PHYSICS 101: Laws of SPACERAIL Motion

Newton’s laws of motion and how it applies to Spacerails

In a not-so-distant past, there used to be an English guy named Isaac Newton. Newton seemed like a regular kid while growing up, but as the world would come to discover, later on, he was more than just a regular kid. You might have heard the name before, and probably the popular story of the falling apple. We won’t be telling the story here as it deals with the concept of gravity. We would rather focus on another popular work of the sage; the laws of motion.

Sir Isaac Newton as he would later be known came up with three ideas about motion. Over time, these ideas have been tested and proven. That is why they are now known as laws. Remember in science, an idea does not become a law until it has been found to be true under all reasonable conditions.

The First Law

‘An object at rest remains at rest or if in motion, remains in motion at a constant velocity unless acted on by a net external force.’

We agree the text of the first law is quite long and could be complex. But you do not need to memorize it anyway. We’ll just give you a breakdown of the basic idea the text is communicating by dividing it into two parts.

The first part

With no outside forces, an object at rest would never move

The second part

With no outside forces, an object in motion would not stop.

Still sounding very complex? The good thing is you can observe these laws yourself. The next time you’re taking a trip down to the grocery in your mum’s car, seat right beside her and observe the movement of the car. What happens when you first sit in there? Well, you are all just sitting in the car but the car doesn’t move, right? This is because your mum is yet to apply any force. But once she starts the car and presses one of the pedals down there, the car roars into motion. Your mum applied an external force by pressing the accelerator. This process clearly follows Newton’s first law.

For the second part, think about what happens when you get to the store. Your mum presses another pedal and the car screeches to a halt. By pressing the car brake, your mum apples another force and the object (your car) that was formerly in motion is brought to a stop. This is in obedience to the second law.

If this still feels abstract, you can easily observe the phenomenon right in your home using spacerails. All you need do is purchase a suitable size of space rails and solve the assembly puzzle. We can assure you cracking the puzzle would be so much fun. After the puzzle, place the marble on the rails and observe the motion. You would notice the starting position on the rails has a downward slope. The force of gravity at this slope is responsible for the initial motion of the marble. This follows Newton’s First Law of Motion.

You would also observe that the marble doesn’t stop until it gets to the end of its path. At the end of the path, there is an obstacle that forces it to stop. This obstacle is the source of the external force as proposed by Newton’s Second Law.

If you have been watching videos of astronauts in space, you would notice that objects thrown upwards would keep floating without coming down immediately. This is due to the absence of the force of gravity in space. The objects could stay afloat until it is acted upon by the force of gravity of another planet.  

There you have it! We hope you have enjoyed our explanations of Newton’s First Law of Motion. Remember you can observe the phenomenon yourself in a fun manner by purchasing space rails.