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Ch 2: Understanding the Laws of Motion

About This Chapter

Refresh your understanding of Newton's laws of motion in physics, as well as the principles of motion in one and two dimensions. Review these lessons and quizzes to supplement your knowledge and earn the best score you can on an upcoming test.

Understanding the Laws of Motion - Chapter Summary

In this chapter, our instructors present Newton's first, second and third laws of motion with examples of how these laws are applied. The concept of average velocity is introduced, as well as the science behind instantaneous velocity. You will also read about physics' most useful type of motion, constant acceleration.

Free fall, air resistance and terminal velocity are explained in detail, as is projectile motion. Your study will continue with a discussion about uniform circular motion and its related equations. Additional lessons compare and contrast tangential to radial acceleration and relative motion to acceleration. After you have completed this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the law of inertia and the interaction between force and motion
  • Calculate acceleration and force
  • Apply Newton's third law of motion to situations in space, machines and nature
  • Determine an object's average velocity and instantaneous velocity
  • Explain the concepts of constant acceleration, terminal velocity and free fall
  • Use equations to determine centripetal force
  • Differentiate between tangential and radial acceleration
  • Compare relative motion and relative acceleration

Our professionally-designed lessons and quizzes ensure that your learning experience is simple and interesting. Use the chapter tests and lesson quizzes to test your knowledge and understand the areas you need to review. If you have questions along the way, contact one of our instructors for help. Each lesson is accompanied by a printable transcript so you can review the material offline at any time.

11 Lessons in Chapter 2: Understanding the Laws 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.

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

2. 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.

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

3. 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.

Average Velocity: Definition, Formula & Examples

4. Average Velocity: Definition, Formula & Examples

If we are looking at an object in motion over a period of time, we are able to determine the object's average velocity for any sub-interval of time as well as over the entire period of time. Let's learn more about average velocity in this lesson!

Instantaneous Velocity: Definition & Formula

5. Instantaneous Velocity: Definition & Formula

When driving, never take your eyes off the road! That said, it's necessary to occasionally glance at the speedometer. When you do, you are reading your instantaneous velocity. This lesson explores the science behind instantaneous velocity.

Introduction to Constant Acceleration

6. Introduction to Constant Acceleration

The most useful type of motion in physics is that of constant acceleration. In this lesson you will learn about constant acceleration, why it is important, and an example of motion that undergoes constant acceleration.

Air Resistance and Free Fall

7. 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.

Projectile Motion: Definition and Examples

8. Projectile Motion: Definition and Examples

A projectile is any object that is given an initial velocity and then follows a path determined entirely by gravity. In this lesson, we will introduce projectile motion and touch on a few key facts to keep in mind when working through these problems.

Uniform Circular Motion: Definition & Mathematics

9. Uniform Circular Motion: Definition & Mathematics

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what uniform circular motion is, in terms of both acceleration and forces. You will also be able to use equations for centripetal force and acceleration to solve problems. A short quiz will follow.

Tangential & Radial Acceleration in Curve-Linear Motion

10. Tangential & Radial Acceleration in Curve-Linear Motion

Curve-linear motion occurs when an object moves in a curved path. In this lesson, you will learn about the two types of acceleration an object can experience when in curve-linear motion: tangential and radial.

Relative Motion & Acceleration: Definitions & Examples

11. Relative Motion & Acceleration: Definitions & Examples

Relative means 'compared to something', whether that be velocity or acceleration. In this lesson, we will investigate relative motion including the relative velocity of two objects and relative acceleration of a rigid body.

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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