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.

In nature, every force is opposed by other forces, such as friction or opposing gravitational forces. Forces can produce acceleration only if they are greater than the total opposing forces. If a force pushes an object but is matched by friction, the object does not accelerate. Likewise, if a force pushes against gravity but is less than the gravitational force on an object, it does not accelerate. For example, if a 15-Newton push on an object is opposed by a 10-Newton friction force, the object accelerates as if pushed by a 5-Newton net force without friction.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a velocity versus time graph used for?

    A:

    A velocity versus time graph is used to evaluate the acceleration of an object. This is done by looking at the slope of the line on the graph.

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  • Q:

    How do you calculate net force?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    What is the equation for force?

    A:

    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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  • Q:

    What is a retarding force?

    A:

    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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