In Class VII, you have learnt how objects move. Do you recall how we can decide whether an object is moving faster than the other? What does the distance moved by an object in unit time indicate? You also know that a moving object like a ball rolling on the ground slows down. Sometimes it may change its direction of motion. It is also possible that the ball may slow down and also change its direction. Did you ever wonder what makes an object to slow down or go faster, or change its direction of motion?
Actions like picking, opening, shutting, kicking, hitting, lifting, flicking, pushing, pulling are often used to describe certain tasks. Each of these actions usually results in some kind of change in the motion of an object. Can these terms be replaced with one or more terms? Let us find out.
Suppose a man is standing behind a stationary car (Fig.11.2). Will the car move due to his presence? Suppose the man now begins to push the car, that is, he applies a force on it. The car may begin to move in the direction of the applied force. Note that the man has to push the car to make it move.
Choose a heavy object like a table or a box, which you can move only by pushing hard. Try to push it all by yourself. Can you move it? Now ask one of your friends to help you in pushing it in the same direction [Fig.11.4(a)]. Is it easier to move it now? Can you explain why?
Next push the same object, but ask your friend to push it from the opposite side [Fig.11.4 (b)]. Does the object move? If it does, note the direction in which it moves. Can you guess which one of you is applying a larger force?
Take a rubber ball and place it on a level surface such as a table top or a concrete floor. Now, gently push the ball along the level surface (Fig. 11.6). Does the ball begin to move? Push the ball again while it is still moving. Is there any change in its speed? Does it increase or decrease?
Next, place your palm in front of the moving ball. Remove your palm as soon as the moving ball touches it. Does your palm apply a force on the ball? What happens to the speed of the ball now? Does it increase or decrease? What would happen if you let your palm hold the moving ball?
Some situations have been given in Column 1 of Table 11.2 on page 134 in which objects are not free to move. Column 2 of the Table suggests the manner in which a force can be applied on each object while Column 3 shows a diagram of the action. Try to observe the effect of force in as many situations as possible. You can also add similar situations using available material from your environment. Note your observations in Columns 4 and 5 of the Table.
Can you push or lift a book lying on a
table without touching it? Can you lift
a bucket of water without holding it?
Generally, to apply a force on an object, your body has to be in contact with the object. The contact may also be with the help of a stick or a piece of rope. When we push an object like a school bag or lift a bucket of water, where does the force come from? This force is caused by the action of muscles in our body. The force resulting due to the action of muscles is known as the muscular force.
Take a pair of bar magnets. Place the longer side of one of the magnets over three round shaped pencils or wooden rollers as shown in Fig.11.10. Now bring one end of the other magnet near the end of the magnet placed on the rollers. Make sure that the two magnets do not touch each other. Observe what happens. Next, bring the other end of the magnet near the same end of the magnet placed on the rollers (Fig.11.10). Note what happens to the magnet placed on the rollers every time another magnet is brought near it.
You have learnt in Class VII that strong winds during a storm or a cyclone can blow away even the roof-tops. You also learnt that winds and cyclones are caused by the differences in air pressure. Is there any relation between pressure and force? Let us find out.
Take a transparent glass tube or a plastic pipe. The length of the pipe/ tube should be about 15 cm and its diameter should be 5-7.5 cm. Also take a piece of thin sheet of a good quality rubber, say, a rubber balloon. Stretch the rubber sheet tightly over one end of the pipe. Hold the pipe at the middle, keeping it in a vertical position (Fig.11.14). Ask one of your friends to pour some water in the pipe. Does the rubber sheet bulge out? Note also the height of the water column in the pipe. Pour some more water.
You know that there is air all around us. This envelop of air is known as the atmosphere. The atmospheric air extends up to many kilometres above the surface of the earth. The pressure exerted by this air is known as atmospheric pressure. We know that pressure is force per unit area. If we imagine a unit area and a very long cylinder standing on it filled with air, then the weight of the air in this cylinder is the atmospheric pressure (Fig. 11.17).