Class 11 Physics (India)
Newton's first law review
Review the key concepts, equations, and skills for Newton's first law of motion, including the difference between mass and weight
|Mass||The amount of matter in an object, independent of its size or any forces acting on the object. Both a property of a physical object and how resistant an object is to acceleration. SI units of .|
|Inertia||The tendency of an object to remain at rest or remain in motion. This is measured by its mass.|
|Weight||The force of gravity on an object. Depends on the value of .|
|External force||A force acting on an object from the outside, as opposed to forces acting within the object.|
|The net force, which is the vector sum of all external forces.|
Newton’s first law of motion
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by a net external force.
|Equation||Symbol breakdown||Meaning in words|
|is force due to gravity, is weight, is mass, and is the gravitational field strength (acceleration) which is on Earth's surface.||The weight of an object is a long range force due to gravity. It is directly proportional to its mass and gravitational acceleration .|
Common mistakes and misconceptions
Some students confuse mass and weight. Mass is how much matter an object is made from; it is constant. The weight of an object is the force exerted by gravity on that object, so it depends on the local value. For example, the value of on the Moon is much lower than on Earth, so an object weighs less there, but the mass does not change.
For deeper explanations, see our videos introducing Newton's first law and applying Newton's first law to evaluate true/false statements.
For more on weight and mass, read our article what is weight?.
To check your understanding and work toward mastering these concepts, check out the exercise on using Newton's first law to find net force and acceleration.
Want to join the conversation?
- why is the gravity of the black hole ineffective in the following case?
according to hawkings there is some amount of emitted radiation which is generally due to the particles(like matter-antimatter that exists in pairs, and which is slightly away, it escapes in the form of radiation).
But the gravity at the center of the blackhole is quite high so how is it possible for such a small particle to overcome the gravitational force??(13 votes)
- No one knows for sure, but scientists suspect that the radiation particles come out the other side where there is no gravitational force. Technically speaking though, no one has ever been in a blackhole in the first place so no one knows.(12 votes)
- What do you mean by inertial frame of reference ? Are there different kinds of inertial frame of reference?(5 votes)
- what is the major difference (main idea) between mass an weight?(2 votes)
- mass is how much matter something is made up of and weight is how hard the earth is pulling on an object. The amount of matter in an object would be the same wether it was on the moon or on earth, but the earth pulls down on objects less than the earth does so the same object with the same masses on the earth and the moon would have a larger weight on earth and a smaller weight on the moon(7 votes)
- what are forces acting within the object?(3 votes)
- so galialo newton and that other one were the first ones to know about force.(2 votes)
- Most likely, they were the first ones that almost completely understood force relative to the technology at that time. There may of been some unknown individual before them, but they were the ones to publish well-known and acknowledged books about their findings that were very accurate and still referred to today.(3 votes)
- do you think you can explain a little bit more when you say local g value? I'm a little confused about what that means when you say that. So can you explain a little what that means?(1 vote)
- The value of g is the acceleration of objects towards Earth, while near the surface of Earth at an altitude of sea level. Since the magnitude of the acceleration is dependent on the distance from the center of the Earth though, the local value of g varies slightly with respect to the altitude.(4 votes)
- What is this “s” squared variable? Can someone define it, please?(2 votes)
- "s" stands for seconds, so "s squared" is just seconds squared. Hope that clears things up!(2 votes)
- what am i doing bro(0 votes)
- I have no clue.(4 votes)
- don't get what this is telling me(1 vote)
- Basically, objects that are not moving will continue to not move until some force is applied to them.(1 vote)
- why is there a net force sometimes but not all?(1 vote)
- Well, actually the net force a the basic formula for "force" and based on recent studies everything revolves around that formula. F is the force M being the mass and I believe A is the acceleration.(1 vote)