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5.

Applications of the Laws of Force and Motion


Having studied the laws of motion and the two
important laws of force, you are ready to apply them to
a variety of situations. We will describe a few examples
in this chapter just to get you started. In each case you
should note the relationship between the forces acting
on an object and the acceleration that results. Then you
might focus on the way the acceleration determines the
subsequent motion of the object. As you gain the abili-
ty to relate these ideas, you should be able to explain a
wide range of phenomena.

Gravitational Acceleration

We have seen that an object near the earth’s surface


experiences a downward force, called its weight, due to
its attraction to the earth. The strength of the force is
proportional to the object’s mass, so the acceleration it
causes is the same as that for any other object at the same
location. The force does not depend on the object’s
motion and it changes only slightly as the object moves
either closer to or farther from the center of the earth.
These small changes can often be neglected—as we will
do—when considering the motion of falling objects.
Thus, when gravity is the only important force, the
object moves under the influence of an unchanging
downward force and therefore has an unchanging down-
ward acceleration. It is instructive to consider some of
the different kinds of motion that can result.
First, suppose an object such as a baseball is
dropped from a great height. Its speed increases steadi-
ly as it falls. After 1 second, its speed is 35 kilome- Figure 5.1. What does not change as the ball falls?
ters/hour (about 22 miles/hour); after 2 second, it is 70
kilometers/hour; after 3 seconds, 105 kilometers/hour;
and after 4 seconds, 140 kilometers/hour. Do you see reduced to 75 kilometers/hour; after 3 seconds, 40 kilo-
what it means when we say that the ball has an unchang- meters/hour; and after 4 seconds, 5 kilometers/hour. Do
ing acceleration? Each second the speed increases by you see what it means to say that the acceleration of the
35 kilometers/hour whether it is the first second, the ball is the same as when it was dropped? Each second the
fifth, or any other. No matter what the speed at any speed changes by 35 kilometers/hour, the same rate as
time, the speed will be 35 kilometers/hour greater one before. Now the speed decreases rather than increases.
second later (Fig. 5.1). This is just what we would expect in a case in which the
Next, imagine throwing the ball straight up with an applied force, gravity, directly opposes the initial motion
initial speed of 145 kilometers/hour (about 90 of the ball. The amount of acceleration (the rate at which
miles/hour). Instead of speeding up, the ball becomes speed changes) is the same as before, because the strength
slower as it rises. After 1 second, its speed is 110 kilome- of the gravitational force does not depend on whether the
ters/hour. At the end of another second the speed has been ball is going up or down (Fig. 5.2).

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Finally, suppose the ball is thrown horizontally
instead of vertically, with an initial speed of 100 kilo-
meters/hour. You know that it will follow a curved path
as it falls. The motion seems more complicated than
before, but it is easily described by separating its two
components, horizontal and vertical. At the end of the
first second, the ball is still moving horizontally with a
speed of 100 kilometers/hour, but in addition, it is
falling with a vertical speed of 35 kilometers/hour.
After another second, the downward speed has
increased to 70 kilometers/hour, while the horizontal
motion remains unchanged. In fact, the horizontal
motion never changes and the downward speed contin-
ues to increase at the rate of 35 kilometers/hour every
second. Do you see what it means to say that the accel-
eration of the ball is the same as before? The downward
motion is, in fact, the same as if the ball had no initial
motion at all. The ball falls at the same rate as when it
was dropped (Fig. 5.3).
We have presumed in the foregoing description that
air resistance is not important and that gravity is the only
significant force acting on the ball. If air resistance is
important, as it would be for a falling feather or piece of
paper, the situation will not be as we have described.
However, if these objects fall in a vacuum their accelera-
tion is the same as that of any other falling object (Fig. 5.4).
Figure 5.2. The acceleration of a rising ball is the same
as that of a falling ball. Do you see why?

Figure 5.4. A piece of paper and a rock fall together in


the absence of air resistance.

