Non-contact forces

Non-contact forces are forces that act between two objects that are not physically touching each other. Examples of non-contact forces include:

Magnetic force

A magnetic force is experienced by any magnetic material in a magnetic field.

Opposite magnetic poles (N - S or S - N) attract each other:

Two magnets are next to each other with North and South poles facing one another. Two equal arrows between the poles of the magnets point inwards towards each other.

Like magnetic poles (N - N or S - S) repel each other:

Two magnets are side by side with North poles facing each other. Two arrows between the poles of the magnets point outwards away from each other.

Electrostatic force

An electrostatic force is experienced by any charged particle in an electric field.

Opposite charges (+ and -) attract:

Large red circle contains ‘+’ symbol and smaller blue circle contains ‘-‘ symbol. Two arrows between the particles, point inwards towards each other.

Like charges (- and -, or + and +) repel:

Two blue circles contain ‘-‘ symbol. Two arrows between the particles point outwards away from each other.

Gravitational force

A gravitational force is experienced by any mass in a gravitational field.

Masses are attracted towards each other by gravitational force:

The Earth and a satellite point to each other in space with arrows of equal size.
Move on to Test
next