Drawing a free-body diagram?

Homework Statement

A person pushes perpendicularly on a block of wood that has been placed against a
wall. Draw a free body diagram and identify the reaction forces to all
the forces on the block.

2. The attempt at a solution

I'm not exactly sure if I've covered all the forces or if I'm looking at this the wrong way. I was also thinking gravitational force should be included?

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The free body diagram is not correct. Mainly the directions of the forces that you included are wrong.

You are right in that you should include gravity and you should assume the block is in equilibrium i.e. it's not moving.

The free body diagram is not correct. Mainly the directions of the forces that you included are wrong.

You are right in that you should include gravity and you should assume the block is in equilibrium i.e. it's not moving.
I don't understand why my directions are wrong. Wouldn't the forces of the the box being pushed and the force between the wall and the box go to the right while the frictional force acts on the opposite direction and go to the left?

jbunniii
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Is the wall on the right side? If so then consider the normal force exerted by the wall: is it pulling the box toward the wall or pushing it away?

Is the wall on the right side? If so then consider the normal force exerted by the wall: is it pulling the box toward the wall or pushing it away?
It just said it was moving perpendicularly against the wall. The normal force between the box and the wall would be the wall exerting force towards the wall, right, and then the wall would be exerting the same force to the box, left. Am I looking at the wrong way?

jbunniii
Homework Helper
Gold Member
It just said it was moving perpendicularly against the wall. The normal force between the box and the wall would be the wall exerting force towards the wall, right, and then the wall would be exerting the same force to the box, left. Am I looking at the wrong way?
I assume you meant box?

So if the wall is exerting the normal force on the box, to the left, why does your diagram show this force pointing to the right?

I assume you meant box?

So if the wall is exerting the normal force on the box, to the left, why does your diagram show this force pointing to the right?
Our professor told us to treat it as a force directly going to the right of the diagram.

The convention is usually to draw the force on the side that it is acting. So if the wall is located on the left side of the block you should draw the corresponding force on that side.