BBC Home

Explore the BBC

h2g2
31st August 2014
Accessibility help
Text only

Guide ID: A121041 (Edited)

Edited Guide Entry


SEARCH h2g2
Edited Entries only
Search h2g2Advanced Search


or register to join or start a new conversation.

BBC Homepage
The Guide to Life, The Universe and Everything.

3. Everything / Maths, Science & Technology / Mathematics
3. Everything / Maths, Science & Technology / Physics

Created: 19th July 1999
Newton's Laws of Motion
Contact Us


Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

As well as being the foundation of physics, these laws are very useful when playing snooker.

Sir Isaac Newton formulated the following laws in his book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy). They might not seem like much, but they helped to define the concepts that led to Newton's discovery of the mathematical laws governing gravity, and that's no mean achievement.

First Law
Any object in a state of rest or of uniform linear motion will remain in such a state unless acted upon by an unbalanced external force. Basically this means that the velocity (speed and direction) of the object will remain unchanged if no such force acts on it. (If an object has zero velocity it is at rest.)

Second Law
An unbalanced force acting on a object produces an acceleration in the direction of the force, directly proportional to the force, and inversely proportional to the mass of the object. In other words, if the force is vector F, the mass is scalar m, and the acceleration is the vector a, then F = ma.

Third Law
For every action (or force) there is a reaction (or opposing force) of equal strength but opposite direction.

The last law is sometimes said to be a mathematical version of Murphy's Law. And sometimes it isn't.



Clip/Bookmark this page
This article has not been bookmarked.
ENTRY DATA
Written and Researched by:

Mark Moxon - Mark Moxon

Edited by:

The H2G2 Editors

Referenced Entries:

Murphy's Law
Snooker



CONVERSATION TOPICS FOR THIS ENTRY:

Start a new conversation

People have been talking about this Guide Entry. Here are the most recent Conversations:

TITLE
LATEST POST
Problems with Newton's LawsFeb 22, 2008
Law of the LeverFeb 5, 2003
HeavySep 17, 2002
Please! Mar 23, 2001
Only two lawsNov 14, 2000
Conservation of energyJul 25, 1999
spellingJul 21, 1999




Disclaimer

Most of the content on h2g2 is created by h2g2's Researchers, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please start a Conversation above.




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy