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Newton's laws

In grade 10 you learned about motion, but did not look at how things start to move. You have also learned about forces. In this section we will look at the effect of forces on objects and how we can make things move.

Newton's first law

Sir Isaac Newton was a scientist who lived in England (1642-1727) who was interested in the motion of objects under various conditions. He suggested that a stationary object will remain stationary unless a force acts on it and that a moving object will continue moving unless a force slows it down, speeds it up or changes its direction of motion. From this he formulated what is known as Newton's First Law of Motion:

Newton's First Law of Motion

An object will remain in a state of rest or continue traveling at constant velocity, unless acted upon by an unbalanced (net) force.

Let us consider the following situations:

An ice skater pushes herself away from the side of the ice rink and skates across the ice. She will continue to move in a straight line across the ice unless something stops her. Objects are also like that. If we kick a soccer ball across a soccer field, according to Newton's First Law, the soccer ball should keep on moving forever! However, in real life this does not happen. Is Newton's Law wrong? Not really. Newton's First Law applies to situations where there aren't any external forces present. This means that friction is not present. In the case of the ice skater, the friction between the skates and the ice is very little and she will continue moving for quite a distance. In the case of the soccer ball, air resistance (friction between the air and the ball) and friction between the grass and the ball is present and this will slow the ball down.

Khan academy video on newtons laws - 1

Newton's first law in action

We experience Newton's First Law in every day life. Let us look at the following examples:

Rockets :

A spaceship is launched into space. The force of the exploding gases pushes the rocket through the air into space. Once it is in space, the engines are switched off and it will keep on moving at a constant velocity. If the astronauts want to change the direction of the spaceship they need to fire an engine. This will then apply a force on the rocket and it will change its direction.

Newton's First Law and rockets

Seat belts:

We wear seat belts in cars. This is to protect us when the car is involved in an accident. If a car is traveling at 120 km · hr - 1 , the passengers in the car is also traveling at 120 km · hr - 1 . When the car suddenly stops a force is exerted on the car (making it slow down), but not on the passengers. The passengers will carry on moving forward at 120 km · hr - 1 according to Newton I. If they are wearing seat belts, the seat belts will stop them by exerting a force on them and so prevent them from getting hurt.

Why do passengers get thrown to the side when the car they are driving in goes around a corner?

  1. Before the car starts turning both the passengers and the car are traveling at the same velocity. (picture A)

  2. The driver turns the wheels of the car, which then exert a force on the car and the car turns. This force acts on the car but not the passengers, hence (by Newton's First Law) the passengers continue moving with the same original velocity. (picture B)

  3. If the passengers are wearing seat belts they will exert a force on the passengers until the passengers' velocity is the same as that of the car (picture C). Without a seat belt the passenger may hit the side of the car.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Maths test. OpenStax CNX. Feb 09, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11236/1.2
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