Gravitational force and acceleration change slight-


ly from place to place near the surface of the earth. They
are about 1/2 of 1 percent larger at the earth’s poles than
at the equator and slightly smaller (about 1/30 of 1 per-
Figure 5.3. Even this ball has the same acceleration as cent per kilometer) at higher elevations. These changes
the other two. occur because the gravitational attraction decreases

38
undisturbed (because the particle is presumably at rest
and not accelerating). When we try to stretch the mate-
rial, it pulls back on the stretching force. The particles
are a little farther apart than before, and the electrical
attractions win over the repulsions. The charged parti-
cles resist being pulled apart.
Materials also resist being compressed. An inward
force causes the charged particles to come closer togeth-
er; their orderly arrangement is disturbed. Now the
repulsions between like charges dominate, and the
charged particles resist being pushed closer together.

Contact Forces
Figure 5.5. Not all points on the earth’s surface are the
The forces due to interactions between objects that
same distance from its center. How does this affect the
touch each other can be understood in the same way as
gravitational acceleration?
the forces within materials that resist changes in size or
shape. The electrical charges near the surface of each
with increasing distance between the accelerating object object are interacting with those of the other object. The
and the earth’s center. Since the earth is not a perfect net result is usually a repulsion due to the interactions of
sphere, its poles are about 21 km closer to its center than boundary electrons, but may also be an attraction if the
are sea level points on the equator (Fig. 5.5). approaching charged particles get close enough.
Consider a simple example. Suppose you lay a
Forces within Matter book on a table. A downward gravitational force is on
the book, but the book is not accelerating. Why not? As
We now turn our attention to some simple manifes- the electric charges of the book approach the table, they
tations of the electrical interaction. First of all, the elec- are repelled by the electric charges in the table surface.
trical force provides the glue that holds matter together. The table literally pushes up on the book via the electri-
Adjacent opposite charges attract each other. The indi- cal interaction! This upward electrical force on the
vidual charges are quite small, but they are close togeth- book just balances the downward gravitational force,
er and there are a lot of pairs. Thus, the resulting forces and the book moves no farther.
can be quite large. It is these forces that must be over- Friction results from the same kind of interaction.
come when, for example, you tear a piece of paper, bend Adjacent surfaces are microscopically quite uneven (Fig.
a piece of metal, dissolve some sugar in a glass of water, 5.7). These “bumps” and “hollows” scrape across each
or melt an ice cube (Fig. 5.6). other when the surfaces slide. The repulsion between
adjacent similar charges is what we call friction.
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ All contact forces occur in this way. If you kick a
rock, the charges in the rock repel the charges in your
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+- shoe. Charges in your shoe repel charges in your toe,
and these forces initiate internal electrical interactions
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ that finally cause your brain to register pain—all due to
the electrical interaction.
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
Finding Forces
Figure 5.6. An arrangement of electrical charges that
could hold the associated matter together. The greatest difficulty in using the laws of motion is
correctly identifying the forces that act on a particular
Each of the similar charges in materials is repelled object. Sometimes we do not notice one or more of the
from the others—positive from positive and negative important forces that are acting; sometimes we imagine
from negative. The net force on a particular particle is forces that are not really present. All the interactions in
the sum of all the forces acting on it, apparently all in which an object participates (and thus all the forces act-
different directions. The calculation of the total force ing on the object) can be identified by isolating the par-
on an individual particle would be a fairly complicated ticular object in your mind and asking three questions:
application of the Electric Force Law.
We do know, however, that the net force on any 1. Does the object participate in a significant grav-
particle inside the material is zero when the material is itational interaction? If so, there will be a gravita-

39
After a little practice, anyone can use these questions
to save a lot of guessing about forces and interactions.
Remember the rule: All forces come from interactions,
and only the gravitational and electromagnetic interac-
tions govern the motions of all objects we ordinarily deal
with. (We are still omitting the nuclear interactions that
do not affect the motion of large-scale objects.)

