Newton’s three laws of motion, formulated in his classic book *Principia Mathematica* in 1687, provide the link between force and motion. You might recall that we said in the last chapter that the formula **F** = m**a** provides that link. This formula is actually the second of Newton’s three laws of motion. In fact, it is a special form of that law. In this chapter, we’ll go a bit deeper, looking at the general form of Newton’s second law as well as the two other laws.

The first law of motion tells you what happens if there is no force acting on an object (see Figure 5-1). Think of an object that is at rest and not moving. If you don’t apply any force on it (in other words, if you leave it alone), ...

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