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10.1: Introduction

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    Law II: The change of motion is proportional to the motive force impressed, and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impressed.

    If any force generates a motion, a double force will generate double the motion, a triple force triple the motion, whether that force is impressed altogether and at once or gradually and successively. And this motion (being always directed the same way with the generating force), if the body moved before, is added or subtracted from the former motion, according as they directly conspire with or are directly contrary to each other; or obliquely joined, when they are oblique, so as to produce a new motion compounded from the determination of both.

    Isaac Newton Principia

    When we apply a force to an object, through pushing, pulling, hitting or otherwise, we are applying that force over a discrete interval of time, \(\Delta t\). During this time interval, the applied force may be constant, or it may vary in magnitude or direction. Forces may also be applied continuously without interruption, such as the gravitational interaction between the earth and the moon. In this chapter we will investigate the relationship between forces and the time during which they are applied, and in the process learn about the quantity of momentum, the principle of conservation of momentum, and its use in solving a new set of problems involving systems of particles.

    This page titled 10.1: Introduction is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Peter Dourmashkin (MIT OpenCourseWare) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.