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# Contact and Non-contact Forces

## What are Contact and Non-contact Forces

A contact force is defined as the force between two objects that are in physical contact. For example, kicking a soccer ball is a contact force since physical contact is between the foot and the ball.

A non-contact force is defined as the force between two objects that are not in physical contact. For example, the attraction between the Earth and the Moon is a non-contact force since the two never come in contact. A non-contact force is also called a field force.

## Contact vs. Non-contact Forces

The following table gives the differences between contact and non-contact forces.

## Contact and Non-contact Forces: Types and Examples

### Contact Force

Here is a list of contact forces.

1. Normal Force: Example â€“ The force exerted by the table on a book lying on it.

2. Tension Force: Example â€“ The force experienced by a rope when a person pulls a bucket of water from a well.

3. Friction: Example â€“ The resistance force offered by the floor when a box slides over it.

4. Applied Force: Example â€“ The force with which a person pushes a cart.

5. Air Resistance: Example â€“ The resistance offered by air when a ball falls through it.

6. Spring Force: Example â€“ The force used to measure weight.

### Non-contact Force

There are four types of non-contact force.

1. Gravitational Force: Example – The force of attraction between the Sun and the Earth. Gravity is the force of attraction between the Earth and any object on its surface.

2. Electric Force: ExampleThe force with which electrons are held together by the nucleus.

3. Magnetic Force: Example â€“ The force with which a magnet pulls iron nails.

4. Electromagnetic Force: Example – The force experienced by a charged particle in an electromagnetic field.

## How to Find Contact Force

The contact force can be calculated by applying the laws of physics, especially Newtonâ€™s Law. For example, the applied force be found by applying Newtonâ€™s Second Law.

Suppose an object of mass m is pushed on the floor such that it is moving with an acceleration a. Then, the applied force is given by,

Formula: FA = ma

Article was last reviewed on Friday, February 3, 2023

### 7 responses to “Contact and Non-contact Forces”

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