Forces and Free-Body Diagrams: May the forces be with you!

Forces and Free-Body Diagrams
Time to complete course: 22 min.

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About Forces and Free-Body Diagrams: May the forces be with you! Virtual Lab Simulation

Get ready to train before entering the engineering lab

You move as a result of forces acting upon you. In this simulation, you will learn the basics of common forces as you experience them in your everyday life. You will visualize the reaction of an object in a given condition using the free-body diagrams. 

Deriving the net force in one direction

Dr. One, our AI lab assistant, changed a few parts in her engine. These changes affected how she moved and now she needs your help to optimize her flying! In the process, you will determine the center of mass and gravity and learn the basic steps of creating a free-body diagram in a one-dimensional problem.

Free-body diagrams for common forces

To identify the motion of an object, you first have to identify all the external forces that are exerted on it. In the forces and free-body diagrams simulation, you will create free body diagrams for a mass attached to a spring, a mass being underwater and a mass rolling down a hill. Change the magnitude of these forces – how will they affect the motion of the mass?

A free-body diagram with force components

By the end, you will understand how to resolve a force into components and evaluate the motion of an object when forces are applied to it in multiple directions. Will you be able to navigate a drone with two motors?

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Finish your training in basic physics concepts to join a cutting edge mechanical engineering lab. Team up with Sir Isaac Newton and understand how various forces affect the motion of objects.

Techniques in Lab

  • Free body diagrams

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Draw and interpret free-body force diagrams to represent forces
  • Understand the concept of center of gravity of an extended body
  • Determine the net force exerted to a particle

Simulation Features

Length – 22 minutes
Languages – English, Spanish

Examples of Related Standards


Physics and Engineering related 1st year onwards


HS-ETS1-2, HS-PS2-1


2.2 – Forces


2.3 Contact Forces
2.5 Newton’s Third Law and Free-Body Diagrams
3.2 Fundamental Forces
3.7 Free-Body Diagrams for Objects in Uniform Circular Motion

Screenshots of Forces and Free-Body Diagrams: May the forces be with you! Virtual Lab Simulation


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