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Now, let’s rearrange Newton’s second law to solve for acceleration. We get

a = F n e t m o r a = F m

In this form, it’s clear that acceleration is directly proportional to force, which we write as

a F

where the symbol SYMBOL means “proportional to.”

This proportionality states mathematically what we just said in words—acceleration is directly proportional to the net external force. When two variables are directly proportional to each other, then if one variable doubles, the other variable must double. Likewise, if one variable is reduced by half, the other variable must also be reduced by half. In general, when one variable is multiplied by a number, the other variable will also be multiplied by the same number. It seems reasonable that the acceleration of a system should be directly proportional to and in the same direction as the net external force acting on the system. An object experiences greater acceleration when acted on by a greater force.

It is also clear from the equation a = F n e t / m that acceleration is inversely proportional to mass, which we write as

a 1 m

Inversely proportional means that, if one variable is multiplied by a number, the other variable must be divided by the same number. Now, it also seems reasonable that acceleration should be inversely proportional to the mass of the system. In other words, the larger the mass (the inertia), the smaller the acceleration produced by a given force. This is illustrated in Figure 04_03_basketball, which shows that a given net external force applied to a basketball produces a much greater acceleration than when applied to a car.

Use this table to find the different equations provided in this section.
Section testing table
Forces Equations
Newton's second law of motion F net = m a
acceleration
  • a = F net m or a = Σ F m
  • a F net
mass a 1 m
Alt text
A boy pushing a basketball and an SUV, demonstrating the inverse relationship between acceleration and mass

The same force exerted on systems of different mass produces different accelerations. (a) A boy pushes a basketball to make a pass. The effect of gravity on the ball is ignored. (b) The same boy pushing with identical force on a stalled car produces a far smaller acceleration (friction is negligible). Note that the free-body diagrams for the ball and for the car are identical, which allows us to compare the two situations.

Applying newton’s second law

[BL] Review how to convert between units.
[OL] [AL] Ask students to give examples of Newton’s Second Law.

Students might confuse weight, which is a force, and g, which is the acceleration due to gravity.

[BL] [OL] [AL] Talk about people’s weight. Ask them what they think they would weigh on the moon. Talk about the difference between mass and weight.

Before putting Newton’s second law into action, it is important to consider units. The equation F net = ma is used to define the units of force in terms of the three basic units of mass, length, and time (recall that acceleration has units of length divided by time squared). The SI unit of force is called the newton (abbreviated N) and is the force needed to accelerate a 1 kg system at the rate of 1 m / s 2 . That is, because F n e t = m a , we have

Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
yeah
Joseph
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
Lohitha
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
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..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
Kamaluddeen
yes
narayan
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
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.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
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
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
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
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Source:  OpenStax, Updated tutor hs physics content - legacy. OpenStax CNX. Mar 16, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11768/1.4
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