Newton's Laws

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  • Newton's first law of motion concerns an object's retention of its initial state, so objects in motion will continue moving, and still objects remain static if no forces alter their current states.  This is also known as the law of inertia, for this property is an object's resistance to change.
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  • Newton's second law of motion states that the acceleration of an object is directly influenced by its mass and the force applied to it.  This is represented by the equation F=ma, where F is the force, in Newtons, m is mass, in kilograms, and a is acceleration, measured in meters per second per second.
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  • Newton's third law of motion describes how when subjected to a force, an object will exert a force of identical strength and inverted direction upon the acting object.
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  • Newton's First Law
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  • Spacecraft
  • Pilot
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  • Attempt One
  • Newton's Second Law
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  • Rubber Ball
  • Attempt Two
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  • Newton's Third Law
  • Boy
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  • Skateboards
  • Girl
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  • Here, a spacecraft is drifting through space at a constant velocity due to a lack of external forces.  When it approaches the Moon, though, it gradually decelerates until impacting the surface and coming to a stop due to the Moon's gravitational force.
  • Moon
  • In this example, a man first throws a light rubber ball, and he succeeds in propelling it a great distance.  In his second attempt, however, he throws a heavier steel ball with identical force, which moves very little as a result of its greater mass, and a higher mass causes lower acceleration.
  • Man
  • Steel Ball
  • In this example, the boy, in a stationary position, pushed on the girl while both were on skateboards.  This caused the girl to move forward due to the boy's action, and it caused the boy to move backward because of the reaction of the girl.
  • Boy's Direction of Motion
  • Girl's Direction of Motion
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