A Suggested Guide to Solving Force Problems Below is a suggested step-by-step approach for solving force problems. You should not feel that following this approach is mandatory (after all, we encourage creative thinking!), but this is a fairly straightforward and systematic approach that is effective. You may want to use this approach especially in the beginning, before you’ve properly developed your own intuition for solving these kinds of problems. 1. Break the system in question into separate parts, where each part can be treated as an individual point mass. 2. For each point mass object, now identify all the forces acting ON the object. Make sure that you exclude all forces produced by that object! You should never have both forces of a Newton’s 3 rd law pair on a single object! 3. For each point mass object identified in (1), draw a Free Body Diagram (FBD). The FBD should show the object and all the identified forces from (2) acting on the object. Draw these forces as vectors whose tail originates on the object, and
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2010 for the course PHYS 1116 taught by Professor Elser, v during the Spring '05 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).