What is it called when two forces are equal?


Quick Answer

Two forces that are equal in magnitude but are exerted in opposite directions are called balanced forces. Balanced forces serve as the basis for Newton's third law of motion, which states that the forces experienced by two objects exerting a push or pull against each other are equal and opposite in nature. These forces, which are individually referred to as action and reaction forces, are known as an interaction pair.

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Full Answer

A force is a physical quantity that is either a push or a pull applied on an object. It can directly influence the motion of an object, change its direction or alter its shape. Forces can be broadly categorized into two types: balanced and unbalanced. Balanced forces have a resultant force equal to zero.

When balanced forces are exerted on a stationary object, it remains at rest. A moving body also retains constant velocity and uniform direction when balanced forces act on it. However, these forces may alter the shape of a body by either stretching or compressing the object.

An example that demonstrates balanced forces is a pen lying on a table. The force that the pen exerts on the table, which is equal to its weight, is neutralized by the opposing force exerted by the table on the pen, which is referred to as normal force. A moving car also counteracts frictional force by its forward force, which keeps it at uniform speed. A balloon that is squished between the palms also experiences balanced forces.

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