## Ok so my teacher has recently covered this chapter, but one of the

Ok so my teacher has recently covered this chapter, but one of the concepts that has been bugging me for ages. Fr an object to experience zero acceleration, the forces acting on it have to be balanced. That means tha applied force has to equal the frictional force so that the resultant force will be zero. But why, if the forces are balanced, won't they cancel out each other, and leave no force to actually cause the object to more at constant speed?yes I know that according to newtons second law, no net force equal zero acceleration, but where Does the object get its energy to do work? Ie remain at constant velo.i just can't seem to understand how, and my teacher doesnt want to answer my stupid question, so all help is greatly appreciated! Oh by the way, when there is a resultant force acting on a object, will the applied force still be acting on the same object? No right ?
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 Think of an object in empty space, first. If I give it a push, it will continue to move in the direction I applied the force until someone or something else stops it. Until then, it will remain at that constant velocity. In order to stop the object, you will need make it's acceleration negative (slowing it down), which via Newton's second law, requires a net force that is pushing against it's motion. If the applied force is equal to the frictional force, then no acceleration is occurring, and the object will be moving with a constant velocity. EDIT: Oh, and to add. It gets it's ability to do work from the fact that you needed to accelerate it to get it to that constant velocity. This requires you to put a force on it, which will then be transferred by that object to whatever it does work on.

 Quote by Celluhh yes I know that according to newtons second law, no net force equal zero acceleration, but where Does the object get its energy to do work? Ie remain at constant velo.i just can't seem to understand how, and my teacher doesnt want to answer my stupid question, so all help is greatly appreciated! Oh by the way, when there is a resultant force acting on a object, will the applied force still be acting on the same object? No right ?
When the object moves with constant speed there is no net work done by or on the object. Its kinetic energy is constant.

In order to have some work involved the object must be either slowed down or accelerated.
In both these cases the net force is not zero. To slow down, the applied force must be decreased, to accelerate it must be increased.

I don't know what you mean in the the last two sentences.

Recognitions:

## Ok so my teacher has recently covered this chapter, but one of the

 Quote by nasu When the object moves with constant speed there is no net work done by or on the object. Its kinetic energy is constant. In order to have some work involved the object must be either slowed down or accelerated.
If that is true, then why does my car engine have to keep burning fuel when I'm driving at constant speed on a level road?

Answering the OP's question, you seem to be thinking that the only sort of energy involved here is mechanical energy. If you are pushing an object at constant speed against a friction force, the applied force (equal and opposite to the friction force) is doing work (= force x distance), and that work is mostly converted into heat. (Of course you can think of heat energy as the amount of kinetic energy stored in the vibratiion the atoms making up the material, but that is usually "too much information" for solving dynamics problems!)

 Quote by Celluhh [..] one of the concepts that has been bugging me for ages. Fr an object to experience zero acceleration, the forces acting on it have to be balanced. [..] I know that according to newtons second law, no net force equal zero acceleration, but where Does the object get its energy to do work? Ie remain at constant velo.i just can't seem to understand how, and my teacher doesnt want to answer my stupid question, so all help is greatly appreciated! Oh by the way, when there is a resultant force acting on a object, will the applied force still be acting on the same object? No right ?
The others have already explained it rather well, but I'll add to that.

- I hope that it's clear now that no work is needed to remain at constant speed if there is no friction. Think of falling on ice, how far you can glide thanks to little friction.

- The subtle thing with friction is that work must be done to overcome the friction. And that work results in heat (think of the brakes of your car).

So, to sum it all up (literally), and perhaps answering your last question:

The force Fapp that you apply on the object remains on the object, and it is countered by the friction force and the force* due to inertia that counters acceleration Facc = -ma. The friction force Ffriction increases with increasing speed (for simplicity, let's neglect the force that is needed to get the object "unstick" from the floor). Thus the object accelerates until the friction force is equal (but opposite) to your applied force on the object. Schematically, from the moment of getting in motion on a smooth floor until reaching top speed:

Fapp + Facc + Ffriction = 0

1. Fapp ≈ -Facc = ma (if Ffriction is small at low speed)
2. Fapp + Facc + Ffriction = 0 (the acceleration decreases because the friction force increases)
3. Fapp + Ffriction = 0 (acceleration zero, your applied force is balanced by friction force)

All forces are in dynamic equilibrium all the time (third law of Newton: "Whatever draws or presses another is as much drawn or pressed by that other").

