Is Applied Force A Contact Force: Why, How And Several Facts


Is applied force a contact force? Generally when a force is applied to a system it can either be contact force or contactless force.

Basically all the forces that is been given to a system for the motion is known to be the applied force and all the applied forces normally come under contact forces. So when we come across such notion there arises a question, is applied force a contact force.

There can be several examples as to how an applied force comes under the contact force and here is one simple example to illustrate the force and is the applied force a contact force or not.

When we move a table across the hall we require a force in order to do so there must a force to be applied to the table which will move. Now this force is said to be in contact with the table as that helps in motion of the table.

Contact forces can be divided into several other forces and they are frictional force, tension force, applied force, spring force and resistance force. In this we shall see the applied force in detail.

The applied force is the force given to the objects in order for its motion. When this force is given there will be contact between the object and the quantity that is responsible for the motion as such.

We will be dealing with few examples that will aid in determining whether the applied force is a contact force or not.

is applied force a contact force
Antique Door Knob” by Jenn Durfey is marked with CC BY 2.0.

How is applied force a contact force?

Basically we need to know what applied force and contact force means. The applied force is the external force that we give to an object or a body whereas the contact is the force that heads all the other possible forces.

Now the applied force is the one which drives the object in motion further to continue the motion and also answers is applied force a contact force. Here in this section we will use examples to understand is applied force a contact force or not.

Now consider a scenario where the water is to be drawn from the well. The pulley has some default force within but it will not automatically draw the water itself. So in this case an external force is required to draw the water from the well.

Next is the doorknob where one has to apply an external force in order to turn the nob and close it or open the door. So here there is a contact between the hand and the doorknob since the doorknob is the object and the hands are the driving force which opens or closes it.

Well” by echiner1 is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Applied Force Equations

We all know that the applied force is one of the contact forces in general. The contact force means that there must be physical touch between the object and force of action.

In that case there is a formula to calculate the amount of force that is been applied to the object for it too further move in motion.

The general formula for force is f= ma; where, m is the mass and a is the acceleration. Even in applied forces there are divisions as to how the other forces have an impact on the object that is in motion.

Firstly we shall see the frictional force the formula will be the same but will come with a suffix. F= ma, this is the formula for the normal force that is applied but for frictional force the formula now will be re arranged as, ma= Fa – f, here Fa is the applied force and f is the frictional force.

Next is the force of gravity, f= ma is the general force of normal but for the force of gravity the formula is given as, Fa = W =mg. Here the g denotes the gravitational constant that is used instead of acceleration.

Finally he inclined plane concept arises here, Fa= mg sinθ. Here the θ gives the angle of inclination. Therefore the applied force also has its own types and the formula for each of the types is given that will be useful for any type of force related calculations.

Cat volume computation” by oskay is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is applied force a non-contact force?

The applied force can be a contact force as well as non-contact force depending upon the requirements of the object in motion.

For instance, when we have to move the box on the table to the other side we need to apply force on the box and that is the force on the hands. So this is a contact force that is been applied here and this force is known to be the contact force. Next is, when we throw a ball from a certain height it falls down under the gravity of forces but the force is applied on the ball and definitely a non-contact force.

What is a non-contact force?

The force which is non-physical between the object and the force of action is known to be the non-contact force.

The force of gravity, electric force, and magnetic force and so on, these forces are applied forces but a non-contact force. These forces do not occur with any physical touch nor can it be seen. Electric force occurs in cases of atoms electrons and sometimes micro level too. Force of gravity exists in all cases and it is responsible for the objects to stay grounded when it has to.

Keerthana Srikumar

Hi...I am Keerthana Srikumar, currently pursuing Ph.D. in Physics and my area of specialization is nano-science. I completed my Bachelor's and Master's from Stella Maris College and Loyola College respectively. I have a keen interest in exploring my research skills and also have the ability to explain Physics topics in a simpler manner. Apart from academics I love to spend my time in music and reading books. Let's connect through LinkedIn-https://www.linkedin.com/in/keerthana-s-91560920a/

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