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Terms in this set (168)

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction
unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

If the resultant force is zero, a moving object will stay at the same speed. If there is no resultant force then a system is said to be in equilibrium.

if its unbalanced force:
-it will speed up if the resultant force is in the same direction as the object is moving

-it will slow down if the resultant force is in the opposite direction

The behavior of all objects can be described by saying that objects tend to "keep on doing what they're doing" (unless acted upon by an unbalanced force). If at rest, they will continue in this same state of rest. If in motion with an eastward velocity of 5 m/s, they will continue in this same state of motion (5 m/s, East). If in motion with a leftward velocity of 2 m/s, they will continue in this same state of motion (2 m/s, left). The state of motion of an object is maintained as long as the object is not acted upon by an unbalanced force. All objects resist changes in their state of motion - they tend to "keep on doing what they're doing."

The behavior of all objects can be described by saying that objects tend to "keep on doing what they're doing" (unless acted upon by an unbalanced force). If at rest, they will continue in this same state of rest. If in motion with an eastward velocity of 5 m/s, they will continue in this same state of motion (5 m/s, East). If in motion with a leftward velocity of 2 m/s, they will continue in this same state of motion (2 m/s, left). The state of motion of an object is maintained as long as the object is not acted upon by an unbalanced force. All objects resist changes in their state of motion - they tend to "keep on doing what they're doing."

-According to Newton's first law, an object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. It is the natural tendency of objects to keep on doing what they are doing. All objects resist changes in their state of motion. In the absence of an unbalanced force, an object in motion will maintain its state of motion. This is often called the law of inertia.

Newton's first law of motion predicts the behavior of objects for which all existing forces are balanced. The first law - sometimes referred to as the law of inertia - states that if the forces acting upon an object are balanced, then the acceleration of that object will be 0 m/s/s. Objects at equilibrium (the condition in which all forces balance) will not accelerate. According to Newton, an object will only accelerate if there is a net or unbalanced force acting upon it. The presence of an unbalanced force will accelerate an object - changing its speed, its direction, or both its speed and direction.
It is commonly referred to Newton's first law of motion.

The law of inertia is most commonly experienced when riding in cars and trucks. In fact, the tendency of moving objects to continue in motion is a common cause of a variety of transportation accidents - of both small and large magnitudes. Consider for instance a ladder strapped to the top of a painting truck. As the truck moves down the road, the ladder moves with it. Being strapped tightly to the truck, the ladder shares the same state of motion as the truck. As the truck accelerates, the ladder accelerates with it; as the truck decelerates, the ladder decelerates with it; and as the truck maintains a constant speed, the ladder maintains a constant speed as well.

But what would happen if the ladder was negligently strapped to the truck in such a way that it was free to slide along the top of the truck? Or what would happen if the straps deteriorated over time and ultimately broke, thus allowing the ladder to slide along the top of the truck? Supposing either one of these scenarios were to occur, the ladder may no longer share the same state of motion as the truck. With the strap present, the forces exerted upon the car are also exerted upon the ladder. The ladder undergoes the same accelerated and decelerated motion that the truck experiences. Yet, once the strap is no longer present, the ladder is more likely to maintain its state of motion. The animation below depicts a possible scenario.

If the truck were to abruptly stop and the straps were no longer functioning, then the ladder in motion would continue in motion. Assuming a negligible amount of friction between the truck and the ladder, the ladder would slide off the top of the truck and be hurled into the air. Once it leaves the roof of the truck, it becomes a projectile and continues in projectile-like motion.
All objects resist changes in their state of motion. All objects have this tendency - they have inertia. But do some objects have more of a tendency to resist changes than others? Absolutely yes! The tendency of an object to resist changes in its state of motion varies with mass. Mass is that quantity that is solely dependent upon the inertia of an object. The more inertia that an object has, the more mass that it has. A more massive object has a greater tendency to resist changes in its state of motion.

