Newton's Laws of Motion - Essay Example

Published: 2021-08-18 22:32:25
630 words
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University of Richmond
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Newtons ideas form the basis of the present-day physics; he is also undeniably one the most instrumental scientist in the universe. Sir. Isaac focused on improving and proving the theoretical works of a scientist like Galileo and Aristotle. However, the most influential findings by Newton are his three laws of motion. The three laws draw a close attention to the movement of massive bodies and their relationship with the forces. The connection between the two can be viewed as two intersecting circles, where the interest rests in the described area. However, several centuries ago Newtons laws were termed as revolutionary as opposed to todays view where they are seen useful in everyday life endeavors.

Newton centered on simplifying his work while coming up with the three laws. Thus he introduced specific mathematical concepts like rotation which aided reduce the complexity of treatment of massive bodies. Moreover, these theories made it possible for him to neglect some factors such as friction, properties of materials and temperature, etc., and reduce his thinking in the line of phenomena that is mostly defined regarding mass, distance and time. Moreover, the inertial reference frame (Newtonian reference frame), a 3-dimensional coordinate system either not in motion or rotating can equally be illustrated by the three laws of motion.

The first law of motion says, " Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it ( Newton 2014). This law insinuates that without a force acting from external on an object, it cannot make a start, a stop, or change the direction it had initially taken. The ability of massive bodies to oppose state change in motion is known as inertia.

The description of what takes place when a massive object is acted upon by an external force is illustrated by the Second Law of Motion. According to Newton (2014), It states, "The change of motion is proportional to the motive force impressed and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impressed. The law is expressed mathematically as F = ma, where F stands for force, m for mass, and a for acceleration. The force and acceleration in the equation are vectors hence they possess both magnitude and direction. Nonetheless, the force can either be single or the vector sum of two or more forces. This law puts it clear that action of a constant force on a massive body results in the acceleration of the body in the direction of the force. However, In a case where the object is in motion, the effect of the force is an increase in speed or decrease in rate or change direction.

Lastly, the third law of motion which states, To every action, there is always opposed an equal reaction." (Newton 2014) .The illustration of the fate of a body on exerting force to another body is taken care of by this law. Due to the pairing nature of forces, when one force pushes another, the thrust force responds by pushing back. For instance, pull on a person by gravity downwards triggers the ground to push against the individuals feet. However, if one object is more massive than the other, then all the acceleration is transferred to the second object. Consequently, acceleration of the first object can be neglected.

Intensive research has been conducted on the three laws over the centuries; they remain to be crucial in describing in explaining the objects and speeds we encounter in our daily lives. The three forces also form the solid foundation of the present day classical mechanics that entails the study of massive objects at a slower speed than addressed in relativistic mechanics.


Newton, I. (2014). Newton: philosophical writings. Cambridge University Press.

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