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Newton's First Law of Motion and Spilled Coffee

Newton's First Law of Motion: An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. The motion of all objects can be described by saying that objects tend to keep going at the same speed and direction. If at rest, they tend to stay at rest.

Newton's First Law effects us every day.

When you have coffee in a car and you put on the brakes the coffee tends to keep on doing what it is doing.

When you accelerate from rest, the road provides an unbalanced force on the spinning wheels to push the car forward; yet the coffee which is at rest wants to stay at rest. While the car accelerates forward, the coffee remains in the same position the car accelerates the coffee stays in the same place. On the other hand, when braking from a state of motion the coffee continues forward with the same speed and in the same direction usually spilling.


Name three other applications of Newton's First Law.

1. To dislodge ketchup from the bottom of a ketchup bottle, it is often turned upside down and thrust downward at high speeds and then abruptly halted.
2. While riding a skateboard you fly forward off the board when hitting a curb or rock.
3. To remove a sheet of paper from under a text book without touching the textbook, give the paper a sharp tug.

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