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Ch 4: Newton's Laws in Physics

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to learn about inertia, mass, net force, friction and more. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz you can use to check your understanding of these science topics.

Newton's Laws - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Use this chapter on Newton's laws of motion to reexamine the physics behind phenomena we encounter in everyday life, whether it's the action-reaction force pairs that result from the simple act of sitting down or the inertia we face when getting up. You can also explore how pulleys and planes put these concepts to work. This chapter is designed to teach you the following:

  • Difference between mass and weight
  • Types of contact and non-contact forces
  • Relationships between mass, velocity and motion
  • Mechanics of simple machines

Video Objective
Newton's First Law of Motion: Examples of the Effect of Force on Motion Explains the effect of force on motion and defines key terms, including velocity and inertia.
Inertia and Mass Distinguishes between mass and inertia by illustrating how mass is a quantity that is solely dependent upon the inertia of an object.
Mass and Weight Differentiates between these two variables by describing how to calculate the weight of an object of known mass.
State of Motion Shows how the state of motion of an object is defined by its velocity.
Force: Definition and Types Defines and identifies forces in both the contact and non-contact categories.
Forces: Balanced and Unbalanced Outlines the differences between balanced and unbalanced forces and shows how they relate to an object's motion.
Free-Body Diagrams Uses free body diagrams to illustrate the relative magnitude and direction of all forces acting upon an object in a given situation.
Net Force Defines net force and shows how to determine the net force of an object.
Newton's Second Law of Motion: The Relationship Between Force and Acceleration Explains implications of the relationship between net force and acceleration and provides formulas for calculating net force.
Determining the Acceleration of an Object Demonstrates formulas for using average acceleration, final velocity, initial velocity and time to determine the acceleration of an object.
Determining the Individual Forces Acting Upon an Object Shows how to determine the contact and non-contact forces acting upon an object.
Air Resistance and Free Fall Explains why objects ultimately reach terminal velocity as well as why more massive objects fall faster than less massive objects when they encounter air resistance.
Newton's Third Law of Motion: Examples of the Relationship Between Two Forces Depicts the relationship between action and reaction forces on an object.
Newton's Laws and Weight, Mass & Gravity Uses Newton's laws to understand the relationships between distance and gravity, mass and gravity and acceleration and gravity.
Identifying Action and Reaction Force Pairs Illustrates action-reaction force pairs by identifying the two interacting objects and describing who is pushing on whom and in what direction.
The Normal Force Provides examples of the type of force exerted on a resting object.
Friction Defines friction and discusses the two types of friction force - static friction and sliding friction.
Pulleys Describes the basic mechanics of pulleys used to transfer the force required for work.
Inclined Planes Explains the forces acting upon an object on an inclined plane.
Uniform Circular Motion Uses Newton's second law of motion to describe the net force, velocity and acceleration of an object traveling in a circle.

19 Lessons in Chapter 4: Newton's Laws in Physics
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.

Determining the Individual Forces Acting Upon an Object

11. 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.

Air Resistance and Free Fall

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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

16. The Normal Force: Definition and Examples

The normal force is also called the contact force because it only exists when objects are touching. In this lesson, we will investigate what the normal force is and how to calculate it on flat and inclined surfaces.

Friction: Definition and Types

17. 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

18. 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.

Newton's Second Law & Uniform Circular Motion

19. Newton's Second Law & Uniform Circular Motion

Sure, Newton's Second Law of Motion works well in one dimension, but what happens when you put it on a curve? In this lesson, we'll see how the Second Law applies with respect to Uniform Circular Motion.

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