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Newton's Second Law
Newton's Second Law gives us a quantitative relation between force and motion:
secondlaw
F
=
ma
Stated verbally, Newton's Second Law says that the net force (F) acting upon an object causes
acceleration (a), with the magnitude of the acceleration
directly
proportional to the net force and
inversely
proportional to the mass (m). Learn it and love it. Like it or not, this equation will be
used at almost all times in virtually every physics course you take.
The Second Law relates two vector quantities, force and acceleration. Because both force and
acceleration are vector quantities, it is important to understand that the acceleration of an object
will always be in the
same
direction as the sum of forces applied to the object. The magnitude of
acceleration depends on the mass of the object, but is always proportional to the force. Newton's
Second Law gives an exact relation between the vectors force and motion. Thus we can use this
law to predict the motion of an object given forces acting upon it, on a quantitative level.
Free Body Diagrams
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2012 for the course PHY PHY2053 taught by Professor Davidjudd during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
 Fall '10
 DavidJudd
 Physics, Acceleration, Force

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