Science Experiment: Newton’s Third Law of Motion

Science Experiment: Newton’s Third Law of Motion

Sir Isaac Newton was an English scientist. He was born in 1642 and died in 1727. This was around the time of the early colonization of North America: the founding of some of the original 13 colonies, the French and Indiana wars and the Salem witch trials, but before the American Revolution.

Newton is best known for three very important principles of physics called classical mechanics. These principles describe how things move and are referred to today by his name – Newton’s Laws of Motion. There are three of them, Newtons First, Second and Third Law of Motion. Today’s experiment will demonstrate Newton’s Third Law of Motion: for every action there is an equal and opposite re-action. SIMPLY: If you push an object, that object pushes back in the opposite direction equally hard.

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Science in Context: Newton’s Third Law of Motion is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. The Science in Context database will show you articles, images and videos to help you learn about Newton’s Third Law of Motion.​



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46 Responses »

  1. @fcowey I checked with a recent Physics graduate from Wabash College in Crawfordsville Indiana and he did agree with you that Newton’s Cradle is not technicalled a great example for Newton’s Third Law and I have removed that one as an example. He also suggestion another video from to help understand Newton’s Third Law.
    He thought that Newton’s Cradle “shows a concept called “conservation of momentum” because the momentum of the first ball is transferred to the momentum of the last ball.When you have two balls, you have twice as much momentum coming in, so this momentum has to be transferred to two balls on the other side of the cradle instead of one.” Thanks for your comment!

  2. I’m not on board about the N.cradle representing the 3d law. The ball at the end is moving in the SAME direction as the original ball: I see no opposite FORCE, only its location at the opposite end of balls. The 3d law is operating at the point where the first ball strikes the second ball: a force applied from ball 1 onto ball 2, is met with an equal REACTION force from ball 2 onto ball 1.
    The rocket demos, both real & toy do the following: the rocket/bottle exerts a pressure force on the expanding gases, pushing them out the rear, while the gases exert an equal return/reaction force IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION on the rocket.
    Paired action-reaction forces occur between two objects/masses exerting mutual forces on each other.

  3. Do you have example of balls in motion that revolve around each other, like planets in orbit?

  4. HHHHHHHAaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy 😀 this is an awsome site even tho i didnt even read anythinnnggggggg 🙂

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