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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.

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

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

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

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

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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?

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(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.

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

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

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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?

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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

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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?

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Questions & Answers

write an expression for a plane progressive wave moving from left to right along x axis and having amplitude 0.02m, frequency of 650Hz and speed if 680ms-¹
Gabriel Reply
how does a model differ from a theory
Friday Reply
what is vector quantity
Ridwan Reply
Vector quality have both direction and magnitude, such as Force, displacement, acceleration and etc.
Besmellah
Is the force attractive or repulsive between the hot and neutral lines hung from power poles? Why?
Jack Reply
what's electromagnetic induction
Chinaza Reply
electromagnetic induction is a process in which conductor is put in a particular position and magnetic field keeps varying.
Lukman
wow great
Salaudeen
what is mutual induction?
je
mutual induction can be define as the current flowing in one coil that induces a voltage in an adjacent coil.
Johnson
how to undergo polarization
Ajayi Reply
show that a particle moving under the influence of an attractive force mu/y³ towards the axis x. show that if it be projected from the point (0,k) with the component velocities U and V parallel to the axis of x and y, it will not strike the axis of x unless u>v²k² and distance uk²/√u-vk as origin
Gabriel Reply
show that a particle moving under the influence of an attractive force mu/y^3 towards the axis x. show that if it be projected from the point (0,k) with the component velocities U and V parallel to the axis of x and y, it will not strike the axis of x unless u>v^2k^2 and distance uk^2/√u-k as origin
Gabriel Reply
No idea.... Are you even sure this question exist?
Mavis
I can't even understand the question
Ademiye
yes it was an assignment question "^"represent raise to power pls
Gabriel
mu/y³ u>v²k² uk²/√u-vk please help me out
Gabriel
An engineer builds two simple pendula. Both are suspended from small wires secured to the ceiling of a room. Each pendulum hovers 2 cm above the floor. Pendulum 1 has a bob with a mass of 10kg . Pendulum 2 has a bob with a mass of 100 kg . Describe how the motion of the pendula will differ if the bobs are both displaced by 12º .
Imtiaz Reply
no ideas
Augstine
if u at an angle of 12 degrees their period will be same so as their velocity, that means they both move simultaneously since both both hovers at same length meaning they have the same length
Ademiye
Modern cars are made of materials that make them collapsible upon collision. Explain using physics concept (Force and impulse), how these car designs help with the safety of passengers.
Isaac Reply
calculate the force due to surface tension required to support a column liquid in a capillary tube 5mm. If the capillary tube is dipped into a beaker of water
Mildred Reply
find the time required for a train Half a Kilometre long to cross a bridge almost kilometre long racing at 100km/h
Ademiye
method of polarization
Ajayi
What is atomic number?
Makperr Reply
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom
Deborah
type of thermodynamics
Yinka Reply
oxygen gas contained in a ccylinder of volume has a temp of 300k and pressure 2.5×10Nm
Taheer Reply
why the satellite does not drop to the earth explain
Emmanuel Reply
what is a matter
Yinka
what is matter
Yinka
what is matter
Yinka
what is a matter
Yinka
I want the nuclear physics conversation
Mohamed
because space is a vacuum and anything outside the earth 🌎 can not come back without an act of force applied to it to leave the vacuum and fall down to the earth with a maximum force length of 30kcm per second
Clara
Practice Key Terms 7

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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