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Q & A: Newton’s Laws of Stuff

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What are Newton’s Laws of MATTER?
- A. Joslin (age 74)
OWENSBORO, KY USA
A:
Joslin -

I have never heard of anything called "Newton's Laws of Matter." I think that what you are looking for is actually the same as "Newton's Laws of Motion." This is because the laws of motion are basically just laws of how matter moves. For example, Newton’s first law of motion says that if something has matter, it will have inertia. And the second law says that for anything made up of matter, the force necessary to accelerate it will depend on its mass (i.e. how much matter it has). So the laws of motion are really just laws of matter.

-Tamara

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-Up #1: laws of matter?

Q:
what is the three law of matter?
- chris (age 20)
philippines
A:
Like Tamara, I’m guessing that you’re asking about what are called Newton’s three laws. Partly repeating her answer, these are:

1. An object won’t change its velocity unless something else acts on it.

2. The rate of change of the velocity, called the acceleration, a, is given by a=F/m, where F is the force on the object and m is the mass of the object.

3. The force exerted on object A by object B is exactly the same strength and exactly the opposite direction of the force exertd on B by A.

By themselves these laws don’t tell you much about the world, but once you start to include  the rules for forces of interactions between objects, they describe a lot.  For example Newton postulated that two bodies attract each other with a force proportional to the product of their two masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.  The result: a complete description of planetary motion in the solar system.

Mike W. and Lee H.


(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.