Chapter 8 Fundamentals

8.1 Newton's laws

We start this chapter by considering Newton’s laws of motion. In order to do this we need briefly to revise the concepts of speed, velocity, acceleration and momentum, which are fundamental to a proper understanding of these laws. You may already be familiar with these concepts, but they are presented here to assist those who are a little rusty or, for whatever reason, may have gaps in their basic knowledge.

8.1.1 Fundamental definitions

Here are a few fundamental definitions, which you will no doubt be familiar with but are worth emphasizing here, in order to understand their significance in Newton’s laws of motion.

Speed may be defined as distance per unit time, or as rate of change of position. Speed ...

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