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Third Law of Motion


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For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction is Newton’s third law of motion. This tells us that all forces in nature acts in pairs. These actions and reactions help in understanding the motion of bodies on which forces act. The law also helps in resolving issues in several applications of forces, namely when two bodies collide. The momentum of the bodies before collision and after collision can be worked out using the third law. If we consider bodies moving along a straight path, the momentum they possess is called linear momentum. If two spheres in a linear motion collide, their momentum before and after the collision can be related using Newton’s third law of motion.

The derivation from the third law of motion, using the mathematical expression of force, which is derived from Newton’s second law of motion, enunciates that in the absence of external forces, if two bodies collide, the total momentum of the bodies before the collision and after the collision remains the same. This is the law of conservation of linear momentum. After collision if the two bodies stick together, their common speed or velocity can be calculated by using the law of conservation of linear momentum. There are several applications of Newton’s third law of motion; the launching of satellites is one among them.

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