Contact and Non-contact Forces

A force is a push or pull.
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A force that is exerted when one object comes into contact with another is called a contact force. 
eg when a ball is kicked.  
One contact force that is very important in our lives is friction. 
However, not all forces are applied through actual physical contact. 

Non-contact forces include 

  • the force of a gravitational field (gravity)
    • The ball that was kicked in the animation opposite returns to earth eventually, as the gravitational field of the Earth acts on it. 
  • the force of a magnetic field
  • the force of an electric field, as we saw in our electrostatic experiments