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Ch 4: AP Physics 1: Newton's Laws

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons on Newton's laws and learn about inertia, types of forces, air resistance, and more. Self-assessment quizzes accompany each lesson to help you gauge your understanding of these concepts.

AP Physics 1: Newton's Laws - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Isaac Newton is often considered one of the most influential scientists of all time, and his contributions to physics are part of the field's foundation. In this chapter, you'll learn about Newton's three laws of motion and how they are applied to physics problems. Our instructors have divided this chapter into smaller lessons so you can learn about the laws and their related concepts one at a time. You'll get real examples to explain acceleration, friction, forces, and more. This chapter is designed to teach you:

  • What Newton's laws of motion state
  • How to determine the force acting on an object
  • How to calculate acceleration
  • How to identify action-reaction force pairs
  • How to draw free-body diagrams

VideoObjective
Newton's First Law of Motion: Examples of the Effect of Force on MotionLearn about uniform motion, or how an object continues to do what it is doing.
Distinguishing Between Inertia and MassUnderstand the effect that an object's mass has on inertia, or the resistance to change.
Mass and Weight: Differences and Calculations Calculate the weight of an object of known mass.
State of Motion and VelocityDescribe how velocity is used to define the state of motion of an object.
Force: Definition and TypesTake a look at what can cause an object to undergo a change and how to categorize these forces.
Forces: Balanced and UnbalancedDissect this term from Newton's first law to understand how a force can change an object's position, momentum, or speed.
Free-Body DiagramsSee how physicists visually represent forces in a system using these diagrams.
Net Force: Definition and Calculations Examine how to determine an object's net force.
Newton's Second Law of Motion: The Relationship Between Force and AccelerationLearn about acceleration and its relationship to the net force acting on an object.
Determining the Acceleration of an ObjectUnderstand how to calculate the acceleration, or increase in velocity, of an object in motion.
Determining the Individual Forces Acting Upon an Object Explore how to decide which types of forces are acting on an object in motion.
Air Resistance and Free FallTake a look at the effect of air resistance on falling objects and what free fall truly means.
Newton's Third Law of Motion: Examples of the Relationship Between Two ForcesLearn how forces occur in opposite and equal pairs, making all forces interactions.
Newton's Laws and Weight, Mass, and GravityUnderstand the relationship between the laws of motion and the parameters of an object.
Identifying Action and Reaction Force PairsExplore ways to figure out which forces are paired together as actions and reactions.
The Normal Force: Definition and ExamplesTake a look at the force that is exerted simply by an object being perpendicular to a surface.
Friction: Definition and TypesSee how elements sliding against each other creates a force that needs to be taken into account.
Inclined Planes in Physics: Definition, Facts, and Examples Understand the forces inherent on an angled plane, including friction and normal force.

20 Lessons in Chapter 4: AP Physics 1: Newton's Laws
Newton's First Law of Motion: Examples of the Effect of Force on Motion

1. Newton's First Law of Motion: Examples of the Effect of Force on Motion

This lesson describes Newton's first law of motion, also known as the law of inertia. The interaction between force and motion is explained. Several examples are used to discuss the implications of this law on earth and in space.

Distinguishing Between Inertia and Mass

2. Distinguishing Between Inertia and Mass

Mass and inertia are both related to the amount of matter an object has, but they aren't exactly the same thing. In this video lesson, you'll see how mass affects an object's inertia, which in turn affects that object's motion.

Mass and Weight: Differences and Calculations

3. Mass and Weight: Differences and Calculations

We often talk about mass and weight as if they are the same. While they are proportional to each other, they are not in fact the same. In this video lesson you will learn to distinguish between the two, as well as convert one to the other.

State of Motion and Velocity

4. State of Motion and Velocity

An object's state of motion describes how it is moving. But there are many ways we can describe motion, such as speed and velocity. This motion is relative to other objects around it, such as the earth, the sun, and even other stars in our galaxy.

Force: Definition and Types

5. Force: Definition and Types

Force is everywhere and it comes in a variety of sizes, directions, and types. In this video lesson, you'll identify force as well the different types of force that objects may experience.

