Objectives - Newton's Laws of Motion

The Minds On Physics program consists of 15 modules. Each module covers a different topic and consists of a varying number of assignments. Every assignment addresses one or two objectives. The objectives for the Newton's Laws of Motion module are listed below.

  • Assignment 1:
    • The student should understand the significance of Newton's law of inertia by identifying and refuting classic misconceptions concerning the causes of motion.
    • The student should recognize inertia as a property of an object which depends solely upon mass.
  • Assignment 2:
    • The student should be able to relate the presence of balanced or unbalanced forces to the state of motion of an object.
    • The student should be able to relate force diagrams and force information to information describing the motion of an object.
  • Assignment 3:
    • The student should be able to relate the state of motion of an object (especially the direction of the acceleration) to the magnitudes of the individual forces which act upon it.
    • The student should be able to relate the net force of an object to the acceleration of the object.
  • Assignment 4:
    • The student should be able to identify the forces acting upon an object if given a physical description of the situation.
  • Assignment 5:
    • The student should be able to analyze a physical scenario and determine the relative magnitude of forces acting upon the object in the scenario.
  • Assignment 6:
    • The student should be able to distinguish between the concepts of mass and weight.
    • The student should be able to calculate the mass of an object if given its weight (or vice versa).
  • Assignment 7:
    • The student should be able to identify the proportional relationship between acceleration, net force, and mass.
    • The student should be able to predict the quantitative effect of an alteration in the net force or mass of an object upon the acceleration of that object.
  • Assignment 8:
    • The student should be able to utilize Newton's second law equation to algebraically solve for an unknown quantity - acceleration, net force, or mass.
    • The student should be able to analyze and interpret a free-body diagram and determine the acceleration of an object.
  • Assignment 9:
    • The student should be able to interpret a physics word problem to retrieve pertinent information and calculate the acceleration of an object.
    • The student should be able to interpret a physics word problem to retrieve pertinent information and calculate the magnitude of an individual force.
  • Assignment 10:
    • The student should be able to state the definition of free fall and identify common characteristics of free-falling objects.
    • The student should be able to describe the effect of mass upon a free-falling object and to calculate the speed and displacement of free-falling objects.
  • Assignment 11:
    • The student should be able to identify the factors effecting the amount of air resistance and describe the effect of air resistance upon a falling object.
    • The student should be able to define terminal velocity, identify the causes of terminal velocity, and describe the factors effecting the magnitude of the terminal velocity.
  • Assignment 12:
    • The student should be able to identify action-reaction force pairs for any physical situation.
    • The student should be able to compare the magnitudes of action-reaction force pairs and describe the effect (and the non-effect) of action-reaction force pairs on the two interacting objects.