## Reading it, learning it and keeping it by your side.

Newton’s laws of motion are three physical laws that form the basis for classical mechanics. They describe the relationship between the forces acting on a body and its motion due to those forces. They have been expressed in several different ways over nearly three centuries, and can be summarized as follows:

*1.First law: The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force.*

* 2.Second law: The acceleration a of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force F and inversely proportional to the mass m, i.e., F = ma.*

* 3.Third law: The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear.*

The three laws of motion were first compiled by Sir Isaac Newton in his work Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, first published on July 5, 1687. Newton used them to explain and investigate the motion of many physical objects and systems. For example, in the third volume of the text, Newton showed that these laws of motion, combined with his law of universal gravitation, explained Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.

Newton’s laws are applied to bodies (objects) which are considered or idealized as a particle, in the sense that the extent of the body is neglected in the evaluation of its motion, i.e., the object is small compared to the distances involved in the analysis, or the deformation and rotation of the body is of no importance in the analysis. Therefore, a planet can be idealized as a particle for analysis of its orbital motion around a star.

In their original form, Newton’s laws of motion are not adequate to characterize the motion of rigid bodies and deformable bodies. Leonard Euler in 1750 introduced a generalization of Newton’s laws of motion for rigid bodies called the Euler’s laws of motion, later applied as well for deformable bodies assumed as a continuum. If a body is represented as an assemblage of discrete particles, each governed by Newton’s laws of motion, then Euler’s laws can be derived from Newton’s laws. Euler’s laws can, however, be taken as axioms describing the laws of motion for extended bodies, independently of any particle structure.

Newton’s Laws hold only with respect to a certain set of frames of reference called Newtonian or inertial reference frames. Some authors interpret the first law as defining what an inertial reference frame is; from this point of view, the second law only holds when the observation is made from an inertial reference frame, and therefore the first law cannot be proved as a special case of the second. Other authors do treat the first law as a corollary of the second. The explicit concept of an inertial frame of reference was not developed until long after Newton’s death.

In the given interpretation mass, acceleration, momentum, and (most importantly) force are assumed to be externally defined quantities. This is the most common, but not the only interpretation: one can consider the laws to be a definition of these quantities.

At speeds approaching the speed of light the effects of special relativity must be taken into account.

GRAVITY

Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that every point mass in the universe attracts every other point mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. (Separately it was shown that large spherically symmetrical masses attract and are attracted as if all their mass were concentrated at their centers.)

This is a general physical law derived from empirical observations by what Newton called induction. It is a part of classical mechanics and was formulated in Newton’s work Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (“the Principia”), first published on 5 July 1687. (When Newton’s book was presented in 1686 to the Royal Society, Robert Hooke made a claim that Newton had obtained the inverse square law from him .) In modern language, the law states the following:

Every point mass attracts every single other point mass by a force pointing along the line intersecting both points. The force is proportional to the product of the two masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them:

where:

**F is the force between the masses,**

** G is the gravitational constant,**

** m1 is the first mass,**

** m2 is the second mass, and**

** r is the distance between the masses.**

Assuming SI units, F is measured in newtons (N), m1 and m2 in kilograms (kg), r in meters (m), and the constant G is approximately equal to 6.674×10-11 N m2 kg-2.The value of the constant G was first accurately determined from the results of the Cavendish experiment conducted by the British scientist Henry Cavendish in 1798, although Cavendish did not himself calculate a numerical value for G.

This experiment was also the first test of Newton’s theory of gravitation between masses in the laboratory. It took place 111 years after the publication of Newton’s Principia and 71 years after Newton’s death, so none of Newton’s calculations could use the value of G; instead he could only calculate a force relative to another force.

Newton’s law of gravitation resembles Coulomb’s law of electrical forces, which is used to calculate the magnitude of electrical force between two charged bodies. Both are inverse-square laws, in which force is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the bodies. Coulomb’s Law has the product of two charges in place of the product of the masses, and the electrostatic constant in place of the gravitational constant.

Newton’s law has since been superseded by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, but it continues to be used as an excellent approximation of the effects of gravity. Relativity is required only when there is a need for extreme precision, or when dealing with gravitation for extremely massive and dense objects.