Suppose that there are two seemingly identical bricks at rest on the physics lecture table. Yet one brick consists of mortar and the other brick consists of Styrofoam. Without lifting the bricks, how could you tell which brick was the Styrofoam brick? You could give the bricks an identical push in an effort to change their state of motion. The brick that offers the least resistance is the brick with the least inertia - and therefore the brick with the least mass (i.e., the Styrofoam brick).

A common physics demonstration relies on this principle that the more massive the object, the more that object resist changes in its state of motion. The demonstration goes as follows: several massive books are placed upon a teacher's head. A wooden board is placed on top of the books and a hammer is used to drive a nail into the board. Due to the large mass of the books, the force of the hammer is sufficiently resisted (inertia). This is demonstrated by the fact that the teacher does not feel the hammer blow. (Of course, this story may explain many of the observations that you previously have made concerning your "weird physics teacher.") A common variation of this demonstration involves breaking a brick over the teacher's hand using the swift blow of a hammer. The massive bricks resist the force and the hand is not hurt.
As mentioned above, the force of gravity acting upon an object is sometimes referred to as the weight of the object. Many students of physics confuse weight with mass. The mass of an object refers to the amount of matter that is contained by the object; the weight of an object is the force of gravity acting upon that object. Mass is related to how much stuff is there and weight is related to the pull of the Earth (or any other planet) upon that stuff. The mass of an object (measured in kg) will be the same no matter where in the universe that object is located. Mass is never altered by location, the pull of gravity, speed or even the existence of other forces. For example, a 2-kg object will have a mass of 2 kg whether it is located on Earth, the moon, or Jupiter; its mass will be 2 kg whether it is moving or not (at least for purposes of our study); and its mass will be 2 kg whether it is being pushed upon or not.

On the other hand, the weight of an object (measured in Newton) will vary according to where in the universe the object is. Weight depends upon which planet is exerting the force and the distance the object is from the planet. Weight, being equivalent to the force of gravity, is dependent upon the value of g - the gravitational field strength. On earth's surface g is 9.8 N/kg (often approximated as 10 N/kg). On the moon's surface, g is 1.7 N/kg. Go to another planet, and there will be another g value. Furthermore, the g value is inversely proportional to the distance from the center of the planet.
he elephant and the feather are each being pulled downward due to the force of gravity. When initially dropped, this force of gravity is an unbalanced force. Thus, both elephant and feather begin to accelerate (i.e., gain speed). As the elephant and the feather begin to gain speed, they encounter the upward force of air resistance. Air resistance is the result of an object plowing through a layer of air and colliding with air molecules. The more air molecules which an object collides with, the greater the air resistance force. Subsequently, the amount of air resistance is dependent upon the speed of the falling object and the surface area of the falling object. Based on surface area alone, it is safe to assume that (for the same speed) the elephant would encounter more air resistance than the feather.

But why then does the elephant, which encounters more air resistance than the feather, fall faster? After all doesn't air resistance act to slow an object down? Wouldn't the object with greater air resistance fall slower?
Answering these questions demands an understanding of Newton's first and second law and the concept of terminal velocity. According to Newton's laws, an object will accelerate if the forces acting upon it are unbalanced; and further, the amount of acceleration is directly proportional to the amount of net force (unbalanced force) acting upon it. Falling objects initially accelerate (gain speed) because there is no force big enough to balance the downward force of gravity. Yet as an object gains speed, it encounters an increasing amount of upward air resistance force. In fact, objects will continue to accelerate (gain speed) until the air resistance force increases to a large enough value to balance the downward force of gravity. Since the elephant has more mass, it weighs more and experiences a greater downward force of gravity. The elephant will have to accelerate (gain speed) for a longer period of time before there is sufficient upward air resistance to balance the large downward force of gravity.

Once the upward force of air resistance upon an object is large enough to balance the downward force of gravity, the object is said to have reached a terminal velocity. The terminal velocity is the final velocity of the object; the object will continue to fall to the ground with this terminal velocity. In the case of the elephant and the feather, the elephant has a much greater terminal velocity than the feather. As mentioned above, the elephant would have to accelerate for a longer period of time. The elephant requires a greater speed to accumulate sufficient upward air resistance force to balance the downward force of gravity. In fact, the elephant never does reach a terminal velocity; the animation above shows that there is still an acceleration on the elephant the moment before striking the ground.

