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Non Contact Force- Definition, Types, And Examples

November 24, 2022
written by Qamar Zaman

A non contact force is any force that acts on an object without coming into contact with it. The most familiar non-contact force is gravity which causes objects to weigh things down.

What is a Non Contact Force?

A non-contact force is a force applied to an object that is not in direct contact with it. When objects do not have physical contact between them or when a force is applied without any interaction, non-contact forces come into play. There are very few non-contact forces compared to the contact forces.

Non contact forces operate over a distance through fields or other mechanisms. These forces are often invisible but have a profound impact on the behavior and motion of objects.

Types of Non Contact Forces

These are some common types of non-contact force.

image showing the non contact force
Non contact force images

Gravitational Force

The force that attracts two objects with mass is called the gravitational force. The force always tries to pull mass together and we call it attractive because it never pushes them apart. Gravitational force does not need any contact with the object to attract that object.

Magnetic Force

A magnetic field is a force that is applied to charged particles because of their motion. The attraction of magnets for iron is caused by the electric current, which is the basic force responsible for the effects. 

A magnet exerts magnetic forces on magnetic objects. There is no physical interaction between the two things.

Electrostatic Force

Non-contact forces like electrostatic forces don’t touch objects, instead, they pull or push on them. A charged object can draw or push on other charged objects if you rub certain materials together.

Strong Nuclear Force

The nuclear force is a short-distance force that takes place between fundamental particles. It acts in the same way as a proton and proton, a neutron and neutron.

The strong nuclear force is the strongest force in nature, but its range is small. Nuclear reactions can be made by a strong nuclear force.

Weak Nuclear Force

The weak nuclear force causes the decay of a neutron into protons and uncharged particles, and in the process emits a particle and an uncharged particle.

The weak nuclear force plays a key role in supernovas because of its role in the decay process. The strong and weak forces are an important part of quantum mechanics.

Examples of Non Contact Forces

In our daily lives, we encounter numerous instances where non-contact forces manifest themselves, demonstrating their intriguing effects. Let’s explore some captivating examples:

  1. The Apple’s Descent: Picture an apple gracefully plummeting from a tree, seemingly defying the force of gravity. This quintessential illustration illustrates how gravity, a non-contact force, pulls the apple toward the Earth without any physical contact.
  2. Magnetism’s Allure: Imagine a collection of iron pins mysteriously drawn towards a magnet bar, seemingly enchanted by an invisible force. This captivating display showcases the magnetic force’s power, which acts without any direct touch.
  3. Nature’s Precipitation Dance: Witness the mesmerizing sight of raindrops descending from the heavens, as if guided by an unseen force. The non-contact force of gravity gracefully orchestrates their journey toward the Earth’s surface.
  4. Electrifying Hair: Experience the phenomenon of charged hair playfully attracting tiny paper bits, creating a whimsical dance. This phenomenon showcases the non-contact force of static electricity, where opposite charges are drawn together.
  5. The Magnetic Tango: Envision the enchanting interplay between two magnets brought close to each other, their forces of attraction and repulsion intertwining in a captivating display. This elegant dance exemplifies the non-contact magnetic force at work.
  6. Freefall’s Grace: Contemplate a ball in freefall, surrendering to the Earth’s gravitational pull with unwavering grace. This graceful descent is a testament to the omnipresent force of gravity, gently guiding objects toward the ground.
  7. Autumn’s Aesthetics: Observe the breathtaking cascade of leaves falling from a tree, adorning the ground with vibrant hues. The non-contact force of gravity orchestrates this annual spectacle, allowing nature’s artistry to unfold.
  8. Electromagnetism’s Wonders: Explore the marvels of electromagnetism, where electric currents transform ordinary objects into captivating forces. Witness the allure of small materials drawn towards an electrified object, showcasing the power of non-contact forces.
  9. Iron’s Attraction: Marvel at the fascinating phenomenon of iron particles being enticed by an electromagnet when an electric current courses through it. This captivating display illustrates the non-contact force of electromagnetism, where magnetic fields exert their influence.

Related FAQs

Is gravity a non contact force?

Yes, gravity is a non contact force.

is gravity a contact force

A force that can cause or change the motion of an object by touching it is called Contact Force. For example, muscular force, frictional force, spring force, tension force, air resistance force, etc.

Is air a non-contact force?

Air resistance is a type of frictional force. Air opposes the motion of an object, leading to air resistance. Some call it the friction of air. The faster the object is moving, the more air resistance it will experience.

Is magnetic a non-contact force?

Magnetic forces are noncontact forces; they pull or push on objects without touching them. Magnets are only attracted to a few ‘magnetic’ metals and not all matter.

what do we call the non-contact force that acts between two charged objects?

The non-contact force that acts between two charged objects is called the electrostatic force.

how many types of non contact force?

There are four main types of non-contact forces:
Gravitational force
Electrostatic force
Magnetic force
Nuclear force

What are some non contact forces?

There are some non contact forces.
Electrostatic force
Magnetic force
Nuclear force
Frictional force