13 Real Life Examples Of Newton’s First Law OF Motion

Newton’s first law, also called the Law of Inertia, states that everybody remains at rest or in uniform and rectilinear motion unless another body intervenes and acts on it.

This means that all bodies tend to stay in the state in which they are initially found, that is, if they are in motion they will tend to remain in motion until someone or something stops them; If they are still, they will tend to stay still until someone or something breaks their state and makes them move.

Real life examples of newton's first law of motion

Nowadays this statement may seem somewhat obvious, but we must not forget that this discovery, as well as other very relevant ones, among which we can mention the law of universal gravitation and studies on the decomposition of white light into different colors, which were carried out by Isaac Newton approximately 450 years ago.

Newton’s laws, which include this Law of Inertia, in addition to the Law of Interaction and Force, and the Law of Action and Reaction – and which together make up Newton’s laws of Dynamics – came to explain scientifically how objects or bodies with mass act and react to the presence or absence of forces exerted on them.

13 Real Life Examples Of Newton’s First Law

Here are some real-life examples illustrating Newton’s First Law:

1- The car that brakes suddenly

The most graphic and everyday example that explains this law is the movement that our body makes when we are in a car at a constant speed and it stops suddenly.

Immediately the body tends to continue in the direction that the car was going, so it is thrown forward. This movement will be smooth if the car stops smoothly, but it will be much more violent if it brakes suddenly.

In extreme cases such as a collision with another vehicle or object, the force exerted on the object (car) will be greater and the impact will be much stronger and more dangerous. That is, the body will maintain the inertia of the movement it was carrying.

The same thing happens the other way around. When the car is completely stopped, and the driver accelerates sharply, our bodies will tend to remain as they were (i.e. at rest) and that is why they tend to lean back.

2- Moving a still car

When trying to push a car, it is very difficult at first, because due to inertia, the car tends to stay still.

But once you can get it moving, the effort that needs to be made is much less, since then, inertia keeps it moving.

3- The athlete who can’t stop

When an athlete tries to stop his race, it takes him several meters to stop completely, due to the inertia produced.

This is most clearly seen in track competitions, such as the 100 meter dash. Athletes continue to advance far beyond the finish line.

4- Football theater… or not

In a soccer match, theatrical falls often occur between players from both teams. Many times these falls may seem exaggerated, when one of the athletes walks around the grass several times after impact.  The truth is that it does not always have to do with histrionics, but with the Law of Inertia.

If a player comes running at high speed down the field, and is rudely intercepted by someone from the opposing team, he is actually interrupting the rectilinear movement that he was carrying, but his body will tend to continue in that same direction and at that speed. That’s why the spectacular fall happens.

5- The autonomous bicycle

Pedaling a bicycle allows it to continue advancing several meters without having to pedal, thanks to the inertia produced by the initial pedaling.

6- Go up and down

Roller coasters can climb steep slopes thanks to the inertia produced by the previous steep descent, which allows them to accumulate potential energy to go up again.

7- Trick or science?

Many tricks that seem surprising are actually simple demonstrations of Newton’s first law.

This is the case, for example, of the waiter who can yank the tablecloth off a table without the objects placed on it falling.

This is due to the speed and force applied to the movement; Objects that were at rest tend to stay that way.

8- Question of technique

A deck of cards on a finger (or on a glass) and, on top of the deck, a coin. By quick movement and force exerted on the deck, it will move, but the coin will remain still on the finger (or fall into the glass).

9- Boiled egg vs raw egg

Another experiment to test the Law of Inertia can be done by taking a boiled egg and rotating it on a flat surface and then stopping the movement with your hand.

The boiled egg will stop immediately, but if we do exactly the same experiment as above with a raw egg, when trying to stop the rotating movement of the egg, we will observe that it continues to rotate.

This is explained because the raw white and yolk are loose inside the egg and tend to continue moving once force is applied to stop it.

10- Tower of blocks

If a tower is made with several blocks and the bottom block (the one that supports the weight of the others) is hit strongly with a mallet ), it will be possible to remove it without the rest falling, taking advantage of the inertia. Bodies that are still tend to stay still.

11- Billiard caroms

In billiards, the player seeks to make caroms by hitting the balls with the cue or with other balls. Until then, the balls will remain stationary without anything to disturb them.

12- Space travel

Ships launched into space will maintain a constant speed indefinitely as long as they are far from gravity and do not have any type of friction.

13- Chut

When an athlete kicks a ball, whether in football, rugby or another sport, he uses his muscles to generate a force that allows the movement of the ball at rest. The ball will only be stopped by the friction of the earth and gravity.

Newton’s laws

The modern world could not be conceived as it is, if it were not for the very important contributions of this Briton, considered by many as one of the most important scientific geniuses of all time.

Perhaps without realizing it, many of the acts we perform in our daily lives constantly explain and confirm Newton’s theories.

In fact, many of the “tricks” that usually amaze adults and children at fairs or television programs are nothing more than the verification and a phenomenal explanation of the laws of dynamics, especially this first law of Newton or Law of Inertia.

Having already understood that if no other body acts on a body, it will remain still (at zero speed) or indefinitely moving in a straight line with constant speed, it is also necessary to explain that all movement is relative, since it depends on the subject who observes and Describe this movement.

For example, the stewardess who walks down the aisle of an airplane in flight handing out coffee to the passengers, is walking slowly from the point of view of the passenger who is waiting in his seat for the arrival of his coffee; But for someone watching the plane flying from the ground, if they could see the stewardess, they would say that it is moving at a high speed.

Thus, movement is relative and basically depends on the point or reference system used to describe it.

The inertial reference system is the one used to observe those bodies on which no force acts and, therefore, remains still, and if it moves, it will continue moving at a constant speed.

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