Newton's Laws of Motion

Course of Study - Science

Newton's laws of motion are three physical laws that, together, laid the foundation for classical mechanics. They describe the relationship between a body and the forces acting upon it, and its motion in response to those forces. They have been expressed in several different ways, over nearly three centuries, and can be summarized as follows.

The three laws of motion were first put together in a book published by Isaac Newton in 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.

Newton's Three Laws of Motion

1. Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it.
2. The acceleration produced by a particular force acting on a body is directly proportional to the magnitude of the force and inversely proportional to the mass of the body.
3. To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction; or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.

Are you a parent or teacher who wants to teach youth about Newton's Three Laws of Motion? Here is a comprehensive list of printables, lessons, games, web sites, projects and books that can help!

Printables

• Newton's Laws of Motion Printable Pages - Have fun learning about Newton's Laws of Motion with these worksheets and activity pages. These include a word search for finding Newton's Laws of Motion-related words.

Lessons

• Newton's Laws - Newton's Laws of Motion are presented in this online physics tutorial complete with animations and questions to check understanding.

Games

• Acceleration - Follow the instructions to fill out the chart and then see if you can write a rule.
• 3 Puck Cluck - An online game of collisions and decisions.
• 3 Ball Football - Now try your skills in the real world.

Web Sites

• Physics4Kids.com - A good explainer -- in kid terms -- of Isacc Newton's laws of motion.

Projects

• Marble on the Move - In this project you will investigate Newton's laws of motion with a marble and a maze.
• Bumper Cars - Explore how Newton's third law of motion and bumper cars.

Books

• Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion - Tells the story of how Isaac Newton developed the laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation. Written in graphic-novel format.
• Force and Motion: An Illustrated Guide to Newton's Laws - Isaac Newton's laws of motion are usually presented in purely mathematical forms, but Jason Zimba breaks with tradition and treats them visually. This unique approach allows students to appreciate the conceptual underpinnings of each law before moving on to qualitative descriptions of motion and, finally, to the equations and their solutions. Zimba has organized the book into 17 brief and well-sequenced lessons, which focus on simple, manageable topics and delve into areas that often cause students to stumble. Each lesson is followed by a set of original problems that have been student-tested and refined over 20 years.

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