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HyperPhysics - Newton's First Law

Monterey Institute - Newton's First Law
Basic, multimedia introduction to Newton's First Law.

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Special points of emphasis


Newton's Laws

Now that the discussions have moved from Kinematics into Dynamics, be sure that you have already achieved the Learning Goals from the Syllabus for Newton's Laws:

1) Gain the ability to clearly recall and express Newton's Laws of Motion in plain English.

2) Pay special attention to Newton's Second Law, understanding the basic relationship between force interactions and changes in an object's state of motion.

3) Move beyond the traditional 'contact forces' of mechanics to include an understanding of the classical fundamental forces and their relationship to Newton's Laws. Compare and contrast the gravitational force and the electrostatic force.

4) Be able to distinguish mass and weight.

5) Become comfortable solving problems involving kinetic and static friction.

6) Understand how to construct free body diagrams, especially for classic model problems such as the inclined plane, the elevator, and objects suspended from multiple cables.

As we move from Kinematics, in which we discussed HOW objects move to Dynamics, in which we discuss WHY, let us reprise the primary conceptual movement from Kinematics to Dynamics.

Force is a concept of Dynamics. Acceleration is described in Kinematics. Under the influence of a net force an object accelerates. Its velocity changes, speeding up, slowing down, or changing direction.

Net force and acceleration always exist together. If an object is accelerating, a net force must be acting upon it. Almost every MCAT has some question that turns on your comfort with the idea that acceleration does not occur without a force. If there is no force, the object maintains constant velocity.

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