Examples of Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion in Everyday Life

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Being a student of Physics, you must be aware of the story of an apple falling from a tree. On this basis, Issac Newton asked one of the most scientific questions i.e why doesn’t the moon fall on the earth in the same manner as an apple falling from a tree?

With this thought in mind, and, of course, by doing some mathematics and observations, he invented the 3 laws of motion. Out of which we are going to discuss the 2nd law of motion.

Newton’s 2nd law of motion basically explains how with time, the rate of change of momentum of a body is equal to both the magnitude and direction of the force applied to it. Mathematically, it relates the mass and acceleration of a body. Although, these laws were given in 1686. Yet, these are so accurate that they are still used even today.


Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion Examples in Everyday Life – Top 6

  • When we Walk
  • Vehicle Engines
  • Playing Golf
  • Shopping Cart
  • Launching a Rocket
  • Pushing a Wall


When we Walk

Image Source: The New York Times

Have you ever noticed what happens when we walk? In reality, while walking, you are using newton’s 2nd law. You exert a force on the ground which gives acceleration to yourself, hence, causes motion.

This explains why we require more energy when we walk. Also when you are in hilly areas, you require even more force which means more energy to move along uphill.

Vehicles Engines

Image Source: Car From Japan

If you have a car, then its engine comes with a specification in terms of power. Now suppose your car can go to 100km/h in 10 seconds. But what will happen if you simply attach a heavy cart to your car? It won’t be able to speed up to 100km/h in 10 seconds.

Now it will be able to reach somewhere around 100 km/h in 15 to 20 seconds, again, of course, depending upon the weight of your cart. In short, you can say that as soon as you attached the cart at the back of your car, the overall mass of the car increased.

Hence, decreasing the acceleration of your car. In fact, this also tells why a truck that carries heavy weights should have a bigger engine to have the same acceleration as compared to your car.

Playing Golf

Image Source: Boo Crew Life – Outdoors and Golf

Have you ever been to a golf course? When we hit a golf ball. It only goes to a larger distance if we apply more force.

On the other hand, a smaller hit to the ball will cause it to travel a lesser distance. In other words, the more force you apply, the more distance the golf ball will travel.

Shopping Cart

Image Source: PNGWing

When we go out shopping, we take a cart and put all our kinds of stuff in it. You must have experienced that the cart is easy to pull when it is empty. But, as we put more and more stuff in it, its weight increases, hence, becomes difficult to move.

This is because since its mass is increased, it will require more force to pull or push the cart in the forward or in the backward direction, simply satisfying newton’s 2nd law of motion.

Launching a Rocket

Image Source: Space.com

A force called thrust is required to set off the rocket to orbit around the earth. We know by the mathematical form of newton’s 2nd law of motion that force is proportional to acceleration.

Therefore, as a result, a very large force is required for a rocket to leave the atmosphere of the earth. In other words, one can simply say that launching a rocket is a direct application of newton’s second law of motion.

Pushing a Wall

Image Source: Healthline

When we try to push the wall, it doesn’t move. This happens because the wall has a larger mass, as a result, the force applied by a single person is negligible compared to the inertial position mass cum force the wall has. Hence, it doesn’t move.

On the other hand, what will happen, when 50 people push a small wall? As per the 2nd law of motion, it will move. Because the force applied by 50 people is larger than the inertial position mass of the wall.


Some other Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion Examples in Real Life

Apart from the above-mentioned ones, I am also mentioning a few here.

  • Riding a Bicycle
  • Kicking a Ball
  • Car Crash
  • Driving a Car
  • Two People Walking on a street, etc.

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I am currently working with Cuemath as an online maths educator and teaching students from all over the world. Since I did my BSc in non-medical where I chose physics in my master's (MSc) and decided to deliver my knowledge to help the students in grasping the respective topics of physical sciences by having a glance at my articles.

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