Applications Involving More Than One Force

We next turn our attention to some examples in


which two or more forces act on the object of interest.
First, imagine yourself standing on a normal floor. What
forces act on your body? To find them, ask the questions
suggested in the previous section. Is there an important
gravitational interaction? Yes, the resulting force on
your body is your weight, a downward force. Is there an
important long-range electromagnetic interaction?
Probably not. What does your body touch? Only the
floor. (We are neglecting the interaction with the air,
which may be important in some circumstances.) What
kind of force does the floor exert on your body? An
upward force equal in strength to your weight. How do
we know? Because your body is not accelerating, we
know that the total force on it must be zero. Since there
is a downward force, we know that this must be balanced
by an upward force. The only possible interaction that
could provide such a force is the contact interaction
between your body and the floor (Fig. 5.8).

Figure 5.7. Upper: Scanning electron micrograph of


the surface of a steel surgical scalpel. Lower: Scanning
electron micrograph of an obsidian blade.
Magnification is ! 1500 in both micrographs.
(Courtesy of W. M. Hess)

tional force, its weight, usually directed toward the


earth’s center.
2. Are there charged objects or current-carrying
conductors close enough to be important? If so, the
object under study may participate in a significant
long-range electromagnetic interaction, depending
on its own charge and current.
Figure 5.8. How do we know that the “floor force” on
3. What does the object touch? Electrical contact
you has the same strength as your weight?
forces will occur at each contact point. The two
surfaces usually will repel each other and, in addi-
Notice that we use the First and not the Third Law
tion, friction will be present in many situations.
of Motion in this discussion. We know that these two
forces have the same strength, because we know that

40
your body is not accelerating. These two forces do not described earlier. As it falls, however, the rate of
result from a single interaction, so the Third Law says change of speed decreases. The speed does not increase
nothing about their relative strength. There are, in fact, as fast as it would if gravity were the only force acting
two interactions here: the gravitational interaction on it. Before long, depending on its shape, size, and
between you and the earth and the contact-electrical weight, the object reaches its maximum speed and then
interaction between your feet and the floor. Thus, there continues to fall at that speed until it hits the ground.
are four forces altogether, only two of which act on your We can identify the forces acting on such a falling
body. In addition, your feet push downward on the floor object in the same way as before. There is an unchang-
and your body pulls upward on the earth; however, ing downward gravitational force and an upward con-
these two forces act on other objects and thus do not tact force, a frictional force, due to the interaction
concern us as we analyze your motion. between the object and the fluid through which it
The two forces on you do not always have the same moves. At first this fluid drag is small and the object
strength. Suppose you wish to jump. To do so, you accelerates in response to the gravitational force. As the
must accelerate, and to accelerate, one of the forces act- speed increases, the drag becomes greater. The net
ing on you must change. It is hard to change your force is smaller than before and so the acceleration is
weight, since this depends only on your mass, the mass also reduced. Finally, if the object goes fast enough, the
of the earth, and your position. But you can easily fluid drag force becomes as strong as the gravitational
change the upward force exerted by the floor. You just force. The total force is then zero. The resulting accel-
flex your leg muscles and push harder on the floor. The eration also is zero and the object continues to fall with-
floor, acting in accord with the Third Law of Motion, out further change in its speed (Fig. 5.10). It is impor-
then pushes harder on you than before. This force is tant that you remind yourself that an object like this,
now stronger than your weight, the total force on you is which is moving in a straight line with unchanging
no longer zero, and you accelerate upward (Fig. 5.9). If speed, is not accelerating. Since it is not accelerating,
your feet leave the floor, the force exerted by the floor the First Law of Motion tells us that the net force on the
immediately becomes zero. (Remember, this force is object is zero. In this case, as in many others, however,
due to an interaction that depends on the floor being in forces are acting on the object. They just balance each
contact with your feet.) The gravitational force alone other, so that their net effect is the same as if neither one
then determines your subsequent motion. Your speed were present.
decreases, you stop, and then you fall back to earth
where the contact interaction provides a force that
decreases your speed again to zero.

