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Newton’s second law of motion is more than a definition; it is a relationship among acceleration, force, and mass. It can help us make predictions. Each of those physical quantities can be defined independently, so the second law tells us something basic and universal about nature. The next section introduces the third and final law of motion.

Section summary

  • Acceleration, a size 12{ { {a}} sup { ' }>a} {} , is defined as a change in velocity, meaning a change in its magnitude or direction, or both.
  • An external force is one acting on a system from outside the system, as opposed to internal forces, which act between components within the system.
  • Newton’s second law of motion states that the acceleration of a system is directly proportional to and in the same direction as the net external force acting on the system, and inversely proportional to its mass.
  • In equation form, Newton’s second law of motion is a = F net m size 12{a= { {F rSub { size 8{"net"} } } over {m} } } {} .
  • This is often written in the more familiar form: F net = m a size 12{F rSub { size 8{"net"} } =ma} {} .
  • The weight w size 12{w} {} of an object is defined as the force of gravity acting on an object of mass m size 12{m} {} . The object experiences an acceleration due to gravity g size 12{g} {} :

    w = m g size 12{w=mg} {} .

  • If the only force acting on an object is due to gravity, the object is in free fall.
  • Friction is a force that opposes the motion past each other of objects that are touching.

Conceptual questions

Which statement is correct? (a) Net force causes motion. (b) Net force causes change in motion. Explain your answer and give an example.

Why can we neglect forces such as those holding a body together when we apply Newton’s second law of motion?

Explain how the choice of the “system of interest” affects which forces must be considered when applying Newton’s second law of motion.

Describe a situation in which the net external force on a system is not zero, yet its speed remains constant.

A system can have a nonzero velocity while the net external force on it is zero. Describe such a situation.

A rock is thrown straight up. What is the net external force acting on the rock when it is at the top of its trajectory?

(a) Give an example of different net external forces acting on the same system to produce different accelerations. (b) Give an example of the same net external force acting on systems of different masses, producing different accelerations. (c) What law accurately describes both effects? State it in words and as an equation.

If the acceleration of a system is zero, are no external forces acting on it? What about internal forces? Explain your answers.

If a constant, nonzero force is applied to an object, what can you say about the velocity and acceleration of the object?

The gravitational force on the basketball in [link] is ignored. When gravity is taken into account, what is the direction of the net external force on the basketball—above horizontal, below horizontal, or still horizontal?

Problem exercises

You may assume data taken from illustrations is accurate to three digits.

A 63.0-kg sprinter starts a race with an acceleration of 4 . 20 m /s 2 size 12{4 "." "20"" m/s" rSup { size 8{2} } } {} . What is the net external force on him?

265 N

If the sprinter from the previous problem accelerates at that rate for 20 m, and then maintains that velocity for the remainder of the 100-m dash, what will be his time for the race?

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
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
Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
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
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
How can I make nanorobot?
Lily
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
how can I make nanorobot?
Lily
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
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Source:  OpenStax, Physics 110 at une. OpenStax CNX. Aug 29, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11566/1.1
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