# Calculating Push & Pull Forces | Andre's Physics Questions

• DJLambo2K
In summary, Andre is asking for advice on how to calculate the force needed to push, pull, or rock a car stuck in snow. He believes that rocking the car results in the most effective force, and someone suggests that this is due to resonance. They explain that many systems have a natural resonant frequency and when a force is applied at this frequency, it will result in the maximum amount of energy being absorbed. Andre thanks them and plans to research resonance further.
DJLambo2K
Hello,

I'm new to this forum with little knowledge of physics.

Does anyone know how to calculate the force created by pushing and pulling on object (i.e. a car stuck in the snow) versus pushing versus pulling?

I.e., which of the three forces is the greatest?

My physical experience tells me that when I rock (push and pull) a vehicle stuck in the snow it results in a much superior force to move the vehicle versus solely pushing or less so, pulling.

Many thanks,
Andre

Rocking a car to get it out of a snow hole is an example of resonance. If you aren't familiar with resonance then you need to read up on that.

Many systems have a natural resonant frequency. If a source of energy (you) apply a force at the resonant frequency of the load (the car in the hole) it will absorb the maximum amount of energy from the source. The amplitude of oscillation will also be at a maximum. Once the amplitude of the oscillation reaches the depth of the hole it will come out.

The situation is similar to a man pushing a child on a swing. To get the child to swing higher and higher the man pushes the child at the resonant frequency of the swing (which can be modeled as a pendulum).

I will look up and read up on resonance!

All the best!
Andre

## 1. What is the difference between push and pull forces?

Push and pull forces are both types of contact forces, meaning they require physical contact between two objects. The main difference is the direction in which the force is applied. A push force causes an object to move away from the force, while a pull force causes an object to move towards the force.

## 2. How do you calculate the magnitude of a push or pull force?

The magnitude of a push or pull force can be calculated using Newton's second law of motion, which states that force (F) is equal to mass (m) multiplied by acceleration (a), or F=ma. This means that the greater the mass of an object or the greater the acceleration, the greater the force required to move it.

## 3. Can push and pull forces cancel each other out?

Yes, push and pull forces can cancel each other out if they are applied in opposite directions with equal magnitudes. This is known as equilibrium, meaning the object will not move since the net force acting on it is zero.

## 4. How do you calculate the net force when there are multiple push and pull forces acting on an object?

The net force is the sum of all the individual forces acting on an object. If the forces are acting in the same direction, you can simply add their magnitudes. If the forces are acting in opposite directions, you can subtract the smaller magnitude from the larger one to find the net force.

## 5. How do push and pull forces affect an object's motion?

Push and pull forces are responsible for causing changes in an object's motion. A push force will cause an object to speed up if it is moving in the same direction or slow down if it is moving in the opposite direction. A pull force will do the opposite, causing an object to slow down if it is moving in the same direction or speed up if it is moving in the opposite direction.

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