Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
Name:
Balanced Force Model
A force is
Common Types of Forces
Newton’s 1st Law:
Newton’s 3rd Law:
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
Reading: A Force is an Interaction between Two Objects
When exploring the motion of a hover puck, we decided that we needed
a force to change the motion of the block. We deﬁned a force as an interac
tion between two objects . Thus, every force involves two objects, the object exerting the force and the object experiencing the force.
We have noticed that some forces, such as the gravitational force, act at
a distance. These forces are noncontact forces. Electric and magnetic forces
are the other noncontact forces with which we are familiar. Otherwise, forces are exerted by way of objects interacting by touching one another. These forces are called contact forces. Some contact forces, such as the tension force of a rope on a crate, have the interesting ability to adjust.
To help us keep track of the forces acting on an object, we have devel oped a new representation: system schema. System schema are sketches that list all objects interacting with the object we are considering. As an example, we will take the case of a book sitting on a table. The system schema in ﬁgure 1 shows the book and all objects interacting with the book as labeled ovals. Solid lines are draw between two objects if they are inter acting. Finally, a dotted line is drawn around the object of interest (which we will call our system ). Each line that crosses the dotted line surrounding our object of interest indicates that we should be able to identify a force corresponding to that interaction. In ﬁgure 1, we note that the table and Earth interact with the book.
After identifying the objects interacting with our object of interest (our system), we label the forces we have identiﬁed. In ﬁgure 1 we have the gravitational force exerted by Earth on the book ( F _{g} _{,} _{E} _{→} _{B} ), and the contact normal force exerted by the table on the book ( F _{N} _{,} _{T} _{→} _{B} ).
We now employ another new representation: the free body diagram, as shown in ﬁgure 2. The free body diagram is a very stripped down schematic of the object and the forces exerted on the object. For our exam ple of the book sitting on the table, the free body diagram shows the book as a dot, and the forces on the book are represented by arrows whose tails are on the dot and whose heads point in the direction of the force. You will notice that a free body diagram is very similar to a vector diagram.
There are two quick checks that you should perform on your free body diagram. First, are the number of forces on the object the same as the number of solid lines crossing your dotted line boundary around your object? Second, are all the forces you wrote down for the object of interest of the form “the (type of force) force exerted by (object exerting the force) on the (object of interest)?”
In order to help you draw your system schema and your free body diagrams, there are several steps you should take to identify all of the in teractions between your object of interest and the outside world. First, you should identify all noncontact interactions between your system and its surroundings. We currently know of three noncontact force types: grav itational forces, electrical forces and magnetic forces. Thus, identifying outside objects interacting via noncontact forces is as simple as asking whether there are gravitational, electric or magnetic forces on our system, and what objects are exerting those forces.
Second, you should tally all surrounding objects that are touching our system. These objects might be exerting contact forces. Contact forces include compression forces (the normal force of the table on our book,
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Figure 1: The system schema for a book sit ting still on a table top. The book is inter acting with the table (it is touching the ta ble) and Earth (the gravitational force is a noncontact force).
The word normal means “perpendicular to.” This force is due to the compression of the atomic bonds (which are modeled by springs) in the table surface, and the force is therefore perpendicular to the surface of the table.


^{F} N ,T B 

normal force, table on book 



^{F} g ,E B 

grav. force, Earth on book 


Figure 2: The free body diagram for a book sitting still on a table top. Note that there are two forces on the system (which is the book in this case), the same number of forces as there are lines crossing the dotted line in the system schema.
Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
in the previous example, or the force of a mashed spring on the object placed on top of that spring), tension forces (the force of a spring or string on an object), friction forces (always parallel to the surface on contact be tween two objects), air resistance (due to wind or an object moving quickly through still air), as well as pushes and pulls by living objects (which can be thought of as compression and tension forces, too).
It is possible for two objects to interact in more than one way, simulta neously. To illustrate this possibility, let’s consider a book sliding to a halt on a table top. The system schema is shown in ﬁgure 3. There are now two lines connecting the book and the table, representing the normal force ex erted by the table on the book and the friction force exerted by the table on the book. It helps to draw two separate lines for these two forces, thereby clearly indicating that there are now three forces (due to two interactions between the book and the table and one interaction between the book and Earth) on the book.


