retarding force is that which opposes the force being applied to the object. A retarding force is usually that of friction, which must be overcome when moving an object resting on a surface. If the object is being moved upward along an inclined plane, gravity represents an additional force that must be overcome.

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To calculate the normal force on an object, draw a free body diagram, determine the surface's angle, factor in the other present forces, and solve for the normal force. Note that the normal force is perpendicular to the surface the object sits on.