Change of motion

Moving on with forces to explore with your students the idea that a resultant or unbalanced force causes a change in motion requires them to understand the difference between scalar and vector quantities and you will need to use vector diagrams again.

A common misconception for students is that the greater weight of a more massive object causes it to accelerate more than a less massive object. You have to tackle and resolve this for your students. This video can be used to help as can very precise and correct use of terms such as force and acceleration.

The topic becomes meaningful if it is related to lots of everyday situations that students can identify with and so better improve their grasp of the underlying physics. Newton’s laws of motion are a formal expression of this physics and you should aim to include them in covering the topic.

The moment of a force which is the turning effect that a force can have on an object that is able to rotate about a pivot point can be confused by name with momentum. It is worth dealing with this concept at this stage of the topic.

Math skills can be practised by making calculations of the accelerations associated with these resultant forces, recalling or selecting the relevant equations to do so.

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