Newton's Laws - Mission NL12 Detailed Help

Late one night, an unfortunate bug collides with the windshield of a fast-moving bus. The force of the bus on the bug is _____ the force of the bug on the bus; the resulting acceleration of the bug is ____ the acceleration of the bus.

Newton's Third Law:
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Newton's Second Law:
The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force, in the same direction as the net force, and inversely proportional to the mass of the object.

This question involves a dual application of Newton's second and third laws (stated above). You are asked to compare the magnitude of the forces exerted between a bug and a bus (a third law question) and the magnitude of the resulting accelerations of the bug and a bus (a second law question).
According to the third law, forces between two interacting objects occur in equal and opposite pairs. The bug and the bus push upon each other with equal and opposite forces. According to the second law, the resulting accelerations will depend directly upon the force and inversely upon the mass. Since both bug and bus encounter equal forces, it is the mass of the objects which will make their accelerations different. The least massive object has the greater acceleration.


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