Does that help?

*Note: confusingly, the term "inertial force" has been hijacked for something completely different; here we only discuss real forces.

 Quote by AlephZero If that is true, then why does my car engine have to keep burning fuel when I'm driving at constant speed on a level road?
Friction. The friction between the road and your car resists it's motion. So, to overcome it, you must burn fuel to apply a force on your car to move it forward.

 Oh, and to add. It gets it's ability to do work from the fact that you needed to accelerate it to get it to that constant velocity. This requires you to put a force on it, which will then be transferred by that object to whatever it does work on.
I think u understand what I mean , but the object will not do work on anything else in it's path right ? It itself is doing work ?

 Quote by harrylin The others have already explained it rather well, but I'll add to that. - I hope that it's clear now that no work is needed to remain at constant speed if there is no friction. Think of falling on ice, how far you can glide thanks to little friction. - The subtle thing with friction is that work must be done to overcome the friction. And that work results in heat (think of the brakes of your car). So, to sum it all up (literally), and perhaps answering your last question: The force Fapp that you apply on the object remains on the object, and it is countered by the friction force and the force* due to inertia that counters acceleration Facc = -ma. The friction force Ffriction increases with increasing speed (for simplicity, let's neglect the force that is needed to get the object "unstick" from the floor). Thus the object accelerates until the friction force is equal (but opposite) to your applied force on the object. Schematically, from the moment of getting in motion on a smooth floor until reaching top speed: Fapp + Facc + Ffriction = 0 1. Fapp ≈ -Facc = ma (if Ffriction is small at low speed) 2. Fapp + Facc + Ffriction = 0 (the acceleration decreases because the friction force increases) 3. Fapp + Ffriction = 0 (acceleration zero, your applied force is balanced by friction force) All forces are in dynamic equilibrium all the time (third law of Newton: "Whatever draws or presses another is as much drawn or pressed by that other"). Does that help? How does this tell me if the applied force and resultant force work together ? *Note: confusingly, the term "inertial force" has been hijacked for something completely different; here we only discuss real forces.
What do you mean by this ?

Recognitions:
 Quote by nasu In order to have some work involved the object must be either slowed down or accelerated.
 Quote by AlephZero If that is true, then why does my car engine have to keep burning fuel when I'm driving at constant speed on a level road?
 Quote by Mark M Friction.
Oh well. If you ask a rhetorical question on a forum, there's always somebody ready to answer it

 Quote by Celluhh How does this tell me if the applied force and resultant force work together ?
I'm not sure what you mean with "resultant force", nor what you mean with "work together"...

I did explain to you how the applied force minus the friction force results in acceleration of the object, and that this acceleration is controlled by the object's inertia. Perhaps it's useful to phrase it again differently: The object's inertia delivers the missing counter force by means of its acceleration.

Thus in my earlier answer I tried to clarify the dynamic force balance that I thought you were after to understand by giving you an example of what happens, and why, as function of the time. Thus you can understand how dynamic force equilibrium results in a top speed - which is the point where your discussion with your teacher started off.

If you can understand why and how that point was reached, then all following questions disappear. For example, "Fr an object to experience zero acceleration, the forces acting on it have to be balanced" is inaccurate: the sum of all forces is always balanced according to Newton's 3d law, as I explained. For the object of your example to experience zero acceleration, the friction force has to be equal and contrary to the applied force.
What exactly is still not clear?
 What do you mean by ["here we only discuss real forces"] ?
That footnote was for some people who could misinterpret my referral to inertial effects as referral to a fictitious force, despite my careful phrasing. If you are not into such things, then you can safely ignore it.

