Monday, January 15, 2007

On Newton's 2nd

Seniors, you're having issues with the Fnet = ma concept.

That is, you're facing difficulties applying the mathematics to the concept. Please don't beat yourself over this issue; your frustration is normal so don't stress about this - yet.

Just start with the concept: No acceleration (velocity is either constant or nonexistent) implies no NET force.

You know the chant:

  • NO acceleration!
  • NO net force!
  • NO acceleration!
  • NO net force!

On the other hand, if there IS an acceleration, in any direction, there's an unbalanced force acting on the object somewhere, somehow.

That net force is just (the object's mass) x (the object's acceleration).

The net force and the acceleration always point in the same direction, too; they're both vector quantities.

Now if I can figure out how to enter mathematical formulas . . .

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