Is it easier to push an object or to pull it when the displacement is the same.

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justaguide's profile pic

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If an object is placed such that the force applied to either pull it or push it is parallel to the ground and it moves in a horizontal direction there is no difference in the force applied either in pushing the object or in pulling it.

However, usually objects are placed in a position such that the direction of displacement of the object is not the same as the direction of the force being applied on it. When the object is pushed, the force applied on it can be divided into two components; the horizontal component is what moves the object while the vertical component contributes to increasing the weight of the object as it acts vertically downwards. This increases the frictional force that has to be overcome. On the other hand, if an object is being pulled, the horizontal component of the force remains the same but the vertical component acts upwards which decreases the weight of the object and consequently the frictional force between the object and the surface it is placed on. As a result a smaller force is required to pull an object compared to the force required to push it. This makes it easier to pull an object rather than pushing it.

pramodpandey's profile pic

pramodpandey | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

work done = FScos(theta)

If we are pulling an object parallel to force ,displacement is negative ,

work done is negative, in case pushing displacement is positive.so work done is positive.

Here pulling or pushing remain same ,only direction matter.

In case inclined plane , gravitional force effects.Since objecte attracted towards centre of earth ,so g act down word aways positive. upword negative.So if we pull object from upword to down word,two forces actng same direction ,force F anf gravitatinal force ,so pulling is easy while in case pushing from down word to upword ,two force ac opposite directin ( not exactly opposit) gravitaional down word and F upword so pusshing is upword is difficult.

Pulling or pushing in same direction effect same. nether easy nor difficult.

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