Hire a tutor

What is the resultant force acting on an object?

The resultant force acting on an object is the net force acting on it.

When an object is subjected to multiple forces, the resultant force is the single force that has the same effect on the object as all the other forces combined. It is the vector sum of all the forces acting on the object.

To calculate the resultant force, we need to find the vector sum of all the forces acting on the object. This can be done by adding the x-components and y-components of the forces separately. Let's say we have two forces F1 and F2 acting on an object at angles θ1 and θ2 with the x-axis, respectively. The x-component of F1 is F1 cos θ1 and the x-component of F2 is F2 cos θ2. Similarly, the y-component of F1 is F1 sin θ1 and the y-component of F2 is F2 sin θ2.

The resultant force can then be calculated using the following formula:

R = √(Rx² + Ry²)

where Rx is the sum of the x-components of all the forces and Ry is the sum of the y-components of all the forces. The direction of the resultant force can be found using the following formula:

θ = tan⁻¹(Ry/Rx)

where θ is the angle that the resultant force makes with the x-axis.

It is important to note that the resultant force is only valid if the object is in equilibrium. If the object is accelerating, then the resultant force is not zero and is equal to the mass of the object times its acceleration (F = ma).

Study and Practice for Free

Trusted by 100,000+ Students Worldwide

Achieve Top Grades in your Exams with our Free Resources.

Practice Questions, Study Notes, and Past Exam Papers for all Subjects!

Need help from an expert?

4.92/5 based on480 reviews

The world’s top online tutoring provider trusted by students, parents, and schools globally.

Related Maths a-level Answers

    Read All Answers
    Loading...