 Quote by AlephZero Oh well. If you ask a rhetorical question on a forum, there's always somebody ready to answer it
What do you mean ?

Oh and mark m, the applied force on the car already balances the frictional force, since ye car moves at constant speed. So how can there be extra frictional force acting on the car ?

 Quote by harrylin I'm not sure what you mean with "resultant force", nor what you mean with "work together"... I did explain to you how the applied force minus the friction force results in acceleration of the object, and that this acceleration is controlled by the object's inertia. Perhaps it's useful to phrase it again differently: The object's inertia delivers the missing counter force by means of its acceleration. Thus in my earlier answer I tried to clarify the dynamic force balance that I thought you were after to understand by giving you an example of what happens, and why, as function of the time. Thus you can understand how dynamic force equilibrium results in a top speed - which is the point where your discussion with your teacher started off. If you can understand why and how that point was reached, then all following questions disappear. For example, "Fr an object to experience zero acceleration, the forces acting on it have to be balanced" is inaccurate: the sum of all forces is always balanced according to Newton's 3d law, as I explained. For the object of your example to experience zero acceleration, the friction force has to be equal and contrary to the applied force. What exactly is still not clear? That footnote was for some people who could misinterpret my referral to inertial effects as referral to a fictitious force, despite my careful phrasing. If you are not into such things, then you can safely ignore it.
In this case do you refer to inertial force as effects of mass ?
I understand what you are trying to say , you are actually clear in yor explanations. It's just that I have a weird mindset I guess, and I havent found the actual answer I am looking for , but if I was learning this chapter for the first time and having difficulty grasping concepts, your post would be very helpful. Except , like I said , I don't like to accept things easily especially when I can't seem to visualise them. So yup. Thanks a lot though !! 😊

 Quote by AlephZero Oh well. If you ask a rhetorical question on a forum, there's always somebody ready to answer it
They don't work very well on the Internet. :smile

 Quote by Celluhh Oh and mark m, the applied force on the car already balances the frictional force, since ye car moves at constant speed. So how can there be extra frictional force acting on the car ?
What exactly do you mean?

Let me give another explanation - constant velocity doesn't require any force, nor does it do any work. So, if the applied force and frictional force cancel out, you'll get zero acceleration. The velocity of the object is irrelevant, long as it's constant. Remember that Newton's second law is F = ma. If the friction and applied force are balanced then there isn't any acceleration. Notice, however, that it doesn't discriminate between different constant velocities (called inertial frames of reference). You could be moving over one million meters per hour, but as long as the friction is equal to the applied force, you won't change speed.

 Quote by Celluhh In this case do you refer to inertial force as effects of mass ?
Yes, certainly (except that I did not refer to "inertial force" but to "the force due to inertia", for the reason that I explained): http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/inertial?s=t
 I understand what you are trying to say , you are actually clear in yor explanations. It's just that I have a weird mindset I guess, and I havent found the actual answer I am looking for , but if I was learning this chapter for the first time and having difficulty grasping concepts, your post would be very helpful. Except , like I said , I don't like to accept things easily especially when I can't seem to visualise them. So yup. Thanks a lot though !!
You're welcome!

Is this your explanation to why an object moving at constant velocity doesn't require a force ?
 Quote by Mark M EDIT: Oh, and to add. It gets it's ability to do work from the fact that you needed to accelerate it to get it to that constant velocity. This requires you to put a force on it, which will then be transferred by that object to whatever it does work on.

 Quote by Celluhh Is this your explanation to why an object moving at constant velocity doesn't require a force ?
I was referring to the fact that if this object, say, slammed into another, it would exert a force on it. I thought your original question regarded how the object got the energy to do this, which is what I explained.
 When a 200N force is applied to an object on a frictionless surface, object remains at constant velo. But when a force is applied to an object on a surface with friction, and the net force is 200N the object accelerates. So this means that the applied force is still acting on the object on the surface with friction right ?