Resolving and Adding Forces

Resolving Forces

Forces at an angle can be broken into two equivalent forces that would give the same effect - one horizontal and one vertical.

Vector Diagrams

A scale drawing is a great way of adding vectors, like forces, together.

Resolving Forces: Example A

When you work out an answer by scale drawing it is important to use a pencil, ruler, protractor and often graph paper.

Resolving Forces: Example B

This will give you a more accurate answer than by scale drawing, but it is a more advanced mathematical skill to use trigonometry. I find it really useful to label my triangle with O, A and H as I work through my answer.

Parallelogram of Forces

Sometimes when you have two forces acting at an angle you can work out their resultant by drawing in two other parallel lines to make a parallelogram, then measuring the length and angle of the diagonal.

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