Composition and Resolution of Forces


What does the resolution of forces signify according to you?

Composition and Resolution of Forces
Photo by Pixabay


When you’re studying the fundamentals of mechanics you mostly deal with 2-D or sometimes 3-D systems. It is simple to imagine the physical significance and the behavior of the object which has only a few forces acting on it.

Video of this chapter


Take the example of Bowling. Assuming a 2-D plane, when you throw the ball it’ll go in front and at max, it can sway right or left. In this example, it is easy for you to imagine the effect. You threw a ball in the forward direction and it went in the forward direction. Depending on your direction of the force it could right or left.


Now imagine a system where multiple forces are acting from multiple directions and of varying magnitude. You cannot tell how the body would behave just by looking at it. This is where the concept of resolution of forces become significant.


Imagine that you and your friends are pushing a big box from all the directions. Now can you tell which way the box would move?


Let me make it easy for you. Take a reference axis and you know the amount of force your friends are applying and the angle they make it with your reference axis.

Now calculate the net force acting along X-axis and Y-axis. After you find the resultant of these net forces, you’ll get the estimation of the direction in which this box would move.


By resolving the forces most of the complex systems can easily be analyzed and thus saving your time and making your life a bit easy.

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