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Ch 5: AP Physics 1: Newton's First Law of Motion

About This Chapter

This chapter covers Newton's first law of motion, which you might encounter on the AP Physics 1 exam. You'll review information such as differences between mass and weight, state of motion and velocity, and balanced and unbalanced forces.

AP Physics 1: Newton's First Law of Motion - Chapter Summary

As you prepare for your AP Physics 1 exam, you can use this chapter to brush up on Newton's first law of motion so you can answer related questions on the exam. The lessons focus on topics such as distinguishing between inertia and mass, types of force, and examples of Newton's first law of motion. Once you complete this chapter you should be able to:

  • Calculate mass and weight
  • Define the state of motion and velocity
  • Identify balanced and unbalanced forces
  • Create free-body diagrams
  • Solve mathematical representations of free-body diagrams
  • Utilize free-body diagrams to solve motion problems
  • Define net force and apply to calculations
  • Apply knowledge of force and motion in a lab

This chapter gives you the tools to customize your study sessions and quickly get up to speed on Newton's first law of motion. Choose from video lessons or text transcripts, and view as few or as many of the lessons as you need. You will be able to assess your knowledge through quizzes to help you hone in on areas which might need more focus. Subject-matter experts are available to assist you if you need further clarification of any lesson.

11 Lessons in Chapter 5: AP Physics 1: Newton's First Law of Motion
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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.

Solving Mathematical Representations of Free-Body Diagrams

8. Solving Mathematical Representations of Free-Body Diagrams

A free-body diagram is a visual way to represent the forces acting on a mass. This lesson will go through how to set up and solve the mathematical expressions required to determine the acceleration of the mass.

How to Use Free-Body Diagrams to Solve Motion Problems

9. How to Use Free-Body Diagrams to Solve Motion Problems

The free-body diagram is a powerful way to analyze forces in a scenario. This lesson describes the rules you should follow when using a free-body diagram, and includes multiple examples modeling how to solve force problems.

Net Force: Definition and Calculations

10. 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.

Force & Motion: Physics Lab

11. Force & Motion: Physics Lab

When learning about forces and motion, it is helpful to conduct a hands-on activity. In this lesson, we will do an activity relating force and motion by analyzing a mass that is swung in a horizontal circle.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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