# Normal force examples

The normal force is a contact force exerted by a surface to support the weight of an object resting on it.[1] It acts perpendicular to the surface and prevents the object from sinking into or passing through the surface, serving as a barrier that prevents solid objects from penetrating or passing through each other.[1][2] Additionally, the normal force is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force exerted by the object on the surface,[3] in accordance with Newton’s third law of motion.[4]

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## Examples

### Flower pot

The normal force is observed when a flower pot is placed on the floor. The floor exerts an upward force perpendicular to its surface, known as the normal force. This force prevents the flower pot from sinking into or passing through the floor, providing support and keeping it in place.

### Plate

When a plate is placed on a dining table, it rests securely on the surface. This is due to the normal force exerted by the table. The normal force acts in an upward direction and is perpendicular to the table’s surface, preventing the plate from passing through. It ensures that the plate remains stably positioned on the table, without sinking into it.

### Girl

When a person stands on a flat surface, a normal force is exerted on them, supporting and preventing them from passing through the surface. This force acts perpendicular to the surface, effectively keeping the person in place. It serves as a practical example of the normal force encountered in everyday life, illustrating how it prevents someone from going through the surface.

### Television

Televisions are commonly found in homes, and when placed on a table, they rest on it without passing through. This is due to the upward force exerted by the table’s surface, which supports the television and prevents it from going through. This upward force, acting perpendicularly, is known as the normal force.

### Apple crate

In fruit markets, various fruit crates are commonly placed on the floor. Consider an apple crate as an example. When the apple crate is positioned on the floor, it is supported and does not pass through the surface. This support is provided by the upward force exerted by the floor, known as the normal force. The normal force acts as a barrier, preventing the apple crate from penetrating the floor.

### Mobile phone

When a mobile phone is placed on a desk, it remains supported and doesn’t pass through the surface. This is due to the normal force exerted by the desk on the phone. The normal force acts in a perpendicular direction, effectively preventing the mobile phone from sinking into or penetrating the desk. As a result, the normal force ensures that the mobile phone stays securely in place on the desk.

### Candle

The normal force plays a crucial role in supporting a candle placed on a flat surface. When the candle is placed on the surface, the surface exerts an upward force known as the normal force. This force acts perpendicular to the surface and prevents the candle from sinking into or passing through it. The normal force ensures that the candle remains in position and provides the necessary support for it to rest securely on the flat surface.

### Book

When a book is placed on a table, it remains in position without sinking through the surface. This is because the table exerts an upward force on the book, known as the normal force. The normal force acts perpendicular to the table, providing support and preventing the book from passing through. In other words, the normal force acts as a barrier that keeps the book securely on the table.

### Water bottle

When a water bottle is placed on a table or floor, the surface exerts an upward force on it in a perpendicular direction. This upward force is called the normal force, which prevents the water bottle from passing through the surface. The normal force supports the water bottle and keeps it securely positioned.

## Image credit

• The stock photos used in this post are sourced from platforms like Pexels, Pixabay, Canva, etc. Due to the age of the images, their specific origins remain unknown.

## References

1. Gravity and the Normal Force – Rochester Institute of Technology
2. The Normal Force – Boston University
3. Normal Force and Tension – Physics LibreTexts
4. Newton’s Third Law – Mechanics Map