Physics (Normal Force)

posted by .

When a book weighing 10 N is placed on a table, the table exerts a normal force of 10 N on the book. When a crate weighing 250 N is placed on the same table, the table exerts a normal force of 250 N on the crate. Explain the mechanism that allows the table to exert just the right normal force to balance the weight of the object. Is there any limit to how large the normal force can be?

This is what I have so far:

I am not sure about the mechanism, but for the second part, I said that there is a limit. This limit is until the table breaks due to the force. For the first part, I am not sure how to approach it. I have searched in my textbook but I've had no luck.

Thank you for your help.

  • Physics (Normal Force) -

    I agree with your answer to the second part.

    You can consider the first part of the problem from different perspectives. From the macroscopic perspective where you look at the book and the table on the scale where you don't see the individual atoms, you can describe the book and the table as elastic objects.

    When you put the book on the midle table, the table deforms. Tensions build up in the table and on the boundary of the table and the book, the table exerts an upward force on the book. Very soon ater you put the book on the table, equilibrium is reached.


    From the microscopic perspective, you can consider the table and the book as a collection of atoms. The forces the table exerts on the book are caused by the repulsion of the electrons in the book by those on the table. The reason that this happens is not simpy because the same charges repel, but because electrons cannot be in the same state.

    When the book is pushing down on the table, the electrons are moving to higher energy levels so that they won't end up in the same states. This increase in energy yields the force that the table exerts on the book.

Respond to this Question

First Name
School Subject
Your Answer

Similar Questions

  1. physics

    Two strong magnets on opposite sides of a small table are shown. The long-range attractive force between the magnets keeps the lower magnet in place. Suppose the weight of the table is 26.7 N, the weight of each magnet is 6.55 N, and …
  2. physics

    A book weighing 20 N is placed on a table. How much support force does a table exert on the book?
  3. physics multiple choice

    A 3.00 lb. physics book rests on an ordinary scale that is placed on a horizontal table. The reaction force to the downward 3.00 lb force on the book is A. an upward 3.00 lb force on the scale due to the table. B.an upward 3.00 lb …
  4. physics multiple choice

    A 3.00 lb. physics book rests on an ordinary scale that is placed on a horizontal table. The reaction force to the downward 3.00 lb force on the book is A. an upward 3.00 lb force on the scale due to the table. B.an upward 3.00 lb …
  5. physics

    A book weighing 29 N is placed on a table. if the support force back on the book from the table is 29 N, what is the net force?
  6. Physics

    A 25 N book sits on a table. What is the magnitude of the normal force the table exerts on the book?
  7. Physics

    A book weighing 12 N is placed on a table. How much support force does a table exert on the book?
  8. physics- multiple choice

    1. The normal force is always less than or equal to force of gravity a) True b) False 2. What is the value of the normal force?
  9. Physics multiple choice

    1. The normal force is always less than or equal to force of gravity a) True b) False 2. What is the value of the normal force?
  10. physics

    Anna applies a force of 19.5 newtons to push a book placed on a table. If the normal force of the book is 51.7 newtons, what is the coefficient of kinetic friction?

More Similar Questions