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How Surface Area Affects the Force of Friction

The force of friction comes from the surface characteristics of materials that come into contact. How does physics predict those characteristics theoretically? It doesn’t. Detailed knowledge of surfaces [more…]

How Static Friction Prevents Movement

When two surfaces aren’t moving but are pressing together, they have the chance to interlock on the microscopic level. When this happens, it creates static friction. In physics, the coefficient of static [more…]

How Kinetic Friction Opposes Movement

In physics, when two objects are in contact with each other and are also moving, you get what’s called kinetic friction. The force due to kinetic friction has its own coefficient, called the [more…]

How to Calculate Work Based on Force Applied at an Angle

If you apply force at an angle instead of parallel to the direction of motion, you have to supply more force to perform the same amount of work. You can use physics to calculate how much work is required [more…]

How Centripetal Action Keeps an Object Moving in a Circle

According to the laws of physics, in order to keep an object moving in circular motion, its velocity constantly changes direction. Whenever velocity changes, you have acceleration. Specifically, you have [more…]

How Centripetal Acceleration Keeps an Object Moving in a Constant Circle

In physics, when an object travels in uniform circular motion, its speed is constant, which means that the magnitude of the object’s velocity doesn’t change. Therefore, acceleration can have no component [more…]

How Mass, Velocity, and Radius Affect Centripetal Force

Mass, velocity, and radius are all related when you calculate centripetal force. In fact, when you know this information, you can use physics equations to calculate how much force is required to keep an [more…]

How to Calculate Force Based on Pressure

Pressure and force are related, and so you can calculate one if you know the other by using the physics equation, P = F/A. Because pressure is force divided by area, its meter-kilogram-second [more…]

How Changing Depth Affects Pressure

You know that pressure increases the farther you go underwater, but by how much? As a physicist, you can put some numbers in and get numerical results out. Just what pressure would you expect for a given [more…]

Understanding Pressure Using Pascal’s Principle

In physics, Pascal’s principle says that given a fluid in a totally enclosed system, a change in pressure at one point in the fluid is transmitted to all points in the fluid, as well as to the enclosing [more…]

The Different Types of Fluid Flow

In physics, fluid flow has all kinds of aspects — steady or unsteady, compressible or incompressible, viscous or nonviscous, and rotational or irrotational, to name a few. Some of these characteristics [more…]

Use Bernoulli's Equation to Calculate Pressure Difference between Two Points

Because Bernoulli’s equation relates pressure, fluid speed, and height, you can use this important physics equation to find the difference in fluid pressure between two points. All you need to know is [more…]

How to Calculate Work Based on Force Applied to an Object over a Distance

Using physics, you can calculate the work required to move an object over a given distance. Motion is needed for work to be done. For work to be done, a net force has to move an object through a displacement [more…]

Conservative and Nonconservative Forces in Physics

In physics, it’s important to know the difference between conservative and nonconservative forces. The work a conservative force does on an object is path-independent; the actual path taken by the object [more…]

How to Calculate Work That Is Opposite the Direction of an Object’s Motion

In physics, if a force on an object has a component in the same direction as the motion, the work that force does on the object is positive. If a force on an object has a component in the opposite direction [more…]

How to Calculate Power Based on Force and Speed

In physics, you can calculate power based on force and speed. Because work equals force times distance, you can write the equation for power the following way, assuming that the force acts along the direction [more…]

How Impulse Affects Momentum

In physics terms, impulse tells you how much the momentum of an object will change when a force is applied for a certain amount of time. Say, for example, that you’re shooting pool. Instinctively, you [more…]

How to Find the Velocity of an Object before Collision

In physics, the principle of conservation of momentum comes in handy when you can’t measure velocity with a simple stopwatch. Say, for example, that you accept a consulting job from an ammunition manufacturer [more…]

Calculating Tangential Acceleration on a Curve

In physics, tangential acceleration is a measure of how the tangential velocity of a point at a certain radius changes with time. Tangential acceleration is just like linear acceleration, but it’s specific [more…]

How to Calculate Centripetal Acceleration of an Orbiting Object

In physics, you can apply Newton’s first and second laws to calculate the centripetal acceleration of an orbiting object. Newton’s first law says that when there are no net forces, an object in motion [more…]

How Angular Acceleration Works

If the angular velocity vector points out of the plane of rotation on a wheel, you can use physics to determine what happens when the angular velocity changes — when the wheel speeds up or slows down. [more…]

How to Calculate Torque That Is Not Perpendicular to the Lever Arm

Using principles of physics, if you push a partially open door in the same direction as you push a closed door, you create a different torque because of the non-right angle between your force and the door [more…]

How to Calculate Rotational Equilibrium

You can use physics to calculate the amount of force needed to offset torque and maintain rotational equilibrium. For example, say the manager at the hardware store you work at asks you to help hang a [more…]

How Friction Affects Rotational Equilibrium

You can use physics to calculate how friction affects rotational equilibrium. For example, say a hardware store owner comes to you for help with a problem. A clerk has climbed near the top of a ladder [more…]

Tracking Simple Harmonic Motion of a Moving Object over Time

In physics, tracking simple harmonic motion can require time and patience when you have to figure out how the motion of an object changes over time.

Imagine that one day you come up with a brilliant idea [more…]


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