# Newton's Laws of Motion

#### Academic Questions in PhysicsPlease check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers A natural force that pulls a body towards the center of the earth is termed _____. A. Centripetal force B. Centrifugal force C. Black hole D. Average acceleration E. Gravity F. Momentum A Greek letter that expresses density is _____. A. Alpha_d B. Beta_d C. Theta_d D. rho E. dho F. dhr A glass of water has a higher density than an exact glass of oil. A. True B. False An 🍎 apple 🍎 falling from a tree has an unbalanced force. A. True B. False Force is a quantity measured in _____. A. Kilogram B. Gravity C. Incandescence D. Meter per second square (ms-1) E. Mole F. Newton Heat transfer indicates two systems of varying temperatures and will always be transferred from a region with lower temperature to another with higher temperature. A. True B. False Heat can be created. A. True B. False Temperature is defined as the measure or ability of an object or substance to transfer heat energy to another object or substance. A. True B. False ### Newton's Laws of Motion:

Motion can be defined as a change in the position of an object with reference to time.

We have 3 laws of motion as postulated by Sir Isaac Newton in 1687. These are:

1. Newton's First Law of Motion

2. Newton's Second Law of Motion

3. Newton's Third Law of Motion

Note: A good knowledge on the concept of force will aid you to better understand the above laws.

• #### Newton’s First Law of Motion

Also known as 'law of Inertia', Newton’s first law of motion states that:

An object at rest will continue to stay in its state of rest or if the object is in uniform motion, it will continue to move in a straight line unless an external force acts on it.

When no force is applied to a body, the tendency or outcome of the body to remain in a state of rest or in a uniform linear motion is known as inertia.

The concept of inertia implies that an object at rest will continue to remain in a state of rest while another in uniform motion will keep moving in a straight line as far as the object isn't acted upon by a force.

You can think of inertia as being resistant to change. Meanwhile, understand that inertia is a property of matter.

It was Newton’s first law of motion that showed the presence of inertia in a body at rest (or in a body moving with a constant velocity).

Recall that matter is anything that has mass and occupy space. Also, mass is a measure of inertia. In this regard, the larger the mass of an object, the more inertia the object would have.

In summary, the law of inertia which is a reference to Newton’s first law of motion summarizes what force can do in relation to mass.

• #### Newton’s Second Law of Motion

Newton’s second law of motion states that the rate of change of momentum is proportional to the applied force and will take place in the direction of that force.

You can think of momentum as mass in motion; that is, the quantity of motion a moving body has. You may have heard a commentary on a football match stating that a team has gained momentum. This will imply that the team is on the move or pressing high.

Momentum is the product of mass and velocity.

When we apply the second law of motion to reality, it will help us determine the amount of force needed to make an object move or stop.

The second law is applied in various field of sports including football, basketball and cricket.

In the game of cricket, the players will usually pull back their hands when catching the ball. This is so because pulling back the hands increases the time of contact with the ball, thus resulting in less jerk from the motion of the caught ball.

Through Newton’s second law of motion, we are able to define an absolute unit of force which remains constant under a moving condition.

Also, the second law of motion gives us the operational definition of force as the rate of change of momentum with time.

• #### Newton’s Third Law of Motion

Newton's third law of motion states that action and reaction are equal and opposite.

The third law can also be stated thus: 'To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Consider the instance below:

1. When a boxer blows a wall, he will in return feel a reverse force on his hands.

Although the boxer exerts a force on the wall (in the above instance), the wall in return exerts an opposite force on hands of the boxer. Based on this fact, the boxer may feel some pain on his hands depending on the nature of the wall and the degree of force exerted on the wall.

Also, playing a football match without boots might get you injured when you kick a player. This is so because there is a reverse force from the kicked player.

Newton’s third law exists on everything that has mass. It is also seen and encountered in wrestling matches.

According to the third law of motion, if a body 'A' exerts a force FA on another body 'B', body B will in return exert an equal and opposite force FB on body A. The forces FA and FB are therefore equal in magnitude but opposite in direction.

We can therefore write the above expression as:

FA = -FB

From the above, FA is the action force while FB is the reaction force. Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 10 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.