Which of these two vector diagrams is befitting for illustrating exerted force?

  • $\begingroup$ I would prefer the second one. If many forces act on an object, then there would be many arrowheads at the CM which would look dirty and hard to understand. $\endgroup$ – Apoorv Potnis Jun 2 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ @ApoorvPotnis What is mathematically consistent tho? Isn’t it the second one? $\endgroup$ – Amanda Macaurenni Jun 5 at 3:55
  • $\begingroup$ Both are mathematically consistent. $\endgroup$ – Apoorv Potnis Jun 5 at 4:50

Either would do, but figure B is, in my opinion, preferable. The usual convention, though, is to put the tail of the arrow at the point where the force is acting. So (since you can't get inside the block to apply the force at the centre of mass) I'd put the tail of the arrow half way up the right hand side of the block.

  • $\begingroup$ You mean the tail of the vector should be located a little to the left from where it is in figure B; so that it seems like the vector originates from ‘where’ the force is exerted? $\endgroup$ – Amanda Macaurenni Jun 5 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ Ah! I think I understand: it is the hand that is exerting the force? In that case I'd put the tail of the arrow in the middle of the left hand face of the block. Some would say that the hand, even though it is beautifully drawn, shouldn't really be shown. You might care to read about so-called 'free body diagrams'. $\endgroup$ – Philip Wood Jun 5 at 7:34
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for mentioning ‘free body diagrams’. I think I should question only after I learn it thoroughly. I'll let you know if I still have any, after doing so. $\endgroup$ – Amanda Macaurenni Jun 5 at 8:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.