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Motion Definition

Motion is the state of an object's movement or rest, changed by external forces. For example, a ball rolls when pushed.

View Lesson on Newton’s Laws of Motion
Grades 6-8 VideoNewton’s Laws of Motion player orange
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Newton’s Laws of Motion

Fun Facts

  • A kicked ball moves due to a force applied.
  • A heavier child on a swing needs more force to reach the same height.
  • A rocket moves up when gases push down on Earth with equal force.

Why Do We Need To Know About Motion

Learning about how things move helps us understand everyday life and why some jobs depend on this knowledge. Jobs like engineering need a grasp of how things move and work together to make things we use every day.

This isn’t just school stuff; it has real uses that keep us safe and make our lives easier. For example, engineers who work on making cars safer use the rules of motion to design features that protect us in a crash.  These include parts of the car that squish to absorb shock and systems that warn us before we hit something. This helps them figure out how to reduce the impact of a crash and save people’s lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Newton’s first law of motion states that an object's motion remains the same unless a force acts upon it. What would be an example of this law in action?
If a ball is still, it will remain still until a force, such as a kick, makes it move.
Newton’s second law of motion states that larger things need more force to move them than lighter things. What would be an example of this law in action?
One example is pushing a car or pushing a shopping cart. You would need much more force to push a car the same distance as a shopping cart.
Why do people need to know about Newton’s Laws of Motion?
Newton’s laws of motion are helpful when making predictions of motion. This might be important if you were trying to step off a boat onto a dock. If you push off the boat, it will move away from the dock a little, which would be important to know if you don’t want to end up in the water.
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