Observe from the above diagrams and the above animation that the feather quickly reaches a balance of forces and thus a zero acceleration (i.e., terminal velocity). On the other hand, the elephant never does reach a terminal velocity during its fall; the forces never do become completely balanced and so there is still an acceleration. If given enough time, perhaps the elephant would finally accelerate to high enough speeds to encounter a large enough upward air resistance force in order to achieve a terminal velocity. If it did reach a terminal velocity, then that velocity would be extremely large - much larger than the terminal velocity of the feather.

So in conclusion, the elephant falls faster than the feather because it never reaches a terminal velocity; it continues to accelerate as it falls (accumulating more and more air resistance), approaching a terminal velocity yet never reaching it. On the other hand, the feather quickly reaches a terminal velocity. Not requiring much air resistance before it ceases its acceleration, the feather obtains the state of terminal velocity in an early stage of its fall. The small terminal velocity of the feather means that the remainder of its fall will occur with a small terminal velocity.

As learned above, the amount of air resistance depends upon the speed of the object. A falling object will continue to accelerate to higher speeds until they encounter an amount of air resistance that is equal to their weight. Since the 150-kg skydiver weighs more (experiences a greater force of gravity), it will accelerate to higher speeds before reaching a terminal velocity. Thus, more massive objects fall faster than less massive objects because they are acted upon by a larger force of gravity; for this reason, they accelerate to higher speeds until the air resistance force equals the gravity force.
In the absence of air resistance, both the elephant and the feather are in a state of free-fall. That is to say, the only force acting upon the two objects is the force of gravity. This force of gravity is what causes both the elephant and the feather to accelerate downwards. The force of gravity experienced by an object is dependent upon the mass of that object. Mass refers to the amount of matter in an object. Clearly, the elephant has more mass than the feather. Due to its greater mass, the elephant also experiences a greater force of gravity. That is, the Earth is pulling downwards upon the elephant with more force than it pulls downward upon the feather. Since weight is a measure of gravity's pull upon an object, it would also be appropriate to say that the elephant weighs more than the feather. For these reasons, all of the eight statements are false; there is an erroneous part to each statement due to the confusion of weight, mass, and force of gravity.

But if the elephant weighs more and experiences a greater downwards pull of gravity compared to the feather, why then does it hit the ground at the same time as the feather? Great question!! To answer this question, we must recall Newton's second law - the law of acceleration. Newton's second law states that the acceleration of an object is directly related to the net force and inversely related to its mass. When figuring the acceleration of object, there are two factors to consider - force and mass. Applied to the elephant-feather scenario, we can say that the elephant experiences a much greater force (which tends to produce large accelerations. Yet, the mass of an object resists acceleration. Thus, the greater mass of the elephant (which tends to produce small accelerations) offsets the influence of the greater force. It is the force/mass ratio which determines the acceleration. Even though a baby elephant may experience 100 000 times the force of a feather, it has 100 000 times the mass. The force/mass ratio is the same for each. The greater mass of the elephant requires the greater force just to maintain the same acceleration as the feather.

A simple rule to bear in mind is that all objects (regardless of their mass) experience the same acceleration when in a state of free fall. When the only force is gravity, the acceleration is the same value for all objects. On Earth, this acceleration value is 9.8 m/s/s. This is such an important value in physics that it is given a special name - the acceleration of gravity - and a special symbol - g.
The speed of the object and the cross-sectional area of the object.
Increased speeds result in an increased amount of air resistance. As a skydiver falls, he accelerates downwards, gaining speed with each second. The increase in speed is accompanied by an increase in air resistance (as observed in the animation below). This force of air resistance counters the force of gravity. As the skydiver falls faster and faster, the amount of air resistance increases more and more until it approaches the magnitude of the force of gravity. Once the force of air resistance is as large as the force of gravity, a balance of forces is attained and the skydiver no longer accelerates. The skydiver is said to have reached a terminal velocity.

