University of Edinburgh

BSL Physics Glossary - balanced forces - definition

Translation: When two forces act upon each other in opposite directions, and they are both the same size, we say they are balanced. You can see balanced forces in a tug-of-war game when the rope is not moving. When you are in a car which is accelerating, you feel pushed back. As you reach a constant speed you don't feel pushed back, you don't feel you are moving; that is when the forces are balanced. When an aeroplane is cruising at constant speed there are balanced forces. The lift balances the weight and the thrust forward balances the air resistance.