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Intro to Angled Forces and Vectors question?

  1. Dec 2, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The 5.7 N weight is in equilibrium under the influence of the three forces acting on it. The F force acts from above on the left at an angle of α with the horizontal. The 5.2 N force acts from above on the right at an angle of 63◦ with the horizontal. The force 5.7 N acts straight down.

    What is the magnitude of the force F? Answer in units of N.

    2. Relevant equations
    Unaware of any, probably why this is difficult to figure out for me.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm generally unsure on how to approach the question, I don't even know where to begin. I want to guess that if you add up -5.7 N, 5.2 N, and the unknown force it should add up to 0?
    Should 5.7 N be negative because it is a downwards force? If so, according to how I am guessing to solve it that would solve for .5 N as the missing force. Although that personally doesn't seem correct.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2016 #2


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    Gold Member

    Since you apparently don't understand force vectors, it's too early for you to take on this problem. Study force vectors and how to break them into horizontal and vertical components. THEN attack this problem.
  4. Dec 3, 2016 #3
    How much do you understand about vectors? The first thing to know is that they can be broken down into individual directional components. In this case x and y. The second is that vectors add, and when adding two vectors you can add their directional components to get the new vector (ie. add the x components to get the new x component and add the y components to get the new y component).
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