How does a net force affect an object?

1 Answer
Apr 28, 2014

The net force on an object is just the sum of all outside forces. So the affect of any non-zero net force is to cause an acceleration in the direction of the force.

For instance if we had a 2 kg ball on a number line and we then push on the ball with a 2 N force in the negative direction and a 3 N force in the positive direction then the net force on the object would be 1 N in the positive direction.

#-2 + 3 = 1#
<----O------> = O-->

We can determine the acceleration of the object by applying Newton's Second Law.

#F = m * a#

Solve for a

a = #F / m#

a = #(1 N)/(2 kg)#

So the acceleration caused by the net force in this example would be #1/2# #m/s^(2)# in the positive direction.