Frequently Asked Questions on Force and Laws of Motion
Explain why some of the leaves may get detached from a tree if we vigorously shake its branch?
When the branch of the tree is shaken, the branch moves in a to-and-fro motion. However, the inertia of the leaves attached to the branch resists the motion of the branch. Therefore, the leaves that are weakly attached to the branch fall off due to inertia whereas the leaves that are firmly attached to the branch remain attached.
Why do you fall in the forward direction when a moving bus brakes to a stop and fall backwards when it accelerates from rest?
Initially, when the bus accelerates in a forward direction from a state of rest, the passengers experience a force exerted on them in the backward direction due to their inertia opposing the forward motion. Once the bus starts moving, the passengers are in a state of motion in the forward direction. When the brakes are applied, the bus moves towards a position of rest. Now, a force in the forward direction is applied to the passengers because their inertia resists the change in the motion of the bus. This causes the passengers to fall forwards when the brakes are applied.
Explain, why is it difficult for a fireman to hold a hose, which ejects large amounts of water at a high velocity?
For the hose to eject water at high velocities, a force must be applied on the water (which is usually done with the help of a pump or a motor). Now, the water applies an equal and opposite force on the hose. For the fireman to hold this hose, he must apply a force on it to overcome the force applied on the hose by the water. The higher the quantity and velocity of the water coming out of the hose, the greater the force that must be applied by the fireman to hold it steady.
When a carpet is beaten with a stick, dust comes out of it. Explain.
When the carpet is beaten with a stick, the stick exerts a force on the carpet which sets it in motion. The inertia of the dust particles residing on the carpet resists the change in the motion of the carpet. Therefore, the forward motion of the carpet exerts a backward force on the dust particles, setting them in motion in the opposite direction. This is why the dust comes out of the carpet when beaten.
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