# What Does It Mean When the Net Force Acting on an Object Is Zero?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 12, 2020 11:13:22 AM ET

If the net force acting on an object is zero, then it means that the object’s velocity is constant and the object isn’t speeding up or slowing down. That is, there is no acceleration on an object with zero net force.

Force is not required for an object to continue moving or staying at a state of rest. It is necessary for force to act on any object to change the object’s motion or state of rest, however. It’s common for some students of physics to misunderstand what force means. The force acting on an object is anything that can change the object’s movement and direction. So, for example, the frictional force is the force acting on an object moving along the ground. The friction between the object and the ground acts to slow down the object. The net force is the sum of every force that acts on the object. So if a person exerts force on an object to push it forward, the friction between the object and the ground and the friction between the object and the air exert force on it as well. If all of these positive and negative forces come out to zero, then the object doesn’t move

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