Balanced and Unbalanced Forces

Balanced forces

Balanced forces occur when two forces acting on an object are equal in size but opposite in direction. This results in no change in the object's motion.

Key characteristics:

Equal in size.

Opposite in direction.

No change in motion.

Examples of balanced forces

A book on a table:

Gravity pulls the book down with a force.

The table pushes the book up with an equal force.

Result: The book stays at rest.

Balanced forces example

A tug-of-war game with equal teams:

Both teams pull with equal force.

The rope doesn't move.

Result: The forces are balanced.

Balanced forces example

Hanging object:

A picture hanging on a wall has the force of gravity pulling it down.

The nail provides an equal upward force.

Result: The picture remains stationary.

Balanced forces example

Unbalanced forces

Unbalanced forces occur when the forces acting on an object are not equal, resulting in a change in the object's motion. This can cause the object to start moving, stop moving, or change direction.

Key characteristics:

Unequal in size or not directly opposite.

Cause a change in motion (acceleration, deceleration, or change in direction).

Examples of unbalanced forces

Pushing a shopping cart:

The force you apply to push the cart is greater than the friction opposing it.

Result: The cart moves forward.

Unbalanced forces example

A tug-of-war game with unequal teams:

One team pulls harder than the other.

The rope moves toward the stronger team.

Result: The forces are unbalanced.

Unbalanced forces example

Kicking a ball:

The force of the kick is greater than the forces keeping the ball at rest.

Result: The ball moves in the direction of the kick.

Unbalanced forces example

Balanced and unbalanced forces worksheets

In our grade 3 science section we have a set of worksheets for students to experiment with and respond to questions about balanced and unbalanced forces.

Balanced and unbalanced forces worksheets
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