Forces are a big part of physics. Physicists devote a lot of time to the study of forces that are found everywhere in the universe. The forces could be big, such as the pull of a star on a planet. The forces could also be very small, such as the pull of a nucleus on an electron. Let's look at the forces acting on that soccer ball before you kicked it. If there is more than one force acting on an object, the forces can be added up if they act in the same direction, or subtracted if they act in opposition. There is one totally important formula when it comes to forces, F = ma. Or search the sites for a specific topic.
Related: Forces and Motion
Force and Motion FactsMotion makes the world go 'round. Motion makes the moon go 'round too. In fact, motion makes lots of things go. What is Force? Force is just a fancy word for pushing or pulling. These two forces act at a distance and do not require direct contact between the objects to function. See D4K's site on Gravity. Magnetism produces a force that can either pull opposite ends of two magnets together or push the matching ends apart. Types Of Contact Forces There are 6 kinds of forces which act on objects when they come into contact with one another. Let's investigate how these forces can be seen in our lives. Normal Force A book resting on a table has the force of gravity pulling it toward the Earth. Experiment with this concept by trying one of these paper bridge experiments from ZOOM or Building Big! Applied Force Applied force refers to a force that is applied to an object such as when a person moves a piece of furniture across the room or pushes a button on the remote control. Frictional Force
Galileo Drops the Ball - Virtual ExperimentIn around 1590 Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) climbed up the Leaning Tower of Pisa and dropped some balls to the ground. Two balls of different masses, but of similar shape and density that were released together hit the ground at the same time. Until then it was commonly believed that heavy things fall faster than light things. Many people still believe this, and casual observation of everyday phenomena often does tend to confirm this view. If you drop a brick and a feather at the same time the brick will probably hit the ground first. But this is because of differences in the amount of friction between these objects and the air around them, not because their masses are different. Galileo’s discovery is important in understanding how parachutes work. Click on the image to the left to try Galileo’s experiment for yourself. Find out more about Galileo Galilei.
Planet Facts: Interesting Facts about the Eight PlanetsOrder of the planets The order of planets from closest to farthest from the Sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The largest planet is Jupiter, followed by Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars and, the smallest planet, Mercury. If you include dwarf planets as well, the planets in order becomes Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris being the furthest from the Sun. Distance of the planets from the Sun For the distances between each of the planets, see our distances between planets calculator. You can also calculate your weight on other planets. Types of planets The planets fall into two categories based on their physical characteristics: the terrestrial planets and the gas giants. Planet facts Click any of the eight planets below to find out more about the remarkable objects in our solar system. What is a planet? The answer to this question is a highly controversial one.
Roller Coaster GameWelcome to the death defying Funderstanding Roller Coaster! This simulator is designed for people who want to design their own thrilling coaster and educators who want to use a cool activity to simulate the application of physics by using an exciting interactive tool and access to a wonderful reference source. It is your mission to become a roller coaster designer so that you can achieve maximum thrills and chills without crashing or flying off the track (unless that’s how you like your coaster to work!). If you accept this mission you must decide on a number of factors. This great educational online tool offers an interactive way for kids to play a roller coaster game, and learn while doing it. Finally, some fun online education kids! Due to some great feedback, we have decided to put back the original coaster AND also created a different version of this new coaster which keeps the coaster locked to the track. If you need help, click on the ‘? Contact us for more information.
Acceleration - Physics for Kids!Acceleration is a way to measure how fast something is speeding up. Suppose you are riding your bike. You start out going very slowly, hardly pedaling at all. Now you begin to pedal as hard as you can, to speed up - you are accelerating. Now that you are going at a normal speed, you stop pedaling so hard, and just pedal normally. If you stop pedaling now, friction will work on your bike tires (and you'll have friction from the air, too), and you'll soon start to go slower. One important cause of acceleration is gravity. The acceleration of Earth's gravity will speed you up at about 9.8 meters per second per second (9.8 m/s2, or 9.8 meters per second squared). Standing on the cliff before you jump, you're going zero meters/second. You can use acceleration to find out the mass of an object, because force = mass x acceleration. Learn by doing - Using bikes to work with the physics of motion To find out more about acceleration, check out these books from Amazon.com or from your library: or
Edheads - Activate Your Mind!Motion: IntroductionMotion is one of the key topics in physics. Everything in the universe moves. It might only be a small amount of movement and very very slow, but movement does happen. Acceleration is a twist on the idea of velocity. There are two main ideas when you study mechanics. There are also more complex movements when an object's direction is changing. In order to really understand motion, you have to think about forces, acceleration, energy, work, and mass. Or search the sites for a specific topic.