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Force, Energy, & Motion

"May the force be with you," and "Use the force, Luke." These are two famous phrases from Star Wars movies! But back down here on Earth, scientists think of force in a different way.

Have you ever wondered why your body wants to "slide" to the side of the car as you go around a tight turn in the road? Has your stomach felt queasy on a roller-coaster ride? Why should you not be riding in the back of a pickup truck while going around a curve traveling too fast?

Movement involves transforming one form of energy into another form. Waves transfer energy such as sound, heat, light, and earthquakes through different mediums. Sound and light waves allow organisms to "hear" and "see" the world around them. Energy is classified as either kinetic or potential energy.

Objects exert a gravitational force on other objects. The distance between objects and the mass of each object determines the force of gravity between them. Gravitational force is difficult to measure unless one of the objects has a very large mass. Unbalanced forces cause change in the motion of objects, while balanced forces do not cause a change in motion.

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utah state board of education This Sci-ber Text was developed by the Utah State Board of Education and Utah educators.