Newton's Second Law of Motion in the form force = change in momentum / time
Newton’s Second Law of Motion in the form force = change in momentum / time

Understand the basic principle: Newton’s Second Law of Motion states that force is equal to the rate at which momentum changes with time. It’s written in formula form as F = Δp / Δt where F is the force, Δp is the change in momentum and Δt is the change in time.

Note the units: Force is measured in Newtons (N), time in seconds (s), and momentum in kilogramme metres per second (kg m/s). When calculating, be sure to keep all units consistent.

Know the definition: Momentum is an object’s mass in motion. It is the product of an object’s mass and velocity. This implies that a larger object moving at the same speed as a smaller one will have greater momentum.

Understand how to calculate momentum: Momentum (p) is calculated by multiplying the mass (m) of an object by its velocity (v). This is expressed in the formula p = m * v.

Relation to Newton’s First Law: The second law is an extension of the first, as it states that an unbalanced force (F) will cause a change in momentum (Δp). This change will occur over a period of time (Δt).

Effect of Force: When a force acts upon an object for a certain amount of time, it changes the object’s velocity, and hence its momentum. The greater the force and the longer it is applied, the more the momentum changes.

Impact of Mass: The same force will have a greater effect (change in momentum) on a smaller mass than on a bigger one. This implies that heavier objects require more force to change their momentum.

Use of Law in Real Life: Newton’s Second Law aids in understanding various concepts like motion under gravity, motion on an inclined plane, and the mechanics of collisions.

Practice Questions: From a stationary position, a 3kg object is pushed for 5s with a force of 20N. What is the object’s final momentum? Remember to use the formula F = Δp / Δt to find your answer. In this case, Δp = F * Δt.