Increased cross-sectional areas result in an increased amount of air resistance.

A skydiver in the spread eagle position encounters more air resistance than a skydiver who assumes the tuck position or who falls feet (or head) first. The greater cross-sectional area of askydiver in the spread eagle position leads to a greater air resistance and a tendency to reach a slower terminal velocity. The importance of cross-sectional area to skydiving is also demonstrated by the use of a parachute. An open parachute increases the cross-sectional area of the falling skydiver and thus increases the amount of air resistance which he encounters (as observed in the animation below). Once the parachute is opened, the air resistance overwhelms the downward force of gravity. The net force and the acceleration on the falling skydiver is upward. An upward net force on a downward falling object would cause that object to slow down. The skydiver thus slows down. As the speed decreases, the amount of air resistance also decreases until once more the skydiver reaches a terminal velocity.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

According to Newton, whenever objects A and B interact with each other, they exert forces upon each other. When you sit in your chair, your body exerts a downward force on the chair and the chair exerts an upward force on your body. There are two forces resulting from this interaction - a force on the chair and a force on your body. These two forces are called action and reaction forces and are the subject of Newton's third law of motion.

The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object. The direction of the force on the first object is opposite to the direction of the force on the second object. Forces always come in pairs - equal and opposite action-reaction force pairs.

A variety of action-reaction force pairs are evident in nature. Consider the propulsion of a fish through the water. A fish uses its fins to push water backwards. But a push on the water will only serve to accelerate the water. Since forces result from mutual interactions, the water must also be pushing the fish forwards, propelling the fish through the water. The size of the force on the water equals the size of the force on the fish; the direction of the force on the water (backwards) is opposite the direction of the force on the fish (forwards). For every action, there is an equal (in size) and opposite (in direction) reaction force. Action-reaction force pairs make it possible for fish to swim.
The two examples above illustrate the two forms of potential energy to be discussed in this course - gravitational potential energy and elastic potential energy. Gravitational potential energy is the energy stored in an object as the result of its vertical position or height. The energy is stored as the result of the gravitational attraction of the Earth for the object. The gravitational potential energy of the massive ball of a demolition machine is dependent on two variables - the mass of the ball and the height to which it is raised. There is a direct relation between gravitational potential energy and the mass of an object. More massive objects have greater gravitational potential energy. There is also a direct relation between gravitational potential energy and the height of an object. The higher that an object is elevated, the greater the gravitational potential energy. These relationships are expressed by the following equation:

PEgrav = mass • g • height

PEgrav = m *• g • h

In the above equation, m represents the mass of the object, h represents the height of the object and g represents the gravitational field strength (9.8 N/kg on Earth) - sometimes referred to as the acceleration of gravity.

To determine the gravitational potential energy of an object, a zero height position must first be arbitrarily assigned. Typically, the ground is considered to be a position of zero height. But this is merely an arbitrarily assigned position that most people agree upon. Since many of our labs are done on tabletops, it is often customary to assign the tabletop to be the zero height position. Again this is merely arbitrary. If the tabletop is the zero position, then the potential energy of an object is based upon its height relative to the tabletop. For example, a pendulum bob swinging to and from above the tabletop has a potential energy that can be measured based on its height above the tabletop. By measuring the mass of the bob and the height of the bob above the tabletop, the potential energy of the bob can be determined.

Since the gravitational potential energy of an object is directly proportional to its height above the zero position, a doubling of the height will result in a doubling of the gravitational potential energy. A tripling of the height will result in a tripling of the gravitational potential energy.

-energy stored in raised objects
-On Earth we always have the force of gravity acting on us. When we are above the Earth's surface we have potential (stored) energy. This is called gravitational potential energy (GPE).

