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What is a force?

Anything that pushes an object is called a force.Anything that pushes an object is called a force.Objects do not move by themselves. Anything that pushes or pulls an object is called a force. A breath of wind, a car engine, a magnet or an elastic band are all examples of things that can produce a force. Gravity is an important force. You can see it at work if you let a pen drop. The pen is being pulled towards a very large object, the Earth itself.

The girl drops into the sea by the force of gravityThe girl drops into the sea by the force of gravity

Direct or distant force?

Some forces work when an object is pushed or pulled by another. This is a direct force. Other forces make things move without touching them. One example is gravity: the pen drops to the ground by an unseen force. Another is magnetism: a magnet can pull a piece of iron towards it without touching it. These are called distant forces.

The force that slows an object down as it travels through a gas or liquid is called drag. This occurs because of friction between the object and the molecules around it.

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