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Question
What causes the force that moves a boat forward when someone rows it?
1. The force is caused by the rower’s arms.
2. The force is caused by an interaction between the oarsand gravity.
3. The force is caused by an interaction between the oars and the water the boat is traveling in.
4. The force is caused by friction.
Solution Video

OpenStax College Physics for AP® Courses Solution, Chapter 4, Problem 4 (Test Prep for AP® Courses) (1:11)

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Video Transcript
This is College Physics Answers with Shaun Dychko. Let's take a top down view of a rowboat. And here's a person's head and their arms and these are the oars. When they pull back with their arms, hey're going to be exerting a force forwards on the water. The water is going to feel the force forwards, this is a force on the water due to the oars. Then there's going to be a Newton's third law counterpart which is applied on the oars due to the water and that'll be in the opposite direction. This will be the force on the oars due to the water, and it's this force that causes the boat to move backwards. This person is facing forwards there, you know, rowers always move backwards. The boats going to go this way and the person is looking this direction. That's their eye looking forwards. The answer is C, the force is caused by interaction between the oars and the water the boat is traveling in. That's the force that moves the boat forward.