It all depends on the reference point
ex) an object is on a table, if the reference point is the earth, then in that case the objects gains gravitational potential energy. However, if the reference point is the table, then the object gains no GPE because the table is the reference point, which is always zero*
Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. An object that has motion - whether it is vertical or horizontal motion - has kinetic energy. he amount of translational kinetic energy (from here on, the phrase kinetic energy will refer to translational kinetic energy) that an object has depends upon two variables: the mass (m) of the object and the speed (v) of the object. The following equation is used to represent the kinetic energy (KE) of an object.

KE = 0.5 • m • v2

where m = mass of object

v = speed of object

This equation reveals that the kinetic energy of an object is directly proportional to the square of its speed. That means that for a twofold increase in speed, the kinetic energy will increase by a factor of four. For a threefold increase in speed, the kinetic energy will increase by a factor of nine. And for a fourfold increase in speed, the kinetic energy will increase by a factor of sixteen. The kinetic energy is dependent upon the square of the speed. As it is often said, an equation is not merely a recipe for algebraic problem solving, but also a guide to thinking about the relationship between quantities.

Kinetic energy is a scalar quantity; it does not have a direction. Unlike velocity, acceleration, force, and momentum, the kinetic energy of an object is completely described by magnitude alone. Like work and potential energy, the standard metric unit of measurement for kinetic energy is the Joule. As might be implied by the above equation, 1 Joule is equivalent to 1 kg*(m/s)^2.


1 Joule = 1 kg • m2/s2

-a faster speed results in a higher kinetic energy
-the sum of the energy of motion and position

In all instances, an object that possesses some form of energy supplies the force to do the work. In the instances described here, the objects doing the work (a student, a tractor, a pitcher, a motor/chain) possess chemical potential energy stored in food or fuel that is transformed into work. In the process of doing work, the object that is doing the work exchanges energy with the object upon which the work is done. When the work is done upon the object, that object gains energy. The energy acquired by the objects upon which work is done is known as mechanical energy.

Mechanical energy is the energy that is possessed by an object due to its motion or due to its position. Mechanical energy can be either kinetic energy (energy of motion) or potential energy (stored energy of position). Objects have mechanical energy if they are in motion and/or if they are at some position relative to a zero potential energy position (for example, a brick held at a vertical position above the ground or zero height position). A moving car possesses mechanical energy due to its motion (kinetic energy). A moving baseball possesses mechanical energy due to both its high speed (kinetic energy) and its vertical position above the ground (gravitational potential energy). A World Civilization book at rest on the top shelf of a locker possesses mechanical energy due to its vertical position above the ground (gravitational potential energy). A barbell lifted high above a weightlifter's head possesses mechanical energy due to its vertical position above the ground (gravitational potential energy). A drawn bow possesses mechanical energy due to its stretched position (elastic potential energy).

An object that possesses mechanical energy is able to do work. In fact, mechanical energy is often defined as the ability to do work. Any object that possesses mechanical energy - whether it is in the form of potential energy or kinetic energy - is able to do work. That is, its mechanical energy enables that object to apply a force to another object in order to cause it to be displaced.

Numerous examples can be given of how an object with mechanical energy can harness that energy in order to apply a force to cause another object to be displaced. A classic example involves the massive wrecking ball of a demolition machine. The wrecking ball is a massive object that is swung backwards to a high position and allowed to swing forward into building structure or other object in order to demolish it. Upon hitting the structure, the wrecking ball applies a force to it in order to cause the wall of the structure to be displaced. The diagram below depicts the process by which the mechanical energy of a wrecking ball can be used to do work.

The massive ball of a demolition machine possesses mechanical energy- the ability to do work. When held at a height, it possesses mechanical energy in the form of potential energy. As it falls, it exhibits mechanical energy in the form of kinetic energy. As it strikes the structure to be demolished, it applies a force to displace the structure, it does work upon the structure.

A hammer is a tool that utilizes mechanical energy to do work. The mechanical energy of a hammer gives the hammer its ability to apply a force to a nail in order to cause it to be displaced. Because the hammer has mechanical energy (in the form of kinetic energy), it is able to do work on the nail. Mechanical energy is the ability to do work.

