Newton's Laws

Newton's laws of motion

They are three physical laws that form the basis for classical mechanics. They describe the relationship between the forces acting on a body and its motion due to those forces.

The three laws of motion were first compiled by Sir Isaac Newton in his work Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, first published on July 5, 1687. Newton used them to explain and investigate the motion of many physical objects and systems. For example, in the third volume of the text, Newton showed that these laws of motion, combined with his law of universal gravitation, explained Kepler's laws of planetary motion.

First law

The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force.

The first law states that if the net force (the vector sum of all forces acting on an object) is zero, then the velocity of the object is constant. Velocity is a vector quantity which expresses both the object's speed and the direction of its motion; therefore, the statement that the object's velocity is constant is a statement that both its speed and the direction of its motion are constant.

The first law can be stated mathematically as
ΣF = 0
therefore dv/dt = 0

• An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it.
• An object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an external force acts upon it.

This is known as uniform motion. An object continues to do whatever it happens to be doing unless a force is exerted upon it. If it is at rest, it continues in a state of rest (demonstrated when a tablecloth is skillfully whipped from under dishes on a tabletop and the dishes remain in their initial state of rest). If an object is moving, it continues to move without turning or changing its speed. This is evident in space probes that continually move in outer space. Changes in motion must be imposed against the tendency of an object to retain its state of motion. In the absence of net forces, a moving object tends to move along a straight line path indefinitely.

Newton placed the first law of motion to establish frames of reference for which the other laws are applicable. The first law of motion postulates the existence of at least one frame of reference called a Newtonian or inertial reference frame, relative to which the motion of a particle not subject to forces is a straight line at a constant speed. Newton's first law is often referred to as the law of inertia. Thus, a condition necessary for the uniform motion of a particle relative to an inertial reference frame is that the total net force acting on it is zero. In this sense, the first law can be restated as:

In every material universe, the motion of a particle in a preferential reference frame Φ is determined by the action of forces whose total vanished for all times when and only when the velocity of the particle is constant in Φ. That is, a particle initially at rest or in uniform motion in the preferential frame Φ continues in that state unless compelled by forces to change it.

Newton's laws are valid only in an inertial reference frame. Any reference frame that is in uniform motion with respect to an inertial frame is also an inertial frame, i.e. Galilean invariance or the principle of Newtonian relativity.

Second law

The acceleration a of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force F and inversely proportional to the mass m.
F = ma, where F is force in newtons
m is mass in kg, and a is acceleration in m/s²

The second law states that the net force on an object is equal to the rate of change (that is, the derivative) of its linear momentum p in an inertial reference frame:

F = dP/dt = d(mv)/dt

The second law can also be stated in terms of an object's acceleration. Since the law is valid only for constant-mass systems, the mass can be taken outside the differentiation operator by the constant factor rule in differentiation. Thus,

F = m(dv/dt) = ma

where F is the net force applied, m is the mass of the body, and a is the body's acceleration. Thus, the net force applied to a body produces a proportional acceleration. In other words, if a body is accelerating, then there is a force on it.

Consistent with the first law, the time derivative of the momentum is non-zero when the momentum changes direction, even if there is no change in its magnitude; such is the case with uniform circular motion. The relationship also implies the conservation of momentum: when the net force on the body is zero, the momentum of the body is constant. Any net force is equal to the rate of change of the momentum.

Any mass that is gained or lost by the system will cause a change in momentum that is not the result of an external force. A different equation is necessary for variable-mass systems.

Newton's second law requires modification if the effects of special relativity are to be taken into account, because at high speeds the approximation that momentum is the product of rest mass and velocity is not accurate.

Third law

The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear.

The third law states that all forces exist in pairs: if one object A exerts a force FA on a second object B, then B simultaneously exerts a force FB on A, and the two forces are equal and opposite: FA = −FB. The third law means that all forces are interactions between different bodies, and thus that there is no such thing as a unidirectional force or a force that acts on only one body. This law is sometimes referred to as the action-reaction law, with FA called the "action" and FB the "reaction". The action and the reaction are simultaneous, and it does not matter which is called the action and which is called reaction; both forces are part of a single interaction, and neither force exists without the other.

The two forces in Newton's third law are of the same type (e.g., if the road exerts a forward frictional force on an accelerating car's tires, then it is also a frictional force that Newton's third law predicts for the tires pushing backward on the road).

From a conceptual standpoint, Newton's third law is seen when a person walks: they push against the floor, and the floor pushes against the person. Similarly, the tires of a car push against the road while the road pushes back on the tires—the tires and road simultaneously push against each other. In swimming, a person interacts with the water, pushing the water backward, while the water simultaneously pushes the person forward—both the person and the water push against each other. The reaction forces account for the motion in these examples. These forces depend on friction; a person or car on ice, for example, may be unable to exert the action force to produce the needed reaction force.

Newton's law of universal gravitation

states that every point mass in the universe attracts every other point mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. (Separately it was shown that large spherically symmetrical masses attract and are attracted as if all their mass were concentrated at their centers.)

Every point mass attracts every single other point mass by a force pointing along the line intersecting both points. The force is proportional to the product of the two masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. The bodies experience forces equal in magnitude but opposite in direction.

Gravitational attraction in newtons
F = G m₁m₂/r²
G = 6.674e-11 m³/kgs² the gravitational constant
m₁ and m₂ are the masses of the two objects in kg
r is the distance in meters between their centers

Newton's law of cooling

Convection-cooling can sometimes be described by Newton's law of cooling in cases where the heat transfer coefficient is independent or relatively independent of the temperature difference between object and environment. This is sometimes true, but is not guaranteed to be the case.

Newton's law, which requires a constant heat transfer coefficient, states that the rate of heat loss of a body is proportional to the difference in temperatures between the body and its surroundings. The rate of heat transfer in such circumstances is:

dT/dt = -k(T – Ta)
for cooling
   T(t) = Ce^(–kt) + Ta
for warming
   T(t) = Ta – Ce^(–kt)
C and k are constants
Ta is ambient temperature
T(t) is temperature versus time

Area, Volume
Atomic Mass
Black Body Radiation
Boolean Algebra
Center of Mass
Carnot Cycle
Complex numbers
Curves, lines
Flow in fluids
Fourier's Law
Greek Alphabet
Horizon Distance
Math   Trig
Math, complex
Maxwell's Eq's
Newton's Laws
Octal/Hex Codes
Orbital Mechanics
Parts, Analog IC
  Digital IC   Discrete
Prime Numbers
Relativistic Motion
Resistance, Resistivity
SI (metric) prefixes
Skin Effect
Specific Heat
Stellar magnitude
Thermal Conductivity
Thermal Expansion
Units, Conversions
Volume, Area
Wave Motion
Wire, Cu   Al   metric
Young's Modulus