Figure 5.9. What force accelerates you when you


jump?

An object falling through air or some other fluid


illustrates a slightly different point. When released, the Figure 5.10. Why does a parachute help when you fall?
speed of the object at first increases in the way we Which force is larger after your speed no longer increases?

41
Circular Motion force is weaker, the object turns less tightly and leaves
the circle; if it is stronger, it turns more tightly and
Imagine any object traveling in a circle at constant comes closer to the center.
speed. It might be a planet moving around the sun, a It is important to notice that centripetal forces obey
ball twirled on the end of a string, a child on a Newton’s Third Law; that is, they arise because of inter-
merry-go-round, or a car turning a circular corner. We actions. A string pulls inward on a ball moving in a cir-
know from the discussion in Chapter 3 that there must cle at the end of that string, friction pushes inward on a
be a net sideways force on each of these objects, since car turning a corner, and gravity pulls a planet toward
their direction is changing and their speed is not. The the sun. In every case, some interaction must provide
force must act toward the center of the circle, because an unbalanced sideways force on any object turning a
the object constantly turns that way. corner or moving in a circle. The word “centripetal”
The directions of the forces in these situations are does not describe the interaction from which the force
sometimes difficult to visualize. Perhaps it would help arises. Instead, it describes the direction in which the
to start by imagining how your object would move if force acts (sideways to the motion) and the kind of
there were no force at all. It would travel in a straight acceleration it causes (turning or change of direction).
line. The kind of force needed to change its motion Finally, we should comment on the apparent out-
from a straight line to a circle is a sideways force, push- ward force we often seem to experience in circular
ing or pulling the object toward the center of the circle. motion. This is another situation in which our sensa-
Try to imagine how the motion of any object changes tions lead us astray. Our experiences result from the
from a straight line when a sideways force is applied to consequences of the First Law of Motion. If an object
it, and you will see that it curves inward toward the experiences no force, it moves in a straight line and, as
direction in which the force acts (Fig. 5.11). a result, leaves the circle. It is no more “thrown out-
ward” than is a car passenger’s head thrown forward
when the car stops, or backward when the car suddenly
accelerates forward. If a passenger moves in a straight
line (because of zero net force) while the car turns a cor-
ner, they will either soon part company or interact with
each other. These results occur because the car turns
and the passenger does not.

The Nature of Scientific Laws

Perhaps this is an appropriate place to pause briefly


and review what we have done and philosophize a bit.
We have described five broad ideas that we have called
laws: three laws of motion and two of force. Two ques-
tions seem appropriate: Where did they come from?
Figure 5.11. Sideways forces cause objects to turn Why do we believe them to be true?
toward the direction of the force. The stronger the Basically, these laws arise in our imagination. As
force, the tighter the turn. we have developed each idea in this text, we have tried
to show how it might be deduced from our common
Sideways forces of this kind are called centripetal experiences. Viewed from this perspective, it all seems
(center-seeking) forces. The direction changes they simple. The actual discovery of these laws, however,
cause are centripetal accelerations. took mankind many hundreds of years. If it is so sim-
The Second Law of Motion predicts that the ple, why did it take so long?
strength of the net force required to cause an object to We admit that we have misled you somewhat in our
move with circular motion depends on the radius of the development. We have the advantage of knowing which
circular path and the object’s speed and mass according “common” experiences to choose, which ones to present
to this relationship: first, and which to postpone until later. When we face all
the experiences of life without guidance, they are most
2 bewildering. Selecting those experiences that lead to
force " mass ! speed .
radius general principles is difficult when they seem at first no
different from all the others. The contribution of a
genius such as Newton is to separate the important from
An object will move in a circle only if it experi-
the unimportant and then to combine the whole into
ences an inward force with exactly this strength. If the
broad laws that explain almost everything. Then all the

