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written by Tom Henderson
This web page contains an in-depth tutorial on the topic of Newton's First Law (often referred to as the Law of Inertia), suitable for beginning students of physics.  It features multiple animations to accompany the text, plus self-guided question-and-answer sets.  Included is a discussion of the meaning of unbalanced force, the relationship between inertia and mass, everyday applications of the First Law, and a brief historical background.

This item is part of The Physics Classroom, a web-based collection of tutorials for high school physics students.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Newton's First Law
- High School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Problem/Problem Set
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
• Currently 4.0/5

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Intended Users:
Learner
Educator
Formats:
text/html
image/gif
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
Keywords:
acceleration, force, inertia, law of inertia, problem set, tutorial
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created January 1, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 11, 2012 by Tom Henderson
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 12, 2008

Physics is only physics when ....

Author: Abdullah Du'aleh
Posted: October 13, 2010 at 10:32AM

I personally don't have a particular idea for this website. But I have an idea about physics in my country and where else that is the same. We study/teach physics as stories(theories). There is no practical physics here. So what I come to believe is that physics is physics when it has its necessry resources.

The Physics Classroom Tutorial is great, but...

Author: Dean Golds.
Posted: February 2, 2009 at 9:52PM

...is there any vision for the future? Though the content is good and seems to be at just the right level for "regular" high school physics classes, it doesn't seem like this web site is moving foward. Answers to "Test Your Understanding" questions are shown in a new window when it seems that new web technologies would allow for a less awkward solution. Also, I emailed the site owner with typo fixes over 2 months ago and....nothing...typos are still there.

What's the master plan, stan? -DRG

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This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Dynamics: Forces and Motion
Unit Title: Newton's First Law & Inertia

Beginning students gain an in-depth, yet entertaining view of the background and applications of the Law of Inertia.  Through animations and self-guided problems, this tutorial helps students understand the idea of unbalanced force and see that mass is a measure of the amount of inertia.

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

AIP Format
T. Henderson, (1996), WWW Document, (http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l1a.cfm).
AJP/PRST-PER
T. Henderson, The Physics Classroom: Newton's First Law of Motion, (1996), <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l1a.cfm>.
APA Format
Henderson, T. (2008, December 12). The Physics Classroom: Newton's First Law of Motion. Retrieved August 21, 2017, from http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l1a.cfm
Chicago Format
Henderson, Tom. The Physics Classroom: Newton's First Law of Motion. December 12, 2008. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l1a.cfm (accessed 21 August 2017).
MLA Format
Henderson, Tom. The Physics Classroom: Newton's First Law of Motion. 1996. 12 Dec. 2008. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l1a.cfm>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Tom Henderson", Title = {The Physics Classroom: Newton's First Law of Motion}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {21 August 2017}, Month = {December 12, 2008}, Year = {1996} }
Refer Export Format

%A Tom Henderson
%T The Physics Classroom:  Newton's First Law of Motion
%D December 12, 2008
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l1a.cfm
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Henderson, Tom
%D December 12, 2008
%T The Physics Classroom:  Newton's First Law of Motion
%V 2017
%N 21 August 2017
%8 December 12, 2008
%9 text/html
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/u2l1a.cfm

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

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The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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The Physics Classroom: Newton's First Law of Motion:

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