10 Examples Of Newton’s Second Law Of Motion

Newton’s second law of motion, unlike the first law of motion, pertains to the behavior of objects for which all existing forces are unbalanced. The second law of motion is more quantitative and is used extensively to calculate what happens in situations involving a force. This article discusses Newton’s second law with various examples in detail.

What Is Newton’s Second Law Of Motion?

Force is equal to the rate of change of momentum. For a constant mass, force equals mass times acceleration.

Isaac Newton

Newton’s second law is a quantitative description of the changes that a force can produce in the motion of a body.

It states that the time rate of change of the momentum of a body is equal in both magnitude and direction to the force imposed on it. The momentum of a body is equal to the product of its mass and its velocity.

Momentum, like velocity, is a vector quantity, having both magnitude and direction. A force applied to a body can change the magnitude of the momentum or its direction or both.

Newton’s second law is one of the most important in all of physics. For a body whose mass m is constant, it can be written in the form F = ma, where F (force) and (acceleration) are both vector quantities.

If a body has a net force acting on it, it is accelerated in accordance with the equation. Conversely, if a body is not accelerated, there is no net force acting on it.

Examples Of Newton’s Second Law Of Motion In Everyday Life

Newton’s second law is applied to identify the amount of force needed to make an object move or make it stop. Following are a few examples that we have listed to help you understand this point:

1. Kicking A Ball

Kicking a ball

When we kick a ball, we exert force in a specific direction. The stronger the ball is kicked, the stronger the force we put on it and the further away it will travel.

2. Pushing A Cart

It is easier to push an empty cart in a supermarket than a loaded one, and more mass requires more acceleration.

3. Two People Walking

Among the two people walking, if one is heavier than the other, the one weighing heavier will walk slower because the acceleration of the person weighing lighter is greater.

4. Pushing A Car And A Truck

examples of newton's second law

Newton’s second law of motion can be observed by comparing the acceleration produced in a car and a truck after applying an equal magnitude of force to both.

It is easy to notice that after pushing a car and a truck with the same intensity, the car accelerates more than the truck. This is because the mass of the car is less than the mass of the truck.

5. Hitting A Ball

A ball develops a certain amount of acceleration after being hit. The acceleration with which the ball moves is directly proportional to the force applied to it.

This means that the harder you hit the ball, the faster it will move, thereby demonstrating Newton’s second law of motion in daily life.

6. Rocket Launch

For a rocket to leave the earth’s orbit and enter outer space, a force called thrust is required. As per the second law of motion given by Sir Isaac Newton, the force is proportional to the acceleration; therefore, to launch a rocket, the magnitude of thrust is increased, which in turn increases the acceleration.

The speed achieved by the rocket finally helps it to escape the earth’s gravitational field and enter space.

7. Car Crash

During a car crash, there exists a force between the obstacle and the car, which is known as the impact force. The magnitude of the impact force depends on the mass of the objects involved in the collision and the speed with which the objects move.

This means that the greater the mass of the objects involved in the collision, the more will be the intensity of the impact force. Similarly, the more the acceleration with which the car moves, the greater will be the magnitude of the impact force.

8. Object Thrown From A Height

When an object is thrown from a certain height, the gravitational pull of the earth helps it to develop acceleration. The acceleration increases as the object advances toward the earth. According to Newton’s second law of motion, the acceleration developed by a body is directly proportional to the force.

When the object hits the ground, the impact force comes into action. This is the reason why a brittle object thrown from a tall building suffers more deformity than the situation where the same object is thrown from a comparatively shorter building.

9. Karate Player Breaking Slab Of Bricks

A karate player makes use of the second law of motion to perform the task of breaking a slab of bricks. Since, according to law, the force is proportional to the acceleration, the player tends to move his/her hands over the slab of bricks swiftly.

This helps him/her to gain acceleration and produce a proportionate amount of force. The force is sufficient enough to break the bricks.

10. Driving A Car

In simple terms, Newton’s second law of motion states that if force is applied to any object that has mass, it will result in the production of an equivalent amount of acceleration in the object.

For instance, when we turn on the ignition system of the car, the engine of the car produces a sufficient force that enables the car to move with proportionate acceleration.

11. Racing Car

Reducing the weight of racing cars to increase their speed, engineers try to keep vehicle mass as low as possible, as a lower mass means more acceleration, and the higher the acceleration the greater the chances of winning the race.

Real-Life Examples Of Newton’s Second Law

Here are 50 examples that illustrate Newton’s second law:

  • Pushing a car to make it accelerate.
  • Kicking a soccer ball to make it move.
  • Pulling a sled with a constant force.
  • Rowing a boat through the water.
  • Hitting a baseball with a bat.
  • Throwing a basketball towards the hoop.
  • Accelerating a bicycle by pedaling.
  • Lifting a backpack against gravity.
  • Dragging a suitcase across the floor.
  • Pushing a shopping cart in a store.
  • Swinging a pendulum back and forth.
  • Firing a rocket into space.
  • Riding a skateboard down a slope.
  • Ice skating and gliding on the ice.
  • Launching a model rocket.
  • Tossing a frisbee to a friend.
  • Rolling a bowling ball down the lane.
  • Hitting a golf ball with a club.
  • Sliding down a playground slide.
  • Balancing on a seesaw with a friend.
  • Bouncing on a trampoline.
  • Jumping off a diving board into a pool.
  • Operating a remote-controlled car.
  • Squeezing a rubber ball.
  • Swinging on a swing.
  • Opening a heavy door.
  • Riding a roller coaster.
  • Performing a handstand.
  • Doing a somersault on a mat.
  • Twirling a baton.
  • Spinning on an office chair.
  • Riding a zip line.
  • Operating a manual lawnmower.
  • Pulling a wagon with toys.
  • Flying a kite.
  • Using a hand pump to inflate a tire.
  • Bouncing on a pogo stick.
  • Pushing a stroller with a baby.
  • Playing air hockey.
  • Pulling a sled uphill.
  • Riding a go-kart.
  • Turning the steering wheel of a car.
  • Jumping on a trampoline.
  • Flipping a pancake in a pan.
  • Rolling a snowball down a hill.
  • Swinging a sledgehammer.
  • Spinning a hula hoop around the waist.
  • Riding a snowboard down a slope.
  • Using a fire extinguisher.
  • Operating a manual water pump.