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Types of Forces


You often hear that force is a push or pull acting on the body that makes the body to move, come at rest or change the direction. There are various forces acting like gravitational force, tension force, nuclear force, friction force etc. Let see how these force acts and under what type or category they come.

Different types of Forces

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There are many forms of forces existing in nature like tensile force, gravitational force, Normal force, friction force, Magnetic force, compression force, air resistance force, electrostatic force etc. These forces can be classified into following types based on how they act :
  1. Balanced Force
  2. Unbalanced Force
  3. Contact Force
  4. Non Contact Force
Do you want to experience the balanced force? Then follow the way
Take a toy car push it with some force from your right hand it starts moving to the right. Now apply same amount of force from your left hand. You could see the toy moving in the left. Now apply both the forces simultaneously from both the hands. The toy stops moving. This is what balanced force is!
Balanced force is that having two equal forces acting on a body in exactly opposite directions. If two equal and opposite force acts on a body then the body is said to be in equilibrium. When something isn't moving due to the applying of equal forces on both the sides then the force are called balanced.

Balanced Force
Car being pushed on both the sides by equal force make it stand still

Lets see some examples on balanced forces:
  1. A girl falling from the bed
  2. Hitting your head accidentally with the wall
  3. A book on rest at the desk
  4. A person standing on the ground.
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Lets also experience the unbalanced force using the following way
Take a same toy car push it with some force in any direction. It starts moving in that way.This is what unbalanced force is!
Unbalanced force is that where the forces changes the speed and direction of the body. Hence its resultant force is always greater than zero.The basic understanding in all these is that when something starts, stops or changes direction, it is unbalanced force.
          Unbalanced Force
                     Car being pushed gives the resultant force as non zero

Examples of Unbalanced force:

  1. A child crawling on the floor
  2. A book falling from the table.
  3. A man riding a bike.
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A contact force is that seen when the two forces are in contact with each other. It is given in Newton's law of motion and also in other forces in dynamics. It includes frictional forces, tensional forces, normal forces and applied forces.

Examples of Contact force:

  1. A soccer ball being kicked by the boy
  2. A girl pushing her box
  3. A woman pulling the pulley to get water.
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Action at a distance is what we call Non Contact force. It is experienced even though the forces are not in physical contact with each other.

Examples of Non contact force:
  1. The sun and planets exert a gravitational pull on each other even though each body is far distance apart from the other.
  2. The protons and the electrons in a nucleus experience an electrical pull towards each other despite their separation is to the microscopic extent.
  3. Two magnets can exert a magnetic pull on each other even when they are in the distance within magnetic field.
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