^{F} N ,T B 



normal force, table on book 
^{F} f ,T B fric. force, table on book 

^{F} g ,E B 

grav. force, Earth on book 


Figure 4: The free body diagram for a book sliding on a horizontal table top.
Figure 3: The system schema for a table slowing as it slides on a table top. Notice that there are now three solid lines crossing the dotted line, indicating three distinct interactions of our system with its surroundings.
Using the system schema in ﬁgure 3, we can now draw a free body diagram for the sliding book on the table. The correct free body diagram should have one noncontact force (the gravitational force exerted by Earth on the book, F _{g} _{,} _{E} _{→} _{B} ) and two contact forces (the normal (perpendicular) force exerted by the table on the book, F _{N} _{,} _{T} _{→} _{B} , and the (parallel) friction
force exerted by the table on the book, F _{f} _{,} _{T} _{→} _{B} ).
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all parts of one question can ﬁt
BFPM
02 /
(this is where
Make it
be greater than
taking our snapshots
it.
that
it
box, clearly
Label!
still
Make
(ii) Also
an FBD.
schema for
obvious which lines are
horizontal,
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© 2006 !
draw a system schema for the box when it leaves
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which have greater
contact
slopes,
smaller
with the person’s
slopes, or
hands.
(iii) Also
negative slopes.
draw
c. 
A person shoves the box horizontally so that it begins to move. 
Your answers to 
this 

time while the person is still touching the box and shoving. (i) Draw a velocityvstime graph for the 

marking the time when the 
box is at rest and 

This should be qualitatively accurate (no numbers, 
but correct shape). (ii) Also draw a system 

same time period. (iii) Also draw a free body diagram for the box during that same time period. 

d. 
The shove ends when the 
box leaves contact with the person’s hands. 
(i) Draw 

time graph for the box, clearly marking the time when the box 
is at rest, the time 
when the 
person 
is 

touching the box and shoving it, and the time after 
the box loses 
contact with the person’s 
hands. 
part should concern the
the time when the person is still touching the box and shoving
a qualitatively correct velocityvs
Honors Physics
/
2. The
rubber is
ﬂoor. It
is
do not have 
to be 
intend to be 

between forces in 
a. 
Draw 
a 
b. Draw 
a 

c. Draw 
a 

d. 
Draw 
a 
hands. 
as
you
time graph
equal and which
directly on the same
velocity vs.
new situation. Your diagrams
time periods.
forces you intend to be
cardboard surface rests
three
the
In the space below, modify your
box so that
clearly marking the
of the
person.
problem 1 to accurately describe this
from
bottom
the
FBDs
and
and 
an FBD for 
this 
situation 
while the box is at rest on the horizontal ﬂoor. 

and 
an FBD for 
this 
situation 
while the person 
is still touching the 
box 
and shoving. 

and 
an FBD for 
this 
situation 
during the time after the box loses contact with 
the person's 
a horizontal shove by a
quantitatively accurate, but make it obvious which
or less than others, so that comparisons can be 
made 
among 
forces in this problem as well as 

this 
problem and in problem 
1. 
Make 
any differences 
in your 
graphs and 
diagrams 
obvious. 
Unit 02 / BFPM
now removed from
then given
well as your system schemas
greater
velocityvstime graph for the box,
system schema
system schema
system schema
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from
Modeling Workshop Project
©
2006
3. The
box
graph
diagrams do not have
which
as well
as your
you intend
as 
well as 

a. 
Draw 

b. 
Draw 
a 
c. 
Draw 
a 
d. 
Draw 
a 
hands. 
BFPM
Your
02 /
equal and
/ Unit
in this problem
situation.
Physics
Honors
difference in your diagrams obvious.
below, modify your velocity vs. time
time periods.
can be made among forces
any
space
three
the
2 to accurately describe this new
and 2. Make
that comparisons
clearly marking the
polished ﬂoor. In
problems 1
others, so
and
less than
schemas and FBDs from problem
quantitatively accurate, but make it obvious which forces you intend to be
this problem
and 
an FBD 
for 
this 
situation 
while the box is at rest on the horizontal ﬂoor. 

and 
an FBD 
for 
this 
situation 
while the person is still touching the 
box 
and shoving. 

and 
an FBD 
for 
this 
situation 
during the 
time after the box loses 
contact with 
the person's 
a very smooth and
is now placed on
system
to be
to be greater or
between forces in
a velocityvstime graph for the box,
system schema
system schema
system schema
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© 2006 !
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succeed in making the ﬂoor completely frictionless. Again, make new
Honors Physics
/ Unit 02 / BFPM
4. Suppose that we could somehow
diagrams/graphs
to represent this new
variation
in the situation. Make any
differences obvious.
a. velocityvstime graph for the box, Draw a clearly marking the 
three time periods. 

