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Physics

4.4 Newton's Third Law of Motion

Physics4.4 Newton's Third Law of Motion
  1. Preface
  2. 1 What is Physics?
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 Physics: Definitions and Applications
    3. 1.2 The Scientific Methods
    4. 1.3 The Language of Physics: Physical Quantities and Units
    5. Key Terms
    6. Section Summary
    7. Key Equations
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    9. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  3. 2 Motion in One Dimension
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Relative Motion, Distance, and Displacement
    3. 2.2 Speed and Velocity
    4. 2.3 Position vs. Time Graphs
    5. 2.4 Velocity vs. Time Graphs
    6. Key Terms
    7. Section Summary
    8. Key Equations
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    10. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  4. 3 Acceleration
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Acceleration
    3. 3.2 Representing Acceleration with Equations and Graphs
    4. Key Terms
    5. Section Summary
    6. Key Equations
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    8. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  5. 4 Forces and Newton’s Laws of Motion
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Force
    3. 4.2 Newton's First Law of Motion: Inertia
    4. 4.3 Newton's Second Law of Motion
    5. 4.4 Newton's Third Law of Motion
    6. Key Terms
    7. Section Summary
    8. Key Equations
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    10. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  6. 5 Motion in Two Dimensions
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Vector Addition and Subtraction: Graphical Methods
    3. 5.2 Vector Addition and Subtraction: Analytical Methods
    4. 5.3 Projectile Motion
    5. 5.4 Inclined Planes
    6. 5.5 Simple Harmonic Motion
    7. Key Terms
    8. Section Summary
    9. Key Equations
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    11. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  7. 6 Circular and Rotational Motion
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 Angle of Rotation and Angular Velocity
    3. 6.2 Uniform Circular Motion
    4. 6.3 Rotational Motion
    5. Key Terms
    6. Section Summary
    7. Key Equations
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    9. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  8. 7 Newton's Law of Gravitation
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion
    3. 7.2 Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation and Einstein's Theory of General Relativity
    4. Key Terms
    5. Section Summary
    6. Key Equations
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    8. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  9. 8 Momentum
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Linear Momentum, Force, and Impulse
    3. 8.2 Conservation of Momentum
    4. 8.3 Elastic and Inelastic Collisions
    5. Key Terms
    6. Section Summary
    7. Key Equations
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    9. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  10. 9 Work, Energy, and Simple Machines
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Work, Power, and the Work–Energy Theorem
    3. 9.2 Mechanical Energy and Conservation of Energy
    4. 9.3 Simple Machines
    5. Key Terms
    6. Section Summary
    7. Key Equations
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    9. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  11. 10 Special Relativity
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Postulates of Special Relativity
    3. 10.2 Consequences of Special Relativity
    4. Key Terms
    5. Section Summary
    6. Key Equations
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    8. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  12. 11 Thermal Energy, Heat, and Work
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 Temperature and Thermal Energy
    3. 11.2 Heat, Specific Heat, and Heat Transfer
    4. 11.3 Phase Change and Latent Heat
    5. Key Terms
    6. Section Summary
    7. Key Equations
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    9. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  13. 12 Thermodynamics
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics: Thermal Equilibrium
    3. 12.2 First law of Thermodynamics: Thermal Energy and Work
