Newton's Second Law of Motion: Force = Mass * Acceleration

Newton's second of three laws concerning motion states that an object with mass M subjected to a force F, will accelerate in the direction of the force with acceleration A, and the acceleration will be proportional to the force, and inversely proportional to the mass. In other terms:

A ∝ F/M (∝ is the symbol for "directly proportional to")

This leads to the more common expression:

F = ma or Force = mass * acceleration

Some say this (F = ma) is the most important equation in physics.

You can see this law in action by varying the force and mass values for the two sleds above and launching them. Notice how the short acceleration varies in magnitude according to the proportions described in Newton's second law.

Subject Index for all interactive diagrams - Physics - Dynamics - F=ma (Newton's Laws of Motion)

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