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St. Mary's U. Astronomy and Physics Dept.

What crushed this can?


When the can is immersed in the water, the pressure inside the can is lower than the pressure outside


Click on the button and play ... 


  One of these things
is not like the other!


The idea for this game and graphic above come from a great high school physics teacher named Kelly O'Shea.



HaeLim (Emily) Wee , Class of 2017





Video Instruction








Force on refrigerator acts in 2 directions






Force acts in 2 directions





H. Resolution of Forces - Breaking down a single vector into 2 or more vectors


Show Me The Physics













Which component is responsible
for making this cart move?





Only horizontal part (Fx)
of applied force



If the angle were increased, how would it change the size of the:


Vertical component?    




Horizontal component?






Video Instruction






Ex 1) A car is pulled with a force of 60. N at angle of 37° from the horizontal. Find the vertical and horizontal components of the applied force

Scale: 1 cm = 10 N















Using Trigonometry 






SinӨ =   Opp = Fy
Hyp F



Cross Multiply



Fy = FsinӨ


Fx = FcosӨ


"One size fits all"







Fy = 60. Nsin37°



Fy = 36 N Up



Fx = 60. Ncos37°



Fx = 48 N Right




Check  a2 + b2 = c2



36 N2 + 48 N2= 60. N2




Ex 2) Weight of Cart = 80 N



Horizontal Component
of Weight Force?





O N 


Vertical Component
of Weight Force?




80. N




Horizontal Component

 0 N


Vertical Component

80 N down





Ex 3) A 50. N force at an angle of 80° has its' angle changed to 10.°. 


How will the vertical and horizontal components change?

Angle & Components - Flash


Show me The Physics Website





Vertical component - smaller
Horizontal component - larger



Ranking Task

Rank the Vertical Components from least to greatest.


Explain your answers



Ex 4) Parallel & perpendicular components



[ Flash ]    [ HTML5]

Show Me The Physics







F = 10. N (Weight)






F = 10. N (Weight)




Find the force holding cart on ramp and force that acts down


Force (down ramp) = Fapplied sinӨ = 5.0 N
(on ramp) = Fapplied cosӨ = 8.7 N



Ranking Task

Rank the parallel component
from greatest to smallest


Rank the perpendicular component
from greatest to smallest




Finding a horizontal component





Box on a Ramp

Show Me The Physics
YouTube Channel




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Established 1995
Use any material on this site (w/ attribution)