Newton's First Law of Motion
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. There are two parts to this statement - one that predicts the behavior of stationary objects and the other that predicts the behavior of moving objects. The two parts are summarized in the following diagram.
The behavior of all objects can be described by saying that objects tend to "keep on doing what they're doing" (unless acted upon by an unbalanced force). If at rest, they will continue in this same state of rest. If in motion with an eastward velocity of 5 m/s, they will continue in this same state of motion (5 m/s, East). If in motion with a leftward velocity of 2 m/s, they will continue in this same state of motion (2 m/s, left). The state of motion of an object is maintained as long as the object is not acted upon by an unbalanced force. All objects resist changes in their state of motion - they tend to "keep on doing what they're doing." EXAMPLES:
1. Suppose that you filled a baking dish to the rim with water and walked around an oval track making an attempt to complete a lap in the least amount of time. The water would have a tendency to spill from the container during specific locations on the track. In general the water spilled when: * the container was at rest and you attempted to move it
* the container was in motion and you attempted to stop it * the container was moving in one direction and you attempted to change its direction.
The water spills whenever the state of motion of the container is changed. The water resisted this change in its own state of motion. The water tended to "keep on doing what it was doing." The container was moved from rest to a high speed at the starting line; the water remained at rest and spilled onto the table. The container was stopped near the finish line; the water kept moving and spilled over container's leading edge. The container was forced to move in a different direction to make it around a curve; the water kept moving in the same direction and spilled over its edge. The behavior of the water during the lap around the track can be explained by Newton's first law of motion. 2. Consider some of your experiences in an automobile. Have you ever observed the behavior of coffee in a coffee cup filled to the rim while starting a car from rest or while bringing a car to rest from a state of motion? Coffee "keeps on doing what it is doing." When you accelerate a car from rest, the road provides an unbalanced force on the spinning wheels to push the car forward; yet the coffee (that was at rest) wants to stay at rest. While the car accelerates forward, the coffee remains in the same position; subsequently, the car accelerates out from under the coffee and the coffee spills in your lap. On the other hand, when braking from a state of motion the coffee continues forward with the same speed and in the same direction, ultimately hitting the windshield or the dash. Coffee in motion stays in motion.
Newton's Second Law of Motion
Newton's second law of motion pertains to the behavior of objects for which all existing forces are not balanced. The second law states that the acceleration of an object is dependent upon two variables - the net force acting upon the object and the mass of the object. The acceleration of an object depends directly upon the net force acting upon the object, and inversely upon the mass of the object. As the force acting upon an object is increased, the acceleration of the object is increased. As the mass of an object is increased, the acceleration of the object is decreased.
Newton's second law of motion can be formally stated as follows: The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force, in the same direction as the net force, and inversely...