Pseudo Force

Mechanics is often considered the most intimidating unit of an IIT book by the sheer volume of its syllabus, let alone the intricacies of the proper conceptual application. But one fact that must always be remembered is that if a properly structured approach is taken for studies then Mechanics would be much easier than you could have imagined. Always follow the order of first building up the concepts using basic preparation books (NCERT, i.e. CBSE book from XI and XII) learning to apply the concepts using solved examples at the back of the preparation books, followed by lots of MCQs from best quality question banks, and then finally an intelligent repetitive practice using basic as well as high level IIT books, AIEEE books, and IIT study material.

This theory lecture from the topic ‘Laws of Motion’ concerns itself with explaining the concepts like Pseudo Force etc. This is a comparatively easier topic from the unit, because the students have studied the basic concepts in previous classes. Rely on basic books for IIT JEE preparation like NCERT and H. C. Verma in addition to the video lectures for these topics.

To understand this lecture, one must understand what is meant by ‘inertial’ and ‘non-inertial frames of reference’. The first fact that the lecture begins with is that Pseudo Force is that factor that enables us to apply Newton’s Laws of Motion in non inertial frame of reference as well.

Here the explanation is given diagrammatically demonstrating an object moving under acceleration (as is the case in non-inertial frame of reference) when a force is applied on it. When this is viewed from the ground reference frame (from the perspective of stationary environment), then F = m * a, where ’F’ is the force, ‘m’ is the mass of the object, and ‘a’ is the acceleration.

However if the frame of reference is same as the one of the object under motion, then the acceleration would seem 0. Now this is the portion where the dilemma lies because there is a force, but no acceleration thus Newton’s Law is not applicable. To apply Newton’s Law in such cases a fictitious force called Pseudo Force (-ma) needs to be introduced.  It has been properly explained in the video that though the mass under consideration is that of the object, but the acceleration is that of the reference frame with respect to which the object is being viewed (non-inertial reference frame).

The direction of the Pseudo force can be viewed (equal and opposite to the force on the object to make the net force 0). The numerical representation of the Newton’s second law in case of inertial and non-inertial frames of reference has been demonstrated in the video as well.

It is always better to start your conceptual preparation from one basic preparation book for IIT JEE or an AIEEE book, and read it cover to cover instead of keeping a hundred preparation books at home and not studying even one properly. Video lectures should be made use for study and IIT preparation because of the great convenience they provide (instead of running from school to coaching classes without taking rest, one can study in a comfortable environment, i.e. their own homes. Further training from video lectures is proven by research to be very effective for learning concepts.

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