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Forces in Physics

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More Lessons for High School Physics

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A series of free Online High School Physics Video Lessons.

In this lesson, we will learn

  • the concept of a force
  • the concept of a net force or resultant force
  • how to draw and interpret free-body force diagrams
  • how to define and explain tension


A force is defined in physics as anything that affects an object's acceleration. A force is a vector quantity because it has both magnitude and direction. The unit for force is the Newton (N) or kg × m/s2

Understanding the concept of force.

Net Force- Resultant Force

Net Force, also known as resultant force, is a vector quantity produced when two or more forces act upon one object. The concept of net force is the same as the mathematical concept of vector addition.

Understanding net force.

Free-Body Force Diagrams

A free-body force diagram is used to show all the forces acting upon an object to predict the net force and ultimately the path of the object. Each force is drawn as vector arrow.

Drawing and interpreting free-body force diagrams.
This video shows you how to draw free body diagrams of various objects. The major forces (like gravity, normal, tension, friction, air resistance, etc.) are discussed and then applied to various problems.


Tension in physics is the intermolecular force that exists in inside a rope, string, or any kind of elastic materials. The purpose of tension is to maintain integrity of the system. The foundation idea about tension in the system is strings can only pull.

How to define and explain tension.

Try the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice various math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.
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