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Q & A: Inertia

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What is the force of inertia?
- Pat Steinmetz (age 17)
LUXEMBOURG
A:
Great question.

Inertia is actually not a force at all, but rather a property that all things have due to the fact that they have mass. The more mass something has, the more inertia it has also. You can think of inertia as a property that makes it hard to push something around.

Newton's first law of motion describes this best: "A body in motion tends to remain in motion, or to remain stopped if stopped, except if it's acted on by an outside force"

So, if an object is moving its inertia will tend to keep in moving, and if something is at rest, it's inertia will tend to keep it at rest.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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