42
rest of us stand back and exclaim, “How obvious!” well. Historians search for the “causes” of historical
This is one essential step in finding scientific truth. events. Economists “explain” the vagaries of the busi-
An idea is born! It does not matter how it comes—in a ness cycle in terms of certain actions or events.
dream, musing under an apple tree, by logical “proof” Psychologists “explain” human behavior in terms of
from other “laws” or experimental evidence, or simply certain “needs,” or a variety of other factors, or both.
by guessing. There are no general rules. These disciplines and many others are mechanistic to
No matter how the idea originates, the next step is the extent they assume that events are caused and that
essential. The idea is tested by experiments. Its conse- there is a definite relationship between cause and effect.
quences are predicted, experiments are performed, and
results are observed. To the extent that the outcome Summary
agrees with the theoretical predictions, the idea is vali-
dated. After the idea has been tested in numerous situ- In this chapter we have tried to show some of the
ations over many years, it gradually becomes known as implications of the laws we have studied. Think of the
a “law” instead of a “theory.” efficiency of thought! Instead of remembering a thou-
If experimental results are not exactly in harmony sand details about the motion of different objects in a
with those predicted by using the new theory, we have variety of circumstances, motion can be summarized by
more to learn about either the theory or the experiment. five comparatively simple statements of the laws of
Our understanding is incomplete whenever theoretical motion and force.
predictions and experimental results are not precisely Gravitational acceleration does not depend on
in accord. motion. A ball has the same acceleration whether it is
The importance of this procedure can hardly be thrown up, down, horizontally, or simply dropped. The
overstated. It is not possible to prove any scientific the- motions are different in these cases, but the accelera-
ory or law to be true. We simply cannot test all its ram- tions are the same. In particular, a bullet fired horizon-
ifications in all circumstances. But we can extend the tally would, in the absence of air friction, fall at the
range over which it is known to be valid by performing same rate as one that is simply dropped.
ever more sophisticated experiments. Electrical forces hold matter together and are
A relevant historical example will illustrate this responsible for the contact forces, including friction,
point. Newton’s laws of motion have been tested and which occur when objects seem to touch each other.
found to be valid in an immense number of experiments Most applications involve two or more forces act-
and applications over three hundred years. As we have ing on the same object. Such forces may fully or par-
seen, or will see, they correctly describe the motion of tially oppose each other so that the resulting accelera-
objects from the size of molecules to the size of galax- tion is smaller than would be the case if either force
ies moving with speeds from zero to tens of thousands acted by itself. The motion of a person standing in place
of kilometers per hour. Yet in this century it has been or jumping and the motion of an object falling through
discovered that Newton’s laws do not describe correct- a fluid can be understood in these terms.
ly the motion of particles inside atoms, or of atoms The near-circular motion of the moon around the
moving at speeds comparable to the speed of light. earth, the planets around the sun, and the sun around the
These discoveries in turn have led to a much deeper galactic center can be understood in terms of gravita-
understanding of nature and have had significant philo- tional interactions causing appropriate centripetal
sophical and economic impacts. forces. A turning car is pushed sideways by frictional
Only through continued and vigorous experimental forces due to its interaction with the road.
and theoretical research can we hope to discover the We have also tried to explain something of the
inadequacies of our scientific laws, thereby opening the nature of scientific “laws,” scientific thought, and the
door to a continued, expanding understanding of nature. need for continuing experimentation as we try to
improve our knowledge. As we proceed, we hope you
Mechanistic Philosophy will ask two questions about every principle discussed:
Why do we believe it to be true? What does it predict?
An important philosophical assumption underlies
everything we have said: Causes and effects are related
to each other through laws that we can discover. STUDY GUIDE
Everything is caused by something else, and the rela- Chapter 5: Applications of the Laws of Force and
tionship between cause and effect is fixed and unchang- Motion
ing. Systems of thought based on this assumption can
be called mechanistic philosophies. A. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
All of science is mechanistic. The cause-and-effect 1. The First Law of Motion: See Chapter 3.
assumption is important in many other applications as 2. The Second Law of Motion: See Chapter 3.