b. system schema Draw a and 
an FBD for 
this 
situation while the box is at rest on 
the horizontal ﬂoor. 
hands.
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from
c. Draw 
a system schema 
and 
an FBD for 
this 
situation 
while the person 
is still 
touching the 
box 
and 
d. Draw 
a system schema 
and 
an FBD for 
this 
situation 
during the time after the box loses 
Modeling Workshop Project
shoving.
the person's
©
2006
contact with
5. Return to the case
enough
below, modify your
accurately describe this
to
start it into
a. Draw
changing,
b. Draw 
a 
c. Draw 
a 
d. Draw 
a 
e. After pushing the
maintain a
while
you continue
BFPM
02 /
space
/ Unit
In the
pushes it hard
Physics
velocity.
Honors
A person
ﬂoor, with friction.
that it maintains a constant
pushing so
resting on the concrete
continues
reduce
your force
to half the
value
needed to
a new (continued) velocityvstime
graph to show what happens to the box
force.
a constant velocity for a while, you
Make
with this
and then
a constant velocity).
and 
an FBD 
for 
this 
situation 
while the box is at rest on 
the horizontal ﬂoor. 

and 
an FBD 
for 
this 
situation 
while the box is changing 
velocity. 

and 
an FBD 
for 
this 
situation 
while the box moves with 
a constant 
velocity. 
time graph 
as well 
as your system schemas and FBDs from problem 
2 
to 

new situation. 

clearly marking the 
three time periods (at rest, velocity 
is 
to push
of the cardboard box
motion
velocity vs.
a velocityvstime graph for the box,
moving with
system schema
system schema
system schema
box with
constant velocity.
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© 2006 !
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
Worksheet 2: FBDs
6. In each of the following situations, represent the object with a labelled free body diagram. Label each force with a meaningful symbol (ex: F _{g} ) AND with the object exerting the force (ex: F _{g} (earth)).
1. ! Object lies motionless.
2. ! Object slides at constant speed without friction.
3. ! Object slows due to kinetic friction.
4. ! Object slides without friction.
5. ! Static friction prevents sliding.
6. ! An object is suspended from the ceiling.
7. ! An object is suspended from the ceiling.
8. ! The object is motionless.
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
9. The object is pulled upward at constant speed. 
10. 
The object is motionless. 




11. The object is pulled by a force parallel to the surface. 
12. 
The object is pulled by a force at an angle to the surface. 




13. 
The object is falling (no air resistance). 
14. 
The object is falling at constant (terminal) velocity. 



15. The ball is rising in a parabolic trajectory. 
16. The ball is at the top of a parabolic trajectory. 
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
Empirical Force Laws Experiments (F _{g} , F _{s} )
Sketch and label the experiment setup:
What could we measure? How could we measure it?
Use this space for notes at the whiteboarding stage of the experiment:
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
Reading: Forces Add Like Vectors
Consider experiments in which two unequal forces act on a body in opposite directions. The result is an acceleration in the direction of the larger force but smaller. Figure 1 shows an example. This should remind you of how the force of friction slightly decreased the overall force on the carts when we pulled them with one spring of force.
equivalent to
3 N
Figure 1: Two forces acting in opposite directions subtract, with the net force point ing in the direction of the larger of the two forces. If we deﬁne forces pointing to the right as positive (+2 N here) and to the left as negative (5 N), we can alway just add the forces.
Thus we can simply add the two forces to get the ‘net force’ expressed in Newton’s Second Law as long as we keep track of the directions of the forces using positive and negative numbers (with positive numbers representing forces pointing in the direction we have deﬁned as the positive direction). For the example in ﬁgure 1 we would have a positive force (to the right) of
2 N and a negative force (to the left) of 5 N. If we add those forces we get
F _{n}_{e}_{t} = (+ 2 N )+( − 5 N ) = − 3 N.
Situations where the forces point in the same or opposite directions are fairly straightforward, but what happens when there are multiple forces
pointing in all directions? In such cases, we need to treat forces as vectors. In fact, without really thinking about it too much, the example in ﬁgure
1 does treat the forces as vectors. You may have noticed that by using
arrows to depict forces, we have already chosen a visual representation that is similar to the way we depict vectors.
An experiment can be performed in which three forces act on a body in different directions to produce an equilibrium state (that is, zero net force). If vectors are used to represent these forces with their lengths proportional to the force magnitude, it is possible to add them using our familiar head totail sequence. Since the vectors add up to zero, the resulting vector diagram forms a closed polygon, as in ﬁgure 2. This corresponds to vec tor addition resulting in a zero resultant vector (if this is not immediately clear, please review your summer homework on vectors).
We experimentally determine that when two or more forces act at acute or obtuse angles, the forces have a combined effect that is equivalent to a single force that is their vector sum. The vector sum of force vectors repre sents the net force vector, and this situation is shown in ﬁgure 3. Note that we cannot merely add the magnitudes of the vectors in this more general case!
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– 12 –
F 1
adding up to zero force
Figure 2: Forces adding to zero result in equilibrium (no change in velocity). The vectors are added using the tailtohead method.
Figure 3: Forces add as vectors. This takes a little more work, but it is the only way to deal with forces in more than one dimen sion!
Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
Worksheet 3: Interaction Problem Solving
7. The player in the photo exerts a 100 N horizontal force on a 25 kg blocking sled, pushing it across the grass with a constant speed of 2.0 m/s.
a. Fill out the chart below, determining all of the forces on the blocking sled.

