A force applied in a direction parallel to the horizon is known as horizontal force. The force exerted on a body consists of two components, namely the horizontal component and a vertical component. As the name suggests, the direction of the horizontal component of the force is parallel to the surface, whereas the direction of the vertical component is perpendicular to the position of the body. Almost all moving objects in nature contain both the vertical and the horizontal components of force.
Examples of Horizontal Force
The air in motion is known as wind. Wind flows in the environment in a direction parallel to the surface of the earth. Hence, there exists a horizontal force that helps the wind to move horizontally in the environment. In the absence of the horizontal force, the flow of air would get disrupted, and it would stay in a stationary place.
2. Pushing a Cart
A fruit or vegetable vendor pushing his cart in a forwarding direction makes use of horizontal force to put it into motion. The applied force is usually present in a straight line, which is parallel to the earth’s surface. Hence, a horizontal force is said to be existing. When the surface consists of a slope, a horizontal component acts along with the applied force.
While cycling, the rider pushes the pedals with his feet and exerts a mechanical force that helps the cycle and the rider to move in the forward direction. A resistance force called air resistance force, that acts in the direction opposite to the direction of motion, tends to slow down the speed of the cycle. Considering the direction, the applied force and the air resistance force both are said to be horizontal forces.
When a ball is hit by a football player, it either moves by rolling over the surface of the earth or it is made to cover a curved path in the air. In both cases, a horizontal force is said to be acting along with the motion of the ball. The horizontal force can be clearly seen when the ball rolls over the surface of the earth. One of the components of the force applied is in the horizontal direction. This demonstrates the existence of horizontal force in nature.
5. Pulling a Box
When a box tied with a string is applied with a certain amount of pull force, it starts to move in the direction of the applied force. The string attached to the box develops tension in it. The tensile force contained by the rope helps the box to move. The motion of the box and the direction of the applied force are both parallel to the ground. Hence, the force acting on the box is said to be a horizontal force.
6. Tug of War
In a tug of war competition, the teams holding the rope at both ends tend to pull the rope towards their side. The rope is held at a particular height from the ground, and the position of the rope is parallel to the ground. The force being exerted by both teams is parallel or horizontal in direction. Hence, the mechanical force here acts as a horizontal force.
While swimming, a swimmer tries to push the water in the backward direction with his hands and feet to pull his body in the forward direction. The push force exerted on the water has to be parallel to help the person’s body to float and move forward. The upthrust provided by the water acts perpendicular to the body of the swimmer; therefore, it is called the vertical force. Whereas the force exerted by the hands and the feet of the swimmer is present parallel to the fluid, hence it is known as the horizontal force.
To tow a vehicle, a low mass string or a rope is used to tie the towing vehicle and the vehicle that is to be towed together. The direction of the force applied by the towing vehicle is parallel to the plane surface. In case the vehicle moves over the slanting surface, the direction of a component of the force applied is considered. Out of the two components of the force, one is present along the surface of the earth and is known as the horizontal component.