General Laws of Motion

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General Laws of Motion


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A list describing Isaac Newton's laws of motion, which explain how an object is affected by various forces acting upon it.




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Page 1

General Laws of Motion

Laws of Motion

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General Laws of Motion.

Law I, "Everybody perseveres in its state of rest, or uniform motion in a right line, unless it be compelled to change that state by force [impressed thereon?]." Newton's Principle.

II.The acceleration of motion, or the motion generated or destroyed in any body, is proportional to the force applied; and is made in the direction of that straight line in which the force acts. Newt.

III. To every action, there is always [opposed?] a reaction; or the mutual actions of 2 bodies [^?] are always equal; and divided to contrary points. Newt.  Of [?] endeavour to raise a weight by means of a lever, we shall [find its lever?] [such its?] hands [with?] the same force [?] we exert to raise the weight. Or if we [?] [only half?] of a balance, in order to raise a weight on the other scale, we measure [?]. The higher will be equal to that force [will?] [?] [the other?] scale [?] to descend.

When a cannon is fired, the impelling force of the [?] equally [at the?] [breech?] of the gun and [on its base?], so that if the piece and the base [was?] of equal weight, the piece would recoil [?] its same velocity - as [that force __ base __  ___?]. But [its?] [?] any body is the [__ up __?] its velocity, [?] the force [?] [?] the motion [conti-?] the same. Newt.  So many [times?] as the cannon and [?] are heavier than the base, [?] so many times will the velocity of the cannon be less than that of the ball. Note on 2nd Rule. Motion is an effect and [?] the [?] and in the direction [? the  force acts will be?]. A [?] motion can't be [?] by a [?] cause, but [___ ___ ___ __ found?] effect of different [?], [___ all the same instant?] upon the body.

Continuous Motion.
1. If 2 forces act at the same time on any body, and in the same direc-tion, the body will move quicker than [if moved?] by being acted upon by only one of the forces.
2.If a body be acted upon by two equal forces, in exactly opposite directions, it will not [moved?] from its [situation?]
3.If a body be acted upon by two unequal forces in exactly contrary directions, it will move in the direction of the greatest force.
4.If a body be acted upon by two forces neither with same nor in opposite directions, it will not [favour?] either of the forces, but will move in a line between them. The 1st three rules are [?].

Original Format

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“General Laws of Motion,” Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed November 28, 2022,

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