    4. 12.3 Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy
    5. 12.4 Applications of Thermodynamics: Heat Engines, Heat Pumps, and Refrigerators
    6. Key Terms
    7. Section Summary
    8. Key Equations
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    10. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  14. 13 Waves and Their Properties
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 Types of Waves
    3. 13.2 Wave Properties: Speed, Amplitude, Frequency, and Period
    4. 13.3 Wave Interaction: Superposition and Interference
    5. Key Terms
    6. Section Summary
    7. Key Equations
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    9. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  15. 14 Sound
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Speed of Sound, Frequency, and Wavelength
    3. 14.2 Sound Intensity and Sound Level
    4. 14.3 Doppler Effect and Sonic Booms
    5. 14.4 Sound Interference and Resonance
    6. Key Terms
    7. Section Summary
    8. Key Equations
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    10. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  16. 15 Light
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 The Electromagnetic Spectrum
    3. 15.2 The Behavior of Electromagnetic Radiation
    4. Key Terms
    5. Section Summary
    6. Key Equations
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    8. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  17. 16 Mirrors and Lenses
    1. Introduction
    2. 16.1 Reflection
    3. 16.2 Refraction
    4. 16.3 Lenses
    5. Key Terms
    6. Section Summary
    7. Key Equations
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    9. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  18. 17 Diffraction and Interference
    1. Introduction
    2. 17.1 Understanding Diffraction and Interference
    3. 17.2 Applications of Diffraction, Interference, and Coherence
    4. Key Terms
    5. Section Summary
    6. Key Equations
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    8. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  19. 18 Static Electricity
    1. Introduction
    2. 18.1 Electrical Charges, Conservation of Charge, and Transfer of Charge
    3. 18.2 Coulomb's law
    4. 18.3 Electric Field
    5. 18.4 Electric Potential
    6. 18.5 Capacitors and Dielectrics
    7. Key Terms
    8. Section Summary
    9. Key Equations
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    11. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  20. 19 Electrical Circuits
    1. Introduction
    2. 19.1 Ohm's law
    3. 19.2 Series Circuits
    4. 19.3 Parallel Circuits
    5. 19.4 Electric Power
    6. Key Terms
    7. Section Summary
    8. Key Equations
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    10. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  21. 20 Magnetism
    1. Introduction
    2. 20.1 Magnetic Fields, Field Lines, and Force
    3. 20.2 Motors, Generators, and Transformers
    4. 20.3 Electromagnetic Induction
    5. Key Terms
    6. Section Summary
    7. Key Equations
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    9. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  22. 21 The Quantum Nature of Light
    1. Introduction
    2. 21.1 Planck and Quantum Nature of Light
    3. 21.2 Einstein and the Photoelectric Effect
    4. 21.3 The Dual Nature of Light
    5. Key Terms
    6. Section Summary
    7. Key Equations
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Problems
      4. Performance Task
    9. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  23. 22 The Atom
    1. Introduction
    2. 22.1 The Structure of the Atom
    3. 22.2 Nuclear Forces and Radioactivity
    4. 22.3 Half Life and Radiometric Dating
    5. 22.4 Nuclear Fission and Fusion
    6. 22.5 Medical Applications of Radioactivity: Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation
    7. Key Terms
    8. Section Summary
    9. Key Equations
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Performance Task
    11. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  24. 23 Particle Physics
    1. Introduction
    2. 23.1 The Four Fundamental Forces
    3. 23.2 Quarks
    4. 23.3 The Unification of Forces
    5. Key Terms
    6. Section Summary
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Concept Items
      2. Critical Thinking Items
      3. Performance Task
    8. Test Prep
      1. Multiple Choice
      2. Short Answer
      3. Extended Response
  25. A | Reference Tables
  26. Index

