As you stand on a floor, does the floor exert an upward force against your feet?

Yes, when you are standing on a floor, the floor is exerting a “normal force” against you. It is called a normal force, as a line that is perpendicular to a surface is referred to as a normal line. If you are standing on a level surface, then the normal force being exerted upwards is the opposite of the weight of the object.

To compute this force for a stationary object, you would multiply mass by the gravitational field strength, which is 9.81 Nkg-1 on Earth. If traveling in an elevator, the normal force can be more or less than the weight of an object if the elevator is accelerating or decelerating.

Updated on Monday, September 10 2012 at 08:31PM EDT
Collection: normal force