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Special points of emphasis

Newton's Laws

Momentum and Impulse

The conceptual glue relating topics is crucial for memory and understanding. In the fundamental mechanics, one important conceptual underpinning is the essential unity of Newton's Laws and Momentum and Impulse within Dynamics.

Newton's Second Law describes the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration. A net force applied to mass causes its velocity to change.

In Momentum and Impulse, another branch of Mechanics, we develop a different way to say the same thing. In Momentum and Impulse, the concept of impulse, which is the product of force and time, is described as that which changes the momentum of the object.

A force causes acceleration. An impulse changes momentum. These are two ways of describing the same thing. The force acting for a period of time changes the momentum.

All the major propositions of Momentum and Impulse derive from Newton's Laws. It is good to think of Newton's Laws and Momentum and Impulse as two sides of the same coin within the topic of Dynamics.




Newton's Laws

Work, Energy, and Power

At this stage your MCAT preparation, step back and look at basic mechanics as a whole (Kinematics, Newton's Laws, Work, Power & Energy, and Momentum & Impulse).

Taking Kinematics aside, which describes motion, what you see within these four topics are two basic conceptual frameworks for describing the behavior of mechanical systems, for describing interactions. The two frameworks are represented by the concepts of Dynamics (Newton's Laws and Momentum & Impulse) and the concepts of Work, Power & Energy.

The basic challenge of Mechanics is learning to interpret and describe the mechanics of systems in terms of dynamics and in terms of energy.








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