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Force - Lesson Summary

Force is a push or a pull on an object. The interaction of one object with another object results in a force between the two objects. Force has both magnitude and direction. The SI unit of force is newton. More than one force may act on an object. Forces applied on object in the same direction add to one another. If two forces act in the opposite directions on an object, the resultant force acting on it is the difference between the two forces. 

Effects of Force
       •  A force can change the state of motion of an object, i.e. a force can make a stationary body move; it can stop a moving body; it can change the speed of the moving body. If a force acts on an object in the direction of its motion, then the object moves faster. If a force acts on an object opposite to the direction of its motion, then the objects slows down.
       •  A force can change the direction of motion of a body. The effect of force changes with the direction of its application.
       •  A force can change the shape of an object, as in the case of a stretched or compressed spring.

Types of Forces: Contact and Non-Contact Forces
A contact force is a force between two objects that are in contact with each other directly or indirectly.  Examples of contact forces are muscular force and frictional force. The force resulting from the action of muscles is called the muscular force. We make use of muscular force of animals like bullocks, horses and camels to get our activities done. The point where the force is applied on an object is called the point of application of force (or point of contact). Friction is another type of contact force that always acts opposite to the direction of motion of the objects.

Any force that is exerted without any contact between two bodies is called a non-contact force.  Examples of non-contact forces are magnetic force, electrostatic force and gravitational force. The force exerted by a magnet on another magnet or magnetic materials like iron is called a magnetic force. The force exerted by a charged body on another charged or uncharged body is known as electrostatic force. Gravitational force is an attractive force between any two objects in the universe. The force of gravity is an attractive force exerted by the earth on objects, due to which objects fall to the ground. All these forces are non-contact forces as they act on an object from a distance.


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