From Newton’s first law of motion, we know that a body at rest or uniform motion will continue to be at rest or uniform motion until and unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Now you may wonder what an unbalanced force is? In pursuit of an answer to this question, let us consider a book resting on a tabletop.
Now, two forces are acting on the book; the gravitational pull in the downward direction and the normal force exerted by the table on the book in an upward direction. The magnitude of the two forces are equal, and their directions are in opposite directions, due to which they balance each other. Since there is no unbalanced force acting on the book, it is in equilibrium, and it will not accelerate. On the contrary, if the book were to accelerate, the book would have to be acted upon by an unbalanced force that will make the book change its state of motion and subsequently accelerate it. Let us familiarise ourselves with these forces by reading this article.
Table of Contents
What are Balanced Forces?
If the resultant force of all the forces acting on a body sums up to zero, then the forces acting on the body are known as balanced forces. Let us look at some examples of balanced forces and understand how the body’s state of motion remains unaffected.
Balanced Forces Examples
Suppose you are pushing a wall, and as expected, the wall does not move and neither do you. It means that you and the wall are exerting a balanced force on each other.
The image below shows a game of tug of war between equally matched opponents. Neither of the participating teams can pull the other team towards themselves due to balanced forces.
The image displayed above is a game of tug-of-war between two equally matched teams. Neither of the teams is able to pull the opposing team towards itself. This is an example of balanced forces.
What are Unbalanced Forces?
When the resultant force acting on a body is not equal to zero, the forces acting on the body are known as unbalanced forces. The body acted upon by unbalanced forces changes its state of motion. Let us look at some examples of unbalanced forces to understand their nature better.
Unbalanced Forces Examples
Let us consider the same tug of war example that we discussed in the previous section.
When the forces are balanced, neither of the teams, but if the rope moves away in a particular direction or if a team wins, then the forces applied by both teams are unbalanced.
Practically anything that moves is a result of the exertion of unbalanced forces on it. If you kick a football and it moves from one place to another, it means that the unbalanced troops are acting upon it.
The image below shows two people on a seesaw. The person on the right is significantly heavier than the person on the left, and the seesaw is effectively tilted towards him. This is an example of unbalanced forces.
The above image shows two people on a seesaw. The person on the right is significantly heavier than the person on the left and the seesaw is effectively tilted towards him. This is an example of two unbalanced forces.
Differences Between Balanced and Unbalanced Forces
Some of the significant differences between balanced and unbalanced forces are listed below in the table.
The forces are equal in magnitude
The forces are unequal in magnitude
It does not cause any change in the state of motion of the object.
Causes change in the state of motion of the object.
Watch the video to understand balanced and unbalanced forces with the help of animations!
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
What are Balanced Forces?
What are unbalanced Forces?
What are examples of balanced forces?
What are examples of unbalanced forces?
What is the difference between balanced and unbalanced forces?
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