Motion & Mechanics

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The law of acceleration is formally referred to as Newton's Second Law of Motion and defines the rate of acceleration as a product of the force exerted on the object and the mass of the object. The rate of acceleration increases as the net force increases. The inverse is true for mass, with the acceleration decreasing as the mass increases.

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  • Why does cork float on water?

    Q: Why does cork float on water?

    A: Corks float on water because it contains a lot of air making it less dense than water. Solids and liquids with less density float on denser liquids.
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  • What is a non-Newtonian fluid?

    Q: What is a non-Newtonian fluid?

    A: Non-Newtonian fluids are those that behave differently than Newtonian fluids do with regard to viscosity. Typically, stress causes non-Newtonian fluids to alter their flow patterns or viscosity. The stress can cause the viscosity to increase or decrease, depending on the particular non-Newtonian fluid.
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  • Why does wood float on water?

    Q: Why does wood float on water?

    A: Wood generally floats because it's less dense than the water it floats on. However, some woods are denser than water and will tend to sink.
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  • What are some achievements of Isaac Newton?

    Q: What are some achievements of Isaac Newton?

    A: Some of Sir Isaac Newton's achievements include defining the law of gravity and the three laws of motion, inventing the reflecting telescope, defining theories of light and color and inventing calculus. Newton was a philosopher, mathematician and physicist who played an important role in the scientific Revolution of the 17th century.
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  • What kind of simple machine is a pair of scissors?

    Q: What kind of simple machine is a pair of scissors?

    A: A pair of scissors is two levers put together. With this simple machine, less force is needed because a greater distance is involved. Other types of levers include a see-saw, a hammer, a fork and a baseball bat.
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  • What does "E=mc2" mean?

    Q: What does "E=mc2" mean?

    A: Albert Einstein's formula "E=mc2" means energy equals the mass of an object multiplied by the speed of light squared. His theory means that the mass of an object, no matter how small, can be transformed into a tremendous amount of energy.
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  • Why do some objects float in water and others sink?

    Q: Why do some objects float in water and others sink?

    A: Objects comprised of material that is denser than water tend to sink; objects with a lighter density tend to float. Since air is lighter than water, hollow objects can float if their total density is less than water. Preventing objects from absorbing water is important.
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  • What is gravitational pull?

    Q: What is gravitational pull?

    A: Gravitational pull is the invisible force that causes massive objects to pull other objects towards them. For instance, when a person jumps up in the air, it is the earth’s gravitational pull that causes him to return to the ground. All massive objects have gravity, and the bigger they are, the more gravitational pull they produce.
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  • Why is pyroclastic flow dangerous?

    Q: Why is pyroclastic flow dangerous?

    A: The danger of pyroclastic flow comes from its speed and heat. According to Michigan Technological University, pyroclastic flows have reached extreme high temperatures, including flows from the Mt. Pelee eruption that got as hot as 1,967 Fahrenheit (1,075 Celsius).
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  • How do water rockets work?

    Q: How do water rockets work?

    A: A water rocket works because of air pressure that is builds inside a container filled with water, usually a plastic soda bottle, which is released rapidly through an opening as it tries to escape. The reaction of a water rocket is an excellent example of Newton’s third law of motion, which states that forces exist in pairs.
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  • What are compound machines?

    Q: What are compound machines?

    A: A compound machine is a machine composed of two or more simple machines. Common examples are bicycles, can openers and wheelbarrows. Simple machines change the magnitude or direction of a force without any motor.
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  • How is speed calculated?

    Q: How is speed calculated?

    A: Speed is also known as velocity, and it is calculated by dividing the distance traveled by the amount of time it took to cover that distance. This is expressed as a standard equation: V = D / T.
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  • What are pulleys used for?

    Q: What are pulleys used for?

    A: A pulley is a simple tool that can be used for many things, such as lifting heavy objects or to change the direction of applied forces for various means. A pulley is a very simple tool that consists of a wheel on a fixed axle that has grooves for keeping a rope or wire in place. This makes pulleys useful for lifting heavy objects using applied human force.
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  • How can friction be reduced?

    Q: How can friction be reduced?

    A: Friction can be reduced by adding a lubricant or by smoothing and polishing surfaces, according to the HyperPhysics program at Georgia State University. For some substances, smoothing only reduces friction to a point, after which friction increases with further smoothing.
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  • What is the law of acceleration?

    Q: What is the law of acceleration?

    A: The law of acceleration is formally referred to as Newton's Second Law of Motion and defines the rate of acceleration as a product of the force exerted on the object and the mass of the object. The rate of acceleration increases as the net force increases. The inverse is true for mass, with the acceleration decreasing as the mass increases.
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  • What is the definition of input force?

    Q: What is the definition of input force?

    A: Input force is the initial force used to get a machine to begin working. Machines are designed to increase the input force for a larger output force.
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  • What is weightlessness?

    Q: What is weightlessness?

    A: Weightlessness, or microgravity, occurs when an object is in free fall, explains the U.S. National Aeronautic and Space Association. Gravity pulls the object in free fall at a faster rate due to the equivalence of the force of gravity to acceleration.
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  • How does weight affect friction?

    Q: How does weight affect friction?

    A: Weight affects friction in that friction is directly proportional to the weight of the load one is moving. If one doubles the load being moved, friction increases by a factor of two.
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  • What are the types of acceleration?

    Q: What are the types of acceleration?

    A: There are three types of acceleration in general: absolute acceleration, negative acceleration and acceleration due to change in direction. Acceleration is defined as the rate of change of velocity.
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  • What is diffraction?

    Q: What is diffraction?

    A: Diffraction occurs when a wave bends around objects. Diffraction is also said to occur when a wave spreads after it has passed through a type of gap.
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  • How much helium is needed to lift 10 pounds?

    Q: How much helium is needed to lift 10 pounds?

    A: One cubic foot of helium can lift 0.062 pound, so 161.3 cubic feet of helium is needed to lift 10 pounds. A balloon containing this amount of helium must be approximately 6.75 feet in diameter at sea level.
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