This simulation shows the connection between force and motion, with friction.

A box is placed on a horizontal surface. You can adjust the mass of the box and the horizontal force applied to the box, as well as the coefficient of friction (the same value for static friction and kinetic friction). Note that the free-body diagram is shown. The blue arrow is the normal force applied to the box by the surface; the green arrow is the force of gravity applied to the box by the Earth, the red force (if there is one) is the force you control with the slider, and the black force (if there is one) is the force of friction.

Apply a non-zero force to the box. You should see the box start to move, as long the applied force is larger than the maximum possible force of static friction. How can you cause the box to stop moving? Does everything about the behavior of the force of friction make sense to you?

Simulation written by Andrew Duffy, and first posted on 9-21-2017.

Creative Commons License
This work by Andrew Duffy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This simulation can be found in the collection at

The counter has been running on this page since 8-10-2018. The number of people accessing the page since then is: