Sir Isaac Newton, born in 1643, was one of the greatest scientists and mathematicians that ever lived. He was curious about the world and the universe and his discoveries paved the way for modern science and math. He developed the Three Laws of Motion, which explain how forces work to move things.
- The first law of motion states that: an object at rest will stay at rest. An object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Your soccer ball won’t move unless you kick it. Once it’s flying through the air, it will continue flying through the air unless it is slowed down by air resistance, gravity’s pull (it falls to the ground), or your foot or body making contact with it.
- The second law of motion states that: Acceleration occurs when a force acts on mass. The greater the mass, the more force is needed to cause acceleration. The harder you kick the soccer ball, the faster it flies (accelerates). The larger the soccer ball, the harder you must kick.
- The third law of motion states that: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When you kick your soccer ball, it goes flying. As your foot comes back down, your body feels the force of the kick. You must move to keep your balance.
- Laws of Motion: 3 laws developed by Sir Isaac Newton to describe the action of force on mass
- Force: Something that causes mass to move
- Acceleration: The act of speeding up movement
Q and A
Question: The 3 Laws of Motion seem obvious. Why did Sir Isaac Newton need to write them down?
Answer: Sure, you unconsciously know that the harder you kick a ball, the faster it goes, but naming and describing these laws helps scientists understand them more clearly. Scientists and engineers can use these laws to make rockets, cars, and other machines.
Visit Make Me Genius to watch a short video about the Laws of Motion.