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written by Dean Baird
This item is a chapter on Newton's First Law and inertia from "The Book of Phyz," a free educator's guide to teaching introductory high school physics.  It features easily-understood content support in the fundamentals of inertia, including a brief history of how the idea of inertia evolved from Aristotle through Newton.  Related student activities, experiments, and a practice test are included in the materials.

SEE RELATED ITEMS BELOW for a link to the full course by the same author.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in One Dimension
= Acceleration
= Velocity
- Newton's First Law
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Laboratory
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
- Assessment Material
= Test
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- Assessment
- New teachers
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© 2002 Dean Baird
They may be used by teachers and students for classroom instruction. Beyond that, no part of these documents may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.
Law of Inertia, free fall, motion graphs, motion labs, quiz, test
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created January 14, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
July 25, 2015 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 1, 2004

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Forces and Motion (PS2.A)
  • For any pair of interacting objects, the force exerted by the first object on the second object is equal in strength to the force that the second object exerts on the first, but in the opposite direction (Newton's third law). (6-8)
  • All positions of objects and the directions of forces and motions must be described in an arbitrarily chosen reference frame and arbitrarily chosen units of size. In order to share information with other people, these choices must also be shared. (6-8)
Relationship Between Energy and Forces (PS3.C)
  • When two objects interact, each one exerts a force on the other that can cause energy to be transferred to or from the object. (6-8)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Patterns (K-12)
  • Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships. (6-8)
Cause and Effect (K-12)
  • Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems. (6-8)

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
  • 9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

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

This chapter from The Book of Phyz offers curriculum support for teaching about the Law of Inertia.  It features well-written background information for teachers, related activities and experiments.

Link to Unit:
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AIP Format
D. Baird, (2002), WWW Document, (http://phyz.org/phyz/BOP/2-NEWTON/PHY.html).
D. Baird, The Book of Phyz: Newton's Laws (2002), <http://phyz.org/phyz/BOP/2-NEWTON/PHY.html>.
APA Format
Baird, D. (2004, January 1). The Book of Phyz: Newton's Laws. Retrieved May 23, 2024, from http://phyz.org/phyz/BOP/2-NEWTON/PHY.html
Chicago Format
Baird, Dean. The Book of Phyz: Newton's Laws. January 1, 2004. http://phyz.org/phyz/BOP/2-NEWTON/PHY.html (accessed 23 May 2024).
MLA Format
Baird, Dean. The Book of Phyz: Newton's Laws. 2002. 1 Jan. 2004. 23 May 2024 <http://phyz.org/phyz/BOP/2-NEWTON/PHY.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Dean Baird", Title = {The Book of Phyz: Newton's Laws}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {23 May 2024}, Month = {January 1, 2004}, Year = {2002} }
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%A Dean Baird %T The Book of Phyz: Newton's Laws %D January 1, 2004 %U http://phyz.org/phyz/BOP/2-NEWTON/PHY.html %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Baird, Dean %D January 1, 2004 %T The Book of Phyz: Newton's Laws %V 2024 %N 23 May 2024 %8 January 1, 2004 %9 text/html %U http://phyz.org/phyz/BOP/2-NEWTON/PHY.html

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The Book of Phyz: Newton's Laws:

Is Part Of The Book of Phyz: NGSS Physics Units

This is a link to the full set of course materials by the same author for introductory high school physics.

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