43
3. The Third Law of Motion: See Chapter 3. motion at the moment it is at its highest point.
4. The Universal Law of Gravitation: (3) A moose is hooked to a log that is at rest.
See Chapter 4. The moose then begins to pull the log forward.
5. The Electric Force Law: See Chapter 4. Analyze the motion of the log just as it begins
to move.
B. MODELS, IDEAS, QUESTIONS, OR (4) Suppose a bullet is fired horizontally and
APPLICATIONS leaves the gun at the same instant a rock is
1 The Newtonian Model: See Chapter 3. dropped. Assume air friction can be neglected,
2. Can you describe a procedure that produces a cor- the surface is flat, and that both objects begin
rect analysis of motion according to the Newtonian their motion from the same height.
Model? (5) A puck fastened to a string moves on an air
3. What is a mechanistic philosophy? table in a circle about the anchor point of the
string.
C. GLOSSARY (6) A girl is standing in an elevator. The eleva-
1. Centripetal (“Center-Seeking”) Forces: Forces tor begins to move upward.
which are directed sideways to the direction of
motion of an object, tending the motion toward cir- E. EXERCISES
cular motion around a center. The resulting accel- 5.1. A baseball is
eration in the direction of the centripetal force is (a) dropped,
called centripetal acceleration. (b) thrown straight down,
2. Contact Forces: Forces which, to the naked eye, (c) thrown straight up, and
appear to arise from physical contact of one object (d) thrown horizontally from the roof of a tall
with another. For example, the force exerted on a building. How does the acceleration (amount and
book by the table on which the book lies. direction) of the baseball in the last three cases
Microscopically, contact forces are seen to be elec- compare with that in the first case? Justify your
trical attractions or repulsions of the charged parts answers using appropriate fundamental laws.
of the atoms of which the objects are made.
3. Gravitational Acceleration (or Free-fall 5.2. Explain the meaning of your answer to the
Acceleration): The acceleration of an object in previous question by describing the subsequent motion
those circumstances when the force of gravity is the of the baseball in the four different cases.
only significant force acting on the object. Objects
near the surface of the earth have a gravitational 5.3. Explain carefully, using the Second Law of
acceleration of 35 kilometers per hour each second. Motion and the Gravitational Force Law, why the rate
4. Mechanistic Philosophy: Systems of thought of acceleration due to gravity changes from place to
based on the idea of the fixed and unchanging rela- place near the surface of the earth.
tionship between cause and effect. Science is mech-
anistic. 5.4. Suppose a ball is thrown upward at an angle
so that its initial motion can be described in terms of a
D. FOCUS QUESTIONS horizontal speed of 60 kilometers/hour together with a
NOTE: BY “ANALYZE THE MOTION” IN THE vertical speed of 140 kilometers/hour. Analyze the sub-
FOLLOWING QUESTIONS WE MEAN TO sequent motion of the ball. In particular, show what it
CHOOSE AN OBJECT, IDENTIFY THE SIGNIF- means to say that the acceleration of this ball is the same
ICANT FORCES THAT AFFECT THE MOTION as if it were simply dropped from the top of a building.
OF THE OBJECT, AND DRAW A CONCLUSION
ABOUT THE KIND OF MOTION THAT WILL 5.5. Why is the gravitational acceleration near the
RESULT. moon only about one-sixth that near the earth?
1. In each of the following situations:
a. Describe the motion. 5.6. We know that gravitational force and, hence,
b. Analyze the motion by applying the procedure gravitational acceleration change with height above the
above. earth’s surface. Why can we treat objects falling near
c. List the fundamental principles used in coming the earth as if their acceleration does not change?
to the result of your analysis.
(1) A book is at rest on the ground. 5.7. Explain why you experience a frictional force
(2) A ball is thrown straight up. Analyze the when you slide your hand across a table.
motion of the ball after it is released and while
it is still moving upward. Also analyze the 5.8. Describe the force (or forces) that act on you

