Pushing vs. Pulling at an Angle: Exploring the Difference

In summary, when moving a block at a constant velocity on a level floor, pushing at an angle below the horizontal will add to the weight and decrease the magnitude of the applied force, while pulling at an angle above the horizontal will divide the weight and increase the magnitude of the applied force. It is important to consider kinetic friction and the sum of vertical forces when determining the relationship between the applied force and weight. Drawing a force diagram can help determine the correct expressions to use.
  • #1
DrummingAtom
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Homework Statement


A block rests on a level floor. To move it at a constant velocity, why do you exert less force if you pull it at an angle above the horizontal than if you push it at the same angle below the horizontal?



Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution


I know that pushing at an angle below the horizontal is going to add to the weight (w) of the block. I've come up with these expressions:

1) Fpull = w*sin(θ)
2) Fpush = w/sin(θ)

Since w in 1) is going to be multiplied by a number less than 1 it's going to decrease the magnitude of F. And since w in 2) is going to be divided by a number less than 1 it's going to increase the magnitude of F.

Is this the best way to express this relationship? Thanks for any help.
 
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  • #2
It's better to consider kinetic friction and the sum of vertical forces. The expressions you wrote down are incorrect. The applied force is independent of the weight. You need to draw a force diagram and examine the sums of forces.
 
  • #3
If you apply a force F and it moves at constant velocity on a level floor, then some other force must be acting equal and opposite to that horizontal component of the applied force, per Newton's 1st Law. What is that other force?
 

Related to Pushing vs. Pulling at an Angle: Exploring the Difference

1. What is the difference between pushing and pulling at an angle?

Pushing and pulling at an angle refers to the direction of force applied to an object. Pushing involves applying a force away from the body, while pulling involves applying a force towards the body. When these forces are applied at an angle, the direction and magnitude of the resulting movement will vary depending on the angle of application.

2. How does the angle of force affect the movement of an object?

The angle of force affects the movement of an object by changing the direction and magnitude of the resulting movement. For example, if an object is pushed at a 90-degree angle, it will move in a straight line away from the body. However, if the same object is pushed at a 45-degree angle, it will move diagonally away from the body.

3. Which is more efficient, pushing or pulling at an angle?

The efficiency of pushing or pulling at an angle depends on the specific situation and the object being moved. In general, pushing at an angle is more efficient for moving objects over short distances, while pulling at an angle is more efficient for moving objects over longer distances.

4. What factors can affect the difference between pushing and pulling at an angle?

There are several factors that can affect the difference between pushing and pulling at an angle, including the angle of force, the mass and shape of the object being moved, and the surface and friction of the object's environment. Additionally, the strength and technique of the person applying the force can also play a role.

5. How can understanding pushing vs. pulling at an angle be useful in everyday life?

Understanding pushing vs. pulling at an angle can be useful in everyday life in various situations such as lifting and moving objects, playing sports, and even performing tasks like opening doors or pushing a shopping cart. By understanding the differences in force application, one can use the most efficient and effective method for a given situation, reducing the risk of injury and making tasks easier to accomplish.

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