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Homework Help: Newtons laws

  1. Sep 23, 2014 #1
    • Warning! Posting template must be used for homework questions.
    Three identical bricks are pushed across a table at constant speed as shown. Rank the magnitudes of all the horizontal forces that you identified in your free body diagram. So I identified the horizontal forces of push, friction, system a on system b, and b on a. I understand the force will equal 0 because they are moving at a constant speed and are equal and opposite. I am having trouble conceptualizing how if the force of the push is equal to the force of friction the blocks could possibly keep moving forever. If the force of the push equals the force of friction doesn't that mean it would stop moving because of friction??

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  3. Sep 23, 2014 #2


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    No, it means that there is a push force balancing the friction so that the object does not accelerate. In order to decelerate (slow down) an object there needs to be a net force on it according to Newton's second law and the friction would have to be larger than the push.
  4. Sep 23, 2014 #3
    Oooooh that makes a lot of sense. Thanks a lot!
  5. Sep 23, 2014 #4
    The answes lies in Newton's first law.
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