44
as you walk across a rough floor. Which force causes (c) sideways.
you to accelerate?
5.21. A ball is whirled in a horizontal circle on the
5.9. What could cause an electric current? end of a string without changing its speed.
(a) Describe the force or forces which act on the ball.
5.10. Outline the general rules you can use to iden- (b) Show that your answer is consistent with the
tify forces on any object you happen to be studying. Second Law of Motion.
(c) Is there a force on the ball tending to pull the
5.11. Use the rules for finding forces and discuss ball outward? Explain your answer.
the forces acting on your head as you sit in a car which
is speeding up or slowing down. What difference would 5.22. A satellite is in a nearly circular orbit around
it make if there were a headrest? the earth.
(a) Describe the force or forces which govern the
5.12. Describe the forces acting on a car traveling motion of the satellite.
along a level road. Why must the car’s engine continue (b) Is the satellite accelerating? Explain your
to operate if the car is to continue along the road with- answer.
out changing speed? (c) Show that your answers to (a) and (b) are con-
sistent with the Second Law of Motion.
5.13. Describe the force, or forces, which propel a (d) Explain, using the laws we have discussed, why
high jumper over the high-jump bar. For each force you the satellite stays in orbit rather than either flying
describe, identify the interaction, describe both forces in off into space or falling back to earth.
the interaction, and indicate the direction of each force.
5.23. What do we mean when we say that a partic-
5.14. Describe the forces which act upon you as ular scientific law is “true”?
you ride an elevator. Use the Second Law of Motion to
determine their relationship to each other. 5.24. Scientific research is almost always expen-
sive. Is there a cheaper way, perhaps using logic and
5.15. We have seen that objects which fall under the more careful reasoning, to discover the laws of nature?
influence of gravity increase their speed at the rate of 35
kilometers/hour (about 22 miles/hour) every second. 5.25. Describe an example of a “mechanistic” view
Raindrops fall for several seconds, sometimes minutes, in an area other than science. Choose an example that
before reaching the ground. Why don’t raindrops strike is different from those in the text.
the earth with speeds of hundreds of kilometers per hour?
5.26. What could you do to convince a skeptic that
5.16. Why is a parachute helpful to someone who Newton’s Law of Gravitation is valid? Would your
jumps from a great height? Why is it not helpful if the demonstration prove that the law is “true”?
person jumps only a short distance?
5.27. You get in an elevator and start from rest to
5.17. Describe the important interactions and forces move upward. This is possible because
that govern the earth’s motion around the sun. Show (a) of a reduced gravitational force.
that the relationship between the forces and the motion (b) of an increased gravitational force.
is consistent with the Second Law of Motion. (c) of a single force acting upward on you.
(d) the upward force of the elevator is greater than
5.18. Describe the important forces acting on a car the force of gravity.
as it turns a corner. Which of these is a centripetal (e) of three upward and downward forces acting.
force? In what direction is the net force?
5.28. Two objects attract each other gravitationally.
5.19. What is a “centripetal” force? How does it One object has twice the mass of the second. Which is true?
change the motion of an object to which it is applied? (a) The force on object one is twice that on object
two.
5.20. Describe how the boat would accelerate in the (b) The force on object one is half that on object
following three circumstances, if the sail and rudder of two.
a sailboat can be maneuvered so that the resulting force (c) The force on object one is equal that on object
on the boat can be directed two.
(a) in the direction the boat is going, (d) The acceleration of object one is twice that of
(b) opposite the direction of the boat’s motion, or object two.

45
(e) The acceleration of object one is equal that of
object two.

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