Another example that illustrates how mechanical energy is the ability of an object to do work can be seen any evening at your local bowling alley. The mechanical energy of a bowling ball gives the ball the ability to apply a force to a bowling pin in order to cause it to be displaced. Because the massive ball has mechanical energy (in the form of kinetic energy), it is able to do work on the pin. Mechanical energy is the ability to do work.

A dart gun is still another example of how mechanical energy of an object can do work on another object. When a dart gun is loaded and the springs are compressed, it possesses mechanical energy. The mechanical energy of the compressed springs gives the springs the ability to apply a force to the dart in order to cause it to be displaced. Because of the springs have mechanical energy (in the form of elastic potential energy), it is able to do work on the dart. Mechanical energy is the ability to do work.

A common scene in some parts of the countryside is a "wind farm." High-speed winds are used to do work on the blades of a turbine at the so-called wind farm. The mechanical energy of the moving air gives the air particles the ability to apply a force and cause a displacement of the blades. As the blades spin, their energy is subsequently converted into electrical energy (a non-mechanical form of energy) and supplied to homes and industries in order to run electrical appliances. Because the moving wind has mechanical energy (in the form of kinetic energy), it is able to do work on the blades. Once more, mechanical energy is the ability to do work.

When energy is transferred to an object, it can cause a change in both the KE and PE simultaneously. A ball thrown upward has KE because of its motion, and also has PE because of its postion above the surface of earth. As a result, they are combined as a general type of energy called mechanical energy.

mechanical energy= kinetic energy+ potential energy
Weight is not the same as mass. Mass is a measure of how much matter is in an object. Weight is a force acting on that matter. Mass resists any change in the motion of objects.
In physics, the term weight has a specific meaning - which is the force that acts on a mass due to gravity. Weight is measured in newtons. Mass is measured in kilograms.

-The mass of a given object is the same everywhere, but its weight can change. We use balances to measure weights and masses.

Weight is the result of gravity. The gravitational field strength of Earth is 10 N/kg (ten newtons per kilogram). This means an object with a mass of 1 kg would be attracted towards the centre of Earth by a force of 10 N. We feel forces like this as weight.
You would weigh less on the Moon because the gravitational field strength of the Moon is one-sixth of that of Earth (1.6 N/kg). But note that your mass would stay the same.

-Mass(m) is a scalar quantity and is measured in kg. The weight of the object is a vector quantity. It is a measure of the force of gravitational attraction on an object in newtons. The mass of an object does not change because the amount of matter the object possesses is constant. However, the weight of an object depends on the acceleration due to gravity, and this value changes, so the weight of an object can change.
ex) on the moon, you would weigh less than you do on Earth because gravity is weaker on the Moon. But your mass would be the same because the size and shape of your body haven't change
When a ball on one end of the cradle is pulled away from the others and then released, it strikes the next ball in the cradle, which remains motionless. But the ball on the opposite end of the row is thrown into the air, then swings back to strike the other balls, starting the chain reaction again in reverse.

Newton's Cradle aptly demonstrates the principle of the conservation of momentum (mass times speed). This principle states that when two objects collide, the total momentum of the objects before the collision is equal to the total momentum of the objects after the collision.

In other words, when the first ball of Newton's Cradle collides with the second, the first ball stops, but its momentum isn't lost, just transferred to the second ball, then the third, then the fourth, until it reaches the very last ball. You witness this conservation of momentum as the last ball swings into the air with nearly the same momentum as the first ball. Thus, if two balls are lifted into the air on one end of the device and released, then two balls on the opposite end will swing in response.

This continuous clicking of balls is also proof of Newton's law of the conservation of energy, which states that energy can't be created or destroyed but that it can change forms. Newton's Cradle demonstrates this last part of the law quite well, as it converts the potential energy of one ball into kinetic energy that is transferred down the line of balls and ultimately results in the upward swinging of the last ball.

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