Physics with Calculus/Mechanics/Newton's Laws

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Newton's laws describe what causes motion of objects. There are three laws, which can be briefly stated:

  • First law: In an inertial reference frame, unless acted on by a net force, an object at rest stays at rest.
  • Second law: In an inertial reference frame, force is equal to mass times acceleration (\vec{F} = m \vec{a})
  • Third law: For every force, there is an equal and opposite reaction force (\vec{F}_{\mathrm ab} = - \vec{F}_{\mathrm ba})

Each of these laws will be discussed in more detail in each section.