What is Force?

Why does the Earth revolve around the Sun?

Why do two magnets pull each other?

How can a boat stay afloat on the water?

What make us stay on the spherical Earth and not fall off?

Image Credit: Flickr User jimmiehomeschoolmom, via CC

You would be surprised by the answer. All the questions have the same answer. Forces. Different kinds of forces. There are forces working on everyone at all times. Did you not realize that? A force is simply a push or a pull. It can stop a moving object or make a stationary object move. Force can sometimes change the shapes and sizes of the objects. Force has two very important parts. One is the amount of force applied, and the other is the direction in which it is applied.

Forces in opposite directions cancel each others effect. Imagine two of your best friends want to play with you and not with each other. They both pull you in their direction. If they both pull you with the same force, then you would not be able to move. Their forces are getting cancelled or they are balanced. If one of the friends is bigger and applies more force, you would obviously move in his direction. So when the forces are unbalanced then only the object changes its state.

Many forces are at play in the Universe. They are all measured in Newtons. Would you like to know the different kinds of forces?

Zero gravity for astronauts
Image Credit: Pixabay User OpenClips, via CC

Ever wondered why things fall or you don’t fall off the Earth? There is the gravitational force that is exerted by earth on you and all the other objects. If it were not there we would be weightless :) No gravity no weight. The weight of an object is the force caused by gravity to pull it down. In fact, this is the same force that keeps the planets orbiting around the Sun.
The force that helps us walk. Frictional force. It is a force that comes between two objects when they are trying to move. It stops them from sliding past each other. Harder the surface more is the frictional force, smoother the surface lesser is the frictional force. Try walking on your normal floor if you put lots of powder on it. You wont be able to, you will slide.

Air resistance breaks the fall of parachute
Image Credit: Pixabay User szanyierika97,via CC

Air resistance acts on objects as they travel through the air. This force will usually oppose motion. An aeroplane exerts more force to counter this resistance than it would have if there was no resistance. In some cases it is also very helpful. The parachute works on the fact that there is an air resistance force against the force of gravity.  If you are walking this force does not act much. It only acts when an object moves at a high speed.

Two objects in contact with each other will have a Normal force acting on them. A book on the table just rests peacefully as it has a gravitational force towards the ground and a Normal force towards the sky. The forces are balanced; hence the book does not fall.

Now that you  have a basic understanding of force, look around yourself and find different forces that are working in your play area.

Who applies the force when you are swinging? What makes the swing move when it is empty? Why don’t you ask some questions to us now?

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