Forces are one of the most confusing topics as any learning scientist will tell you. Primarily, you need to know Newton’s First Law:

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

This is shown on the diagram below:forces-diagram

For you to stand up on earth right now you have gravity acting upon you but also NCF (Normal Contact Force). Now this is very confusing but NCF stops you from being pulled through the floor by the pull of gravity. You don’t move because the forces are balanced.

If you jump, however you have no NCF acting on you but air resistance (Gravity is acting upon you or else you float). The forces here are unbalanced this means that the object will move. In this case it will move downwards.

If you jumped out of a plane you would accelerate, being pulled by gravity, and being resisted by air. You would continue to accelerate until the air resistance force would balance the gravitational force.


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