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Newton's Second Law

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Author:
Nathan Lampson

This lesson introduces Newton's Second Law and explains that force is equal to mass times acceleration.

Tutorial

Newton's second law of motion states that an objects acceleration is based on the mass of the object and the net force acting on that object. The formula for Newton's second law of motion can be written several ways.

Acceleration = Force / Mass

Force = Mass * Acceleration

Mass = Force / Acceleration

Example:

The acceleration of a a crate that I am pushing across a table depends on the mass of the crate and the amount of force i'm applying to the crate.

When solving for a problem involving Newton's second law of motion:

Acceleration is measured in meters per second squared (m/s^{2})

Mass is measured in kilograms (kg)

Force is measured in kilograms times meters per second squared (kg*m/s^{2})

Example:

If I pull a wagon with a mass of 30kg and the wagon accelerates at 2 m/s^{2}, what is the force that caused the acceleration of the wagon?

Force = 30kg * 2 m/s^{2}

Force = 60 kg*m/s^{2}