Free Body Diagrams

Practice your skill at constructing free-body diagrams for a given physical situation. Twelve different descriptions of a physical situation are presented; your goal is to determine the type and relative magnitude of the forces acting upon the described object.


  1. Use the pull-down menus on the right side of the screen to identify the types of forces acting in the rightward, leftward, upward and downward directions.
  2. Use the pull-down menus to identify the relative magnitude of each individual force. The important factor is not whether you indicate Large, Medium or Small, but rather that you indicate whether the rightward force is larger, smaller or of the same magnitude as the rightward force.
  3. When you have identified the type and relative magnitude of all applicable forces, click on the Check Answer button at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 until you have successfully answered all twelve problems.
  5. If necessary, use the Try New Problem button to skip the given problem; you will have to do the problem later.
  6. If necessary, use the Web Help button to obtain help from The Physics Classroom Tutorial. If you do use the Web Help button, do not close this window containing this page with the Shockwave file. If you do, you will have to reopen the Shockwave file and start over.

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Tutorial information on forces, Newton's Laws, and free-body diagrams is available at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.