Aug 012012

Even the Large Hadron Collider hasn’t managed to upset these laws and they have now been in place since 1687. They form the very basis of mechanics. Anything that has to be moved a certain distance in a given time and speed obeys these laws. The only thing that has changed in the intervening centuries is that the means of applying the force and measuring results is not as it was in the seventeenth century. When things go wrong it is often because a calculation has attempted to bend these laws.

All motion has three distinct but related qualities – position, where it is at any specific moment, speed as in how fast it changes position and acceleration, meaning how fast it changes speed.

Of the Three Laws of Motion, there are two whose formulas I use time after time in designing and specifying projects both large and small. The first is s=ut+öatô where s is distance, u is speed, t is time and a is acceleration or deceleration. The second is vô=uô+2as where v is the end speed and u is the start speed.

Newton’s Three Laws of Motion in summary are:
Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
The relationship between an object’s mass m, it’s acceleration a and the applied force F is F=ma. Acceleration and force are vectors as indicated by italicisation. In this law the direction of the force and acceleration vectors is the same.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

It is testament to Newton’s vision that the laws he promulgated more than 300 years ago in a very different world are still the basis of much of modern technology.

© 2021 Tim Oxtoby Ltd / Terms and Conditions