The term force is generally used to indicate a push or a pull. It is difficult to give a proper definition for a force, but in physics we can easily describe what a force can do. A resultant force acting on an object can accelerate the object in a specific direction. The subsequent motion of the object can be analysed using equations of motion. Several forces acting on an object can prevent the object from either moving or rotating. Forces can also change the shape of an object. There are many other things that forces can do.
In this module, you will learn how to model the motion of objects using mathematics, understand the effect forces have on objects, learn about the important connection between force and energy, appreciate how forces cause deformation and understand the importance of Newton’s laws of motion.
We will be focussing on the following areas:
This section provides knowledge and understanding of key ideas used to describe and analyse the motion of objects in both one-dimension and in two-dimensions. It also provides you with opportunities to develop their analytical and experimental skills.
Forces in Action
This section provides knowledge and understanding of the motion of an object when it experiences several forces and also the equilibrium of an object. You will also learn how pressure differences give rise to an upthrust on an object in a fluid. There are opportunities to consider contemporary applications of terminal velocity, moments, couples, pressure, and Archimedes principle
Work, Energy and Power
Words like energy, power and work have very precise meaning in physics. In this section the important link between work done and energy is explored. You will have the opportunity to apply the important principle of conservation of energy to a range of situations. The analysis of energy transfers provides the opportunity for calculations of efficiency and the subsequent evaluation of issues relating to the individual and society.
This section examines the physical properties of springs and materials. You will be carrying out a range of experimental work to enhance their knowledge and skills, including the management of risks and analysis of data to provide evidence for relationships between physical quantities. There are opportunities to consider the selection of appropriate materials for practical applications.
Newton’s Laws of Motion and Momentum
This section provides knowledge and understanding of Newton’s laws – fundamental laws that can be used to predict the motion of all colliding or interacting objects in applications such as sport. Newton’s law can also be used to understand some of the safety features in cars, such as air bags, and to evaluate the benefits and risks of such features. You should be aware that the introduction of mandatory safety features in cars is a consequence of the scientific community analysing the forces involved in collisions and investigating potential solutions to reduce the likelihood of personal injury.