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Acceleration across a frictionless surface

  1. Oct 16, 2011 #1
    Hi, I am confused on the topic of friction. I thought of a question that I cannot answer.

    What happens if you push an object with a certain amount of force and mass on a frictionless surface? According to F=ma, you will be able to get the acceleration of the object, but how will you know when the object stops acceleration? Will the object accelerate infinitely?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2011 #2

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    As soon as you stop applying force to the object it will cease accelerating. IE if you push a block, as soon as you take your hand off or stop pushing it will cease accelerating.
     
  4. Oct 16, 2011 #3
    And so then it will just continue at a constant velocity right?

    So, if you pushed on a 100kg object with 200N of force for 2s and then let go on a frictionless surface, the objects final velocity would be 4m/s because:

    F=ma
    200N=100kg(a)
    a=2m/s^2

    t=2s
    velocity= 2m/s^2(2s) = 4m/s and thats how fast it would travel forever on a frictionless surface?
     
  5. Oct 16, 2011 #4

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, as soon as the force applied ceases, the object will continue at whatever velocity it was when you removed the force.
     
  6. Oct 16, 2011 #5
    Thank you!
     
  7. Oct 16, 2011 #6
    Newton's first law & 2nd law
     
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