Balanced Force: Definition, Example and Characteristics

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Balanced Force

In the world around us, we constantly experience a show of force whether visible or invisible. What is force?  In physics, a force is defined as any push or pull that can cause an object to change its state of motion i.e. movement of any object. This state of motion refers to whether an object is at rest (not moving) or moving with a certain speed and direction. Now, imagine two or more forces acting on any object in opposite directions with equal strength. Just like the game tug of war. Both the party forces would be constantly trying to move the ropes in their respective directions. However, because they have the same strength and act in opposite directions, they effectively cancel each other out. But what happens when the forces acting on an object cancel each other out?  We will answer this in this blog, what is balanced force, what are its types with examples, etc.

What is Balanced Force?

A balanced force occurs when two or more forces acting on an object have the same magnitude (strength) but act in opposite directions. Because they oppose each other, these forces cancel out. Therefore, there is zero force acting on the object. This means the object’s state of motion (moving ability) remains unchanged. 

If no forces are acting on the object, these things might happen: 

  • If the object is originally at rest, it will stay still. 
  • If it were moving, it would continue moving at the same speed and in the same direction.

Note: There is no single moment when forces become balanced. It is an ongoing process where opposing forces constantly counteract each other as long as the conditions for balance are met (equal magnitude, opposite directions). If those conditions change, the balance is disrupted, and the object will experience a net force, causing its state of motion to change.

Also Read – Difference Between Torque and Force

When Will Force Be Balanced?

Forces will be balanced whenever the vector sum of all the forces acting on an object is zero.

In simple meaning, forces are balanced when all the pushes and pulls acting on an object perfectly cancel each other out. 

This also means:

  • The forces have equal magnitudes (strengths).
  • The forces act in opposite directions.

Imagine yourself holding a book perfectly still. Gravity pulls the book downwards, but the upward force from the surface you placed it on (normal force) counteracts it. Since these forces have the same strength and act in opposite directions, they balance each other out, keeping the book from moving.

Also Read – Define Cohesive Force: Types and Importance

Types of Balanced Force

There are two types of balanced force, depending on the direction of the force applied, each has its own way of achieving the state of equilibrium. They are – 

  • Internal Force
  • External Force

Internal Force

When the force acts in the opposite direction the force exerted pushes the object towards the inward direction. It is called internal force. Imagine yourself squeezing a stress ball. As you press your fingers inwards, you feel a force pushing back against your hand. This pushing back is an internal balanced force. Internal balanced forces arise from the interactions between the parts of an object itself.

Examples of Internal Balanced Forces:

  • Two magnets repelling each other when their like poles face each other.
  • The tension in a rope when you pull both ends with equal force.
  • The forces between atoms in a molecule.

External Force

When the force acts in the opposite direction the force exerted pushes the object towards the outward direction. It is called external force. Imagine that the normal force from the table keeps the book from moving through it.

Examples of External Balanced Forces:

  • Two people pulling on a rope in a tug-of-war with equal force.
  • The air resistance pushes back against a car driving at a constant speed.
  • The water pressure acts upwards on a submarine, counteracting gravity.

Also Read – Eddy Currents: Definition, Application & More

Characteristics of Balanced Force

The characteristics of balanced force are – 

  1. Balanced forces acting on an object have the same strength or equal magnitude.
  2. These forces act in opposite directions to cancel each other out.
  3. The vector sum (combined effect) of all balanced forces acting on an object is zero i.e. net zero force.
  4. The state of motion of the object remains unchanged or in equilibrium.  

Balanced Force Example

There are various examples through which this force can be explained. Some of the examples of balanced force are – 

  1. The aeroplane’s weight pulls it downwards but the lift generated by the wings counteracts it, which creates a balanced force that allows for the leveling of the flight.
  2. When the swimmer paddles downwards with their arms and legs, they generate an upward force which balances their weight, allowing them to stay afloat.
  3. The wind blowing upwards creates lift on the kite’s surface, counteracting the kite’s weight and pulling it downwards, which results in a balanced force that keeps the kite aloft.
  1. The driver presses the brake pedal, creating a force that pushes against the wheels. The wheels resist this force with an equal and opposite force, eventually bringing the car to a stop (balanced force acting momentarily).
  2. During the initial thrust of the rocket launch, the rocket engines generate a powerful thrust upwards, counteracting the rocket’s weight and pulling it downwards. This balanced force allows the rocket to overcome gravity and initially accelerates.
  3. If a person is hanging on a bar, the person’s weight pulls them downwards, but the grip on the bar creates an upward force with the same magnitude, keeping them suspended.


What is unbalanced force class 9?

Unbalanced forces are when two forces of different sizes act on an object at the same time, such that the net force on the object does not equal zero, or when the resulting force acting on the body does not equal zero. When an object is moved by an unbalanced force, the state of the body affected by the unbalanced force changes.

What is the formula for the balance of forces?

The formula for the balanced force will be F1 – F2 = 0. For example, let’s say we have a table with a mass of m and a weight of mg. The acceleration due to gravity is g. The table will have the same and opposite force. This force is called the normal force FN by Newton’s law.

What are 3 balanced forces?

There are some examples of balanced forces like – hanging on a bar, an aeroplane in a steady flight, Standing on the ground, etc

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Ordinal Numbers from 1 to 100! Table of 17: Multiples up to 20 & a Trick!  
Table of 12: Multiples up to 20!What is the HCF of Two Consecutive Odd Numbers?

Hope this blog helps you understand what is balanced force. Keep reading more of our blogs to learn about the basic concepts of Physics!

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