Everyone who studies any science at school will have come across Newton’s Laws of Motion. His three physical laws explain the relationships between the forces acting on a body and the motion of that body and were first published in 1687 in his magnum opus – Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
Newton’s laws underpin so-called classical mechanics, as opposed to quantum mechanics or relativity theory. I’ve summarised them below, but you’ll get a much clearer understanding of bodies in motion if you watch the video.
- Objects stay still or move with constant velocity unless a force pulls on them or gives them a shove
- Pulling or shoving an object changes its velocity (accelerates it) at a rate proportional to the force of the pull or shove
- If you shove or pull an object it will pull or shove back with an equal and opposite force
And remember, gravity isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law!