Newton's third law (law of interaction)
Refractive index can be given in terms of velocity by the use of the following equation;
This law states that For every action or force there is an equal and opposite force or reaction
A girl of mass 50 Kg stands on roller skates near a wall. She pushes herself against the wall with
a force of 30N. If the ground is horizontal and the friction on the roller skates is negligible,
determine her acceleration from the wall.
Action = reaction = 30 N
Force of acceleration from the wall = 30 N
F = ma
a = F/m = 30/50 = 0.6 m/s
Linear collision occurs when two bodies collide head-on and move along the same straight
line. There are two types of collisions;
- Inelastic collision: - this occurs when two bodies collide and stick together i.e. hitting
putty on a wall. Momentum is conserved.
- Elastic collision: - occurs when bodies collide and bounce off each other after collision.
Both momentum and kinetic energy are conserved.
The law of conservation of linear momentum states that when no outside forces act on a system of moving objects, the total momentum of the
system stays constant.
A bullet of mass 0.005 kg is fired from a gun of mass 0.5 kg. If the muzzle velocity of the
bullet is 300 m/s, determine the recoil velocity of the gun.
Initial momentum of the bullet and the gun is zero since they are at rest.
Momentum of the bullet after firing = (0.005 × 350) = 1.75 kgm/s
But momentum before firing = momentum after firing hence
0 = 1.75 + 0.5 v where 'v' = recoil velocity
0.5 v = -1.75
v =-1.75/0.5 = - 3.5 m/s (recoil velocity)
A resultant force of 12 N acts on a body of mass 2 kg for 10 seconds. What is the change
in momentum of the body?
Change in momentum = ∆P = mv – mu = Ft
= 12 × 10 = 12 Ns
A minibus of mass 1,500 kg travelling at a constant velocity of 72 km/h collides head-on
with a stationary car of mass 900 kg. The impact takes 2 seconds before the two move
together at a constant velocity for 20 seconds. Calculate;
a) The common velocity
b) The distance moved after the impact
c) The impulsive force
d) The change in kinetic energy
- Let the common velocity be 'v'
Momentum before collision = momentum after collision
(1500 × 20) + (900 × 0) = (1500 +900) v
30,000 = 2,400v
v = 30,000/2,400 = 12.5 m/s (common velocity)
- After impact, the two bodies move together as one with a velocity of 12.5 m/s
Distance = velocity × time
= 12.5 × 20
- Impulse = change in momentum
= 1500 (20 - 12.5) for minibus or
=900 (12.5 – 0) for the car
= 11,250 Ns
Impulse force F = impulse/time = 11,250/2 = 5,625 N
- K.E before collision = ½ × 1,500 × 202 = 3 × 105J
K.E after collision = ½ × 2400 × 12.52 = 1.875 × 105J
Therefore, change in K.E = (3.00 – 1.875) × 105 = 1.25 × 105J
Some Of The Applications Of The Law Of Conservation Of Momentum
- Rocket and jet propulsion: - rocket propels itself forward by forcing out its exhaust
gases. The hot gases are pushed through exhaust nozzle at high velocity therefore
gaining momentum to move forward.
- The garden sprinkler: - as water passes through the nozzle at high pressure it forces the
sprinkler to rotate.
Friction is a force which opposes or tends to oppose the relative motion of two surfaces in
contact with each other.
Measuring frictional forces
Coefficient of friction is defined as the ratio of the force needed to
overcome friction Ff to the perpendicular force between the surfaces Fn. Hence;
µ = Ff / Fn
A box of mass 50 kg is dragged on a horizontal floor by means of a rope tied to its front.
If the coefficient of kinetic friction between the floor and the box is 0.30, what is the
force required to move the box at uniform speed?
Ff = µFn
Fn = weight = 50 × 10 = 500 N
Ff = 0.30 × 500 = 150 N
A block of metal with a mass of 20 kg requires a horizontal force of 50 N to pull it with
uniform velocity along a horizontal surface. Calculate the coefficient of friction between
the surface and the block. (take g = 10 m/s)
Since motion is uniform, the applied force is equal to the frictional force
Fn = normal reaction = weight = 20 × 10 = 200 N
Therefore, µ =Ff / Fn = 50/ 200 = 0.25.
Laws of friction
- Friction is always parallel to the contact surface and in the opposite direction to the
force tending to produce or producing motion.
- Friction depends on the nature of the surfaces and materials in contact with each other.
- Sliding (kinetic) friction is less than static friction (friction before the body starts to
- Kinetic friction is independent of speed.
- Friction is independent of the area of contact.
- Friction is proportional to the force pressing the two surfaces together.
Applications of friction
- Match stick
- Chewing food
- Motion of motor vehicles
Methods of reducing friction
- Ball bearings in vehicles and machines
- Lubrication / oiling
- Air cushioning in hovercrafts
A wooden box of mass 30 kg rests on a rough floor. The coefficient of friction between the floor
and the box is 0.6. Calculate
a) The force required to just move the box
b) If a force of 200 N is applied the box with what acceleration will it move?
a) Frictional force Ff = µFn = µ(mg)
= 0.6×30×10 = 180 N
b) The resultant force = 200 – 180 = 20 N
From F = ma, then 20 = 30 a
a = 20 / 30 = 0.67 m/s2
- This is the internal friction of a fluid. Viscosity of a liquid decreases as temperature increases.
- When a body is released in a viscous fluid it accelerates at first then soon attains a steady
velocity called terminal velocity.
- Terminal velocity is attained when F + U = mg
viscous force, U
is upthrust and mg