# What is an applied force? (with photo)

The scientific term “force” refers to an interaction between two or more objects.

The scientific term “force” refers to an interaction between two or more objects. Theoretically, the phrase “applied force” could be used for any force, but it is usually used when talking about a contact force between a person and an object. In the case of a book being picked up, for example, the force applied would be the force that provides the person’s upward acceleration.

There are two broad categories of forces: those that act at a distance and those that act because of contact between two objects. Since the nature of an applied force specifies that it is caused by a person, in most cases it is a contact force. However, there are exceptions, such as the gravitational interaction between a human and an object, although it is almost always negligible.

Applied forces are often difficult to calculate because they are often found in conjunction with other forces. The only exception to this would be if the force were taking place in a vacuum, with no bodies exerting gravitational pull. Applied force physics often focuses on finding the total net force acting on an object, rather than separating the force components. This is useful because the subsequent motion of an object depends only on the direction and strength of the resultant force.

When calculating the future motion of an object, applied forces are not the only or most important consideration. All forces are measured in Newtons and the overall motion does not depend on the source of the force, only the direction and force. For this reason, there is no universal formula of applied forces. When calculating an applied force, the applied force equation will depend on the situation. If other variables such as mass and acceleration are given, however, the applied force can be calculated using the standard equation F = MxA – M refers to the mass of the accelerating object and A is the acceleration.