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How do you resolve forces?

Forces are put into two groups when resolving (vertical and horizontal), which must be perpendicular to each other. Equate vertical forces, eg: the reaction force on a particle = its weight. You can then form a second equation by equating horzontal forces. Remember, when resolving forces, they must be in the same plane, and the direction you choose for one group of forces (eg: vertical) must be perpendicular to the direction of the other group (eg: horizontal). When resolving forces on a particle on an inclined plane, you would resolve parallel to the plane (group 1) and then perpendicular to the plane (gorup 2).

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