Overview: Newton's First Law of Motion

Overview: Newton's First Law of Motion

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Getting Started Guide


Have you ever wondered why objects come to a stop or why objects begin to move or change direction? Is it possible that an object would continue to move forever? For example, will the Voyager satellite continue to move forever into the depths of space? Why or why not?

Figure 1

In this lesson we will introduce Newton's first law of motion, which states that:

Every object continues in a state of rest or of uniform velocity in a straight line unless acted upon by a non-zero net force.

By studying this concept you will learn one reason why objects move and how their movement can change and what can cause this change.


Upon completion of this lesson students will be able to do the following.

Objective 1: Relating Velocity, Acceleration, and Force to Newton's First Law of Motion

Shown a tire rolling across a platform and coming to a stop the student will identify the force(s) affecting the tire and explain how those force(s) cause the tire to slow down by accelerating the tire in a direction opposite to the direction of its velocity and thus changing the tire’s state of motion complying with Newton’s first law of motion.

Objective 2: Newton's First Law of Motion and Mass

Identify how Newton’s first law of motion is related to the mass of an object, explaining that the more massive an object the more it tends to resist changes in its motion.

Objective 3: Newton's First Law and 3 States of Motion

List the three states of motion that are affected by Newton’s first law of motion and explain how those three states of motion are affected using a ball or cup of water.


Time Requirements & Instruction

This lesson should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Below is a video demonstrating how to navigate the tutorials related to this lesson.

When you are ready please go to the website address http://www.sophia.org/playlists/newtons-first-law-of-motion-2, read the document, and follow the directions given in the tutorial in the lesson overview.


How to Navigate the Lessons

Source: Parmanand Jagnandan

Overview PDF

This is a PDF copy which you may download in case you need to work offline.

Full Screen

Source: Parmanand Jagnandan


stux. (03/06/2014). Floral Abstract Filigree Curlicue. [Digital Image]. Retrieved from http://pixabay.com/en/floral-abstract-filigree-curlicue- 281141/

WikiImages. (01/04/2013). Space Travel Voyager Golden Record. [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://pixabay.com/en/space-travel-voyager-golden-record-67757/