Newton worked in many areas of mathematics and physics.
The Genius Of Sir Isaac Newton
He developed the theories of gravitation in , when he was only 23 years old. Some twenty years later, in , he presented his three laws of motion in the "Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis. Newton's first law states that every object remains at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.
This is normally taken as the definition of inertia. The key point here is that if there is no net force acting on an object if all the external forces cancel each other out then the object maintains a constant velocity.
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- Newton's First, Second and Third Laws of Motion;
If that velocity is zero, then the object remains at rest. If the velocity is not zero, then the object maintains that velocity and travels in a straight line. If a net external force is applied, the velocity changes because of the force.
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Velocity is a vector quantity, having both a magnitude and a direction. The change in velocity caused by a force may involve the magnitude, the direction, or both, depending on the magnitude and direction of the force, which is also a vector quantity.
The second law explains how the velocity of an object changes when it is subjected to an external force. This law is important in analyzing problems of static equilibrium , where all forces are balanced, but it also applies to bodies in uniform or accelerated motion. The forces it describes are real ones, not mere bookkeeping devices. For example, a book resting on a table applies a downward force equal to its weight on the table.
According to the third law, the table applies an equal and opposite force to the book.
Physics for Kids: Laws of Motion
This force occurs because the weight of the book causes the table to deform slightly so that it pushes back on the book like a coiled spring. In Nicolaus Copernicus suggested that the Sun, rather than Earth, might be at the centre of the universe. In the intervening years Galileo, Johannes Kepler , and Descartes laid the foundations of a new science that would both replace the Aristotelian worldview, inherited from the ancient Greeks, and explain the workings of a heliocentric universe.
In the Principia Newton created that new science.
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He developed his three laws in order to explain why the orbits of the planets are ellipses rather than circles, at which he succeeded, but it turned out that he explained much more. The series of events from Copernicus to Newton is known collectively as the scientific revolution. You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.
Essay Sir Isaac Newton's Three Laws of Motion
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