Worksheet: Distinguishing Weight from Other Forces

In this worksheet, we will practice distinguishing between the effects of the weight of an object and other forces that may be acting on it.


A car has a mass of 460 kg. The weight of the car is evenly supported by its four identical wheels. What force does each wheel apply to the ground?


An astronaut who has a mass of 80 kg is in a space station that orbits Earth in free fall. The astronaut is floating in a room of the space station, touching a wall that is perpendicular to Earth’s surface with her hand. She pushes against the wall with a force of 20 N. What is her acceleration perpendicular to the wall?


A child who has a mass of 30 kg jumps into the air and lands on the ground. The child hits the ground at a speed of 1 m/s and comes to rest 0.1 s after landing.

What is the child’s weight?

What is the average force applied to the ground by the child’s feet during the landing?


A climber is standing at the base of a cliff, holding onto a rope that is attached to the top of the cliff. The climber is pulling on the rope in order to pull himself off from the ground, but his feet stay in contact with the ground, just not supporting the climber’s full weight. The climber’s mass is 50 kg and the rope exerts an upward vertical force of 150 N on the climber. What is the force exerted on the ground beneath the climber due to his weight?


A rock with a mass of 2.5 kg is thrown vertically upward by an applied force of 60 N.

What is the rock’s weight?

What is the net vertically upward force applied to the rock?

What is the rock’s rate of upward vertical acceleration just before it is released?

What is the rock’s rate of upward vertical acceleration just after it is released?

  • A −9.8 m/s2
  • B 35.5 m/s2
  • C −14.2 m/s2
  • D 14.2 m/s2
  • E 9.8 m/s2

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