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What is Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion?

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Quick Answer

Newton's Third Law of Motion is that all forces operate in equal pairs that move in opposite directions. This is often summarized as "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

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Full Answer

This law means that when one object exerts force on another, the same amount of force is exerted on the initial object, but in the opposite reaction. For example, when a billiard ball strikes another ball, the second ball is propelled forward. Simultaneously, the momentum of the first ball is slowed or stopped by opposing force. The amount that the first object is affected by the opposing force depends on the mass and motion of the second object.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some examples of Newton's Third Law?

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    Some examples of Newton's Third Law are a person pushing against a wall, fish swimming in water, birds flying in the air and the automobile´s propulsion. Newton's Third Law explains the interaction between objects and states that for every action there will be an equal and opposite reaction. For example, a person pushing on a wall is exerting a forward force on it, but the wall is also exerting an equal an opposite force, or pushing back with the same force.

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  • Q:

    What is Isaac Newton famous for?

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    Isaac Newton, a prominent mathematician and physicist, is famous for discovering several laws and theories of physics and motion that are collectively known as Newton's Laws. The laws that he is most famous for are the first, second and third laws of motion and the universal law of gravity.

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  • Q:

    What do students learn about Isaac Newton in school?

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    In their school science classes, students learn about Isaac Newton's laws of motion and his work on understanding gravity. Students in history classes may learn about Newton's philosophical writings, and in advanced math classes, they could cover Newton's contribution to calculus.

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  • Q:

    What is Newton's first law?

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    Newton's first law states, "Every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it." A more colloquial way of saying it is "an object in motion stays in motion."

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