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I had an AP Physics 2 questions that says during the collision, the molecule exerts a force with magnitude F on the wall, and then asks what properly describes the force acting on the wall. The answer was -F, and explains this through action-reaction pairs. I'm unsure as to why F is negative, can someone please explain this? I'm also willing to send the full question

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  • $\begingroup$ F is already acting on the wall. I guess you mean "on the particle". $\endgroup$
    – khaxan
    Oct 18, 2023 at 13:38

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Newton third law force pairs are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.
The negative sign indicate that one force has a direction of action in the opposite direction to the other.
The two forces might be $F\,\hat i$ and $F(-\hat i) = -F \,\hat i$

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