Forces: Balanced and Unbalanced

6. Forces: Balanced and Unbalanced

Forces are needed to start or stop an object's motion, but can also be involved when an object is at rest or already traveling at constant velocity. In this video lesson, you'll identify the difference between balanced and unbalanced forces, understanding how they affect the movement of objects.

Free-Body Diagrams

7. Free-Body Diagrams

Forces that act on an object can be drawn through special vector diagrams called free-body diagrams. In this video lesson you'll identify how to correctly represent forces in a free-body diagram through vector arrows and force labels.

Net Force: Definition and Calculations

8. Net Force: Definition and Calculations

Because forces are vectors, we can't simply add them up to get a total amount of force on an object. Instead, we calculate the net force, which is important to understand because it tells us about an object's state of motion.

Newton's Second Law of Motion: The Relationship Between Force and Acceleration

9. Newton's Second Law of Motion: The Relationship Between Force and Acceleration

This lesson defines Newton's second law of motion. Examples are used to illustrate how unbalanced forces cause objects to accelerate. The examples are used to practice calculating acceleration and force for objects in motion.

Determining the Acceleration of an Object

10. Determining the Acceleration of an Object

Acceleration is a change in an object's state of motion. A few variables need to be identified to calculate an object's acceleration, but once we have those values, we can put them into a simple equation to find out how quickly or slowly an object's velocity is changing.

Action and Reaction Forces: Law & Examples

11. Action and Reaction Forces: Law & Examples

Action force is force acting in one direction. Reaction force is force acting in the opposite direction. Learn more about Newton's Third Law as it explains action and reaction forces through several examples, and test your knowledge with quiz questions.

Determining the Individual Forces Acting Upon an Object

12. Determining the Individual Forces Acting Upon an Object

Objects constantly have forces acting on them whether they are moving or at rest. In this video lesson, you'll understand how to identify the individual forces acting on an object by reviewing the different types of forces and the use of free-body diagrams.

Implications of Mechanics on Objects

13. Implications of Mechanics on Objects

Forces act on objects causing them to move. Mechanics is the field of science designated to the study of moving objects. This lesson describes how forces act on objects resulting in motion. Examples are used to describe how forces interact resulting in both simple and complex movement.

Air Resistance and Free Fall

14. Air Resistance and Free Fall

Through experiments by Galileo and Newton, we can understand why all objects in free-fall experience the same acceleration, ''g''. We can also see why air resistance affects a falling object's velocity and how this can lead to a falling object reaching a terminal velocity.

Newton's Third Law of Motion: Examples of the Relationship Between Two Forces

15. Newton's Third Law of Motion: Examples of the Relationship Between Two Forces

This lesson describes Newton's third law of motion. Examples are provided to illustrate how interacting objects experience forces. The lesson explains how objects accelerate as a result of force. Applications of Newton's third law are illustrated in nature, machines, and space.

Newton's Laws and Weight, Mass & Gravity

16. Newton's Laws and Weight, Mass & Gravity

Did you know that mass and weight are not the same? This lesson describes the difference between the two as well as the effect of gravity on weight. Examples are used to teach you how to calculate weight based on mass and acceleration of gravity.

Identifying Action and Reaction Force Pairs

17. Identifying Action and Reaction Force Pairs

Good things often come in pairs, and forces are no exception. In this lesson you'll explore Newton's second and third laws of motion to understand how action and reaction pairs affect objects interacting with each other.

The Normal Force: Definition and Examples

18. The Normal Force: Definition and Examples

You're likely pretty familiar with gravity because it holds you down to the surface of Earth. But in this lesson, you'll learn about the normal force, which also helps keep you on the surface of Earth.

Friction: Definition and Types

19. Friction: Definition and Types

You experience friction all the time, and you should be glad you do! Friction helps keep stationary objects in place as well as slow moving objects down as they slide across a surface. This lesson identifies what friction is and explains the two ways we find this force on earth.

Inclined Planes in Physics: Definition, Facts, and Examples

20. Inclined Planes in Physics: Definition, Facts, and Examples

If an object is not horizontal to the ground, it may be on an inclined plane. We need to adjust both the calculations and the free-body diagram when determining the net force on an object on an inclined plane. Learn how in this lesson.

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