System Schema 
Motion Map 
Qualitatively correct sketch of FBD 
REMINDERS: ◈ Does your system schema have a system boundary? ◈ In your FBD, did you represent the system with a particle? ◈ Is it obvious when you intend two forces to be equal or when you intend one force to be greater than another? ◈ Did you label your forces with the object exerting the force in parentheses?
b. On the graph below, draw an FBD to a precise scale. Make sure you write down your scale!
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
c. How would the situation change if the player pushed with more than 100 N, while the frictional force between the grass and the sled remained the same? Illustrate your answer with another FBD and motion map.
d. Describe, in terms of the amount of force he would have to apply, what the player would have to do to make the sled move with a constant velocity of 3.0 m/s. Assume that the frictional force between the grass and the sled remains the same under all circumstances. Illustrate your answer with diagrams and/or graphs as appropriate.
e. If he pushes the sled as originally described with a velocity of 2.0 m/s, how far will it slide in 7.5 seconds? Draw at least three diagrams/graphs to illustrate this situation, then solve this problem using at least two different methods (and getting the same answers).
f. With the sled moving at a constant velocity of 2.0 m/s, the person reduces his force to 75 N. Describe what happens to the sled. Illustrate your answer with another FBD and motion map.
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
8. The 80 kg box rests motionless on the 20º incline.
a. Fill out the chart below, determining all of the forces on the box (including their magnitudes).

(Qualitative) Sketch of FBD 
System Schema 
(Qualitative) Sketch of Vector Addition Diagram 
REMINDERS: ◈ Does your system schema have a system boundary? ◈ In your FBD, did you represent the system with a particle? ◈ Is it obvious when you intend two forces to be equal or when you intend one force to be greater than another? ◈ Did you label your forces with the object exerting the force in parentheses? ◈ Did you add vectors tail to head?
b. On the graph below, draw the vector addition diagram to a precise scale. Be sure to write down your scale! Be sure to use a ruler and a protractor!
c. Is the contact normal force [greater than, less than, or equal to] the gravitational force? Explain.
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
Activity: Broom Ball
For each of the situations, describe (using words, pictures, etc) how to accomplish each feat. Each situation refers to pushing a bowling ball on the ﬂoor with a broom.
Speed up the bowling ball from rest. 
Stop a moving bowling ball. 
Keep a moving bowling ball moving at a constant velocity. 
Move the ball from one line to the other and back as quickly as possible and without overshooting the lines. 
With a moving bowling ball, make a sharp left turn. 
Travel at a constant speed along a curved line. 
Move the ball around a circle as quickly as possible. 
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
Activity: Dueling Forces
For each of the following situations:
1. Draw one system schema. In your system schema, draw the interaction between the two carts in colored pencil. (Keep everything else in regular pencil.)
2. Draw and label two FBDs (one for each cart). Draw the forces the carts exert on one another in colored pencil. (Again, keep everything else in regular pencil.) Be sure your FBDs look balanced or unbalanced as appropriate. Draw forces to approximate scale.
3. Finally, measure the colored pencil forces with the force sensors and correct your diagrams if necessary. Remember to zero your force sensors!
4. After completing the ones on this sheet, if you have time (or outside of class), you might be interested in trying additional variations and conﬁrming your results.
I. You may ignore friction on this particular situation.
velocity = 0
^{F}
person
A
B
^{F}
person
II. Do not ignore friction.
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from Modeling Workshop Project © 2006
III. Do not ignore friction.
IV. Do not ignore friction.
Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
V. This should be a collision on a track (snapshot during the collision). You may ignore friction in this situation.
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
Worksheet 4: N3L in Action
6. A block slides down a ramp at a constant speed. During that slide, the ramp sits at rest on a table. Draw one system schema for the situation, then draw an FBD for the block and an FBD for the ramp.
7. In frustration, Alec gets Henry to hold up his test and punches his ﬁst completely through all of the sheets of paper. Which is greater: the force that Alec’s ﬁst exerted on the paper or the force that the paper exerted on Alec’s ﬁst? Explain.
8. Your friend’s truck stalls out on a hill, so you get out to push. However, after a couple minutes you start to tire yourself out and the truck starts pushing you back down the hill. While the truck is pushing you back down the hill, which is greater: the force that you exert on the truck or the force that the truck exerts on you? Explain.
9. At the ice skating rink, Lydia (who has a mass of 50 kg) stands face to face with her brother, Marcus (who has a mass of 80 kg). They put their hands together and Lydia pushes Marcus backwards. Draw one system schema and two FBDs (one each for Lydia and Marcus) during the push. You may assume that the ice is frictionless.
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BFPM Model Summary
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Honors Physics / Unit 02 / BFPM
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