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Concept# Newton's laws of motion

Summary

Newton's laws of motion are three basic laws of classical mechanics that describe the relationship between the motion of an object and the forces acting on it. These laws can be paraphrased as follows:
A body remains at rest, or in motion at a constant speed in a straight line, unless acted upon by a force.
When a body is acted upon by a force, the time rate of change of its momentum equals the force.
If two bodies exert forces on each other, these forces have the same magnitude but opposite directions.
The three laws of motion were first stated by Isaac Newton in his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), originally published in 1687. Newton used them to investigate and explain the motion of many physical objects and systems, which laid the foundation for classical mechanics. In the time since Newton, the conceptual content of classical physics has been reformulated in alternative ways, involving different mathematical approaches that have yielded insights which were obscured in the original, Newtonian formulation. Limitations to Newton's laws have also been discovered; new theories are necessary when objects move at very high speeds (special relativity), are very massive (general relativity), or are very small (quantum mechanics).
Newton's laws are often stated in terms of point or particle masses, that is, bodies whose volume is negligible. This is a reasonable approximation for real bodies when the motion of internal parts can be neglected, and when the separation between bodies is much larger than the size of each. For instance, the Earth and the Sun can both be approximated as pointlike when considering the orbit of the former around the latter, but the Earth is not pointlike when considering activities on its surface.
The mathematical description of motion, or kinematics, is based on the idea of specifying positions using numerical coordinates. Movement is represented by these numbers changing over time: a body's trajectory is represented by a function that assigns to each value of a time variable the values of all the position coordinates.

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Classical mechanics

Classical mechanics is a physical theory describing the motion of macroscopic objects, from projectiles to parts of machinery and astronomical objects, such as spacecraft, planets, stars, and galaxies. For objects governed by classical mechanics, if the present state is known, it is possible to predict how it will move in the future (determinism), and how it has moved in the past (reversibility). The "classical" in "classical mechanics" does not refer classical antiquity, as it might in, say, classical architecture.

Momentum

In Newtonian mechanics, momentum (: momenta or momentums; more specifically linear momentum or translational momentum) is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. It is a vector quantity, possessing a magnitude and a direction. If m is an object's mass and v is its velocity (also a vector quantity), then the object's momentum p (from Latin pellere "push, drive") is: In the International System of Units (SI), the unit of measurement of momentum is the kilogram metre per second (kg⋅m/s), which is equivalent to the newton-second.

Acceleration

In mechanics, acceleration is the rate of change of the velocity of an object with respect to time. Accelerations are vector quantities (in that they have magnitude and direction). The orientation of an object's acceleration is given by the orientation of the net force acting on that object. The magnitude of an object's acceleration, as described by Newton's Second Law, is the combined effect of two causes: the net balance of all external forces acting onto that object — magnitude is directly proportional to this net resulting force; that object's mass, depending on the materials out of which it is made — magnitude is inversely proportional to the object's mass.

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