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Question

# If a book is located on a table, how many forces should be shown in a free-body diagram of the book? Describe them.

Solution

Verified

In this problem, we observe the simplest form of a free-body diagram. When a book is placed on the table, it has the force of gravity acting on it, applied to the book's center of mass. Consequentially, the book pushes the table with its weight, which exists due to gravity and the book's mass.

What cancels out the force of gravity on the book is the reaction, normal force. It is directed upwards and is applied to the surface of the book, the one which is in contact with the table. Since the book is not being pushed along any other axis, there are no more forces acting on the book.

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