Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion

So much of the universe is governed by Newton’s Laws of Motion. Ask Science explains the impact that the laws of motion have on our lives using the most noble of sports, soccer.

Lee Falin, PhD
4-minute read
Episode #40

laws of motionIf you glance through the books in your personal library, chances are you don’t have a copy of Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis. However, you might consider adding it to your collection because this book, written in 1687 by Isaac Newton, contains the definitions of some of the most important natural laws in the universe: Newton’s three laws of motion. Today we’ll take a look at those three laws and see how they impact the most noble of sports, soccer.

Newton’s First Law of Motion

Every soccer game starts with the ball sitting on the center spot of the field. It remains there until the team that won the coin-toss decides to kick it. The reason the ball just sits there and doesn’t roll off into a goal is because of the first law of motion.

The first law of motion is commonly referred to as the law of inertia. In its original form it states:

“Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed.”

In other words, unless compelled to do otherwise, things tend to keep on doing whatever they were doing before. So the soccer ball, under no compulsion to do otherwise, just sits on the center spot. Waiting. Forever.


Please note that archive episodes of this podcast may include references to Ask Science. Rights of Albert Einstein are used with permission of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Represented exclusively by Greenlight.

About the Author

Lee Falin, PhD

Dr. Lee Falin earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, then went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology from Virginia Tech.