Section Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe Newton’s third law, both verbally and mathematically
  • Use Newton’s third law to solve problems

Teacher Support

Teacher Support

The learning objectives in this section will help your students master the following standards:

  • (4) Science concepts. The student knows and applies the laws governing motion in a variety of situations. The student is expected to:
    • (D) calculate the effect of forces on objects, including the law of inertia, the relationship between force and acceleration, and the nature of force pairs between objects.

Section Key Terms

Newton’s third law of motion normal force tension thrust

Describing Newton’s Third Law of Motion

Teacher Support

Teacher Support

[BL][OL] Review Newton’s first and second laws.

[AL] Start a discussion about action and reaction by giving examples. Introduce the concepts of systems and systems of interest. Explain how forces can be classified as internal or external to the system of interest. Give examples of systems. Ask students which forces are internal and which are external in each scenario.

If you have ever stubbed your toe, you have noticed that although your toe initiates the impact, the surface that you stub it on exerts a force back on your toe. Although the first thought that crosses your mind is probably “ouch, that hurt” rather than “this is a great example of Newton’s third law,” both statements are true.

This is exactly what happens whenever one object exerts a force on another—each object experiences a force that is the same strength as the force acting on the other object but that acts in the opposite direction. Everyday experiences, such as stubbing a toe or throwing a ball, are all perfect examples of Newton’s third law in action.

Newton’s third law of motion states that whenever a first object exerts a force on a second object, the first object experiences a force equal in magnitude but opposite in direction to the force that it exerts.

Newton’s third law of motion tells us that forces always occur in pairs, and one object cannot exert a force on another without experiencing the same strength force in return. We sometimes refer to these force pairs as action-reaction pairs, where the force exerted is the action, and the force experienced in return is the reaction (although which is which depends on your point of view).

Newton’s third law is useful for figuring out which forces are external to a system. Recall that identifying external forces is important when setting up a problem, because the external forces must be added together to find the net force.

We can see Newton’s third law at work by looking at how people move about. Consider a swimmer pushing off from the side of a pool, as illustrated in Figure 4.8. She pushes against the pool wall with her feet and accelerates in the direction opposite to her push. The wall has thus exerted on the swimmer a force of equal magnitude but in the direction opposite that of her push. You might think that two forces of equal magnitude but that act in opposite directions would cancel, but they do not because they act on different systems.

In this case, there are two different systems that we could choose to investigate: the swimmer or the wall. If we choose the swimmer to be the system of interest, as in the figure, then F wall on feet F wall on feet is an external force on the swimmer and affects her motion. Because acceleration is in the same direction as the net external force, the swimmer moves in the direction of F wall on feet . F wall on feet . Because the swimmer is our system (or object of interest) and not the wall, we do not need to consider the force F feet on wall F feet on wall because it originates from the swimmer rather than acting on the swimmer. Therefore, F feet on wall F feet on wall does not directly affect the motion of the system and does not cancel F wall on feet . F wall on feet . Note that the swimmer pushes in the direction opposite to the direction in which she wants to move.

A swimmer is underwater and is facing to the left. Her feet are on a wall and she is using her feet to get ready to push forward off the wall. She will accelerate in a direction opposite to the force of her feet pushing on the wall. This opposition is the result of Newton’s third law of motion, which dictates that the wall exerts a force on the swimmer that is equal in magnitude but that acts in the direction opposite to the force that the swimmer exerts on the wall. A free body diagram is shown to illustrate the force of the wall on the feet, the buoyancy force pushing upward on the girl, and the weight of the girl pushing downward.
Figure 4.8 When the swimmer exerts a force F feet on wall F feet on wall on the wall, she accelerates in the direction opposite to that of her push. This means that the net external force on her is in the direction opposite to F feet on wall . F feet on wall . This opposition is the result of Newton’s third law of motion, which dictates that the wall exerts a force F wall on feet F wall on feet on the swimmer that is equal in magnitude but that acts in the direction opposite to the force that the swimmer exerts on the wall.

Other examples of Newton’s third law are easy to find. As a teacher paces in front of a whiteboard, he exerts a force backward on the floor. The floor exerts a reaction force in the forward direction on the teacher that causes him to accelerate forward. Similarly, a car accelerates because the ground pushes forward on the car's wheels in reaction to the car's wheels pushing backward on the ground. You can see evidence of the wheels pushing backward when tires spin on a gravel road and throw rocks backward.

Another example is the force of a baseball as it makes contact with the bat. Helicopters create lift by pushing air down, creating an upward reaction force. Birds fly by exerting force on air in the direction opposite that in which they wish to fly. For example, the wings of a bird force air downward and backward in order to get lift and move forward. An octopus propels itself forward in the water by ejecting water backward through a funnel in its body, which is similar to how a jet ski is propelled. In these examples, the octopus or jet ski push the water backward, and the water, in turn, pushes the octopus or jet ski forward.

Applying Newton’s Third Law

Teacher Support

Teacher Support

[BL] Review the concept of weight as a force.

[OL] Ask students what happens when an object is dropped from a height. Why does it stop when it hits the ground? Introduce the term normal force.

Teacher Demonstration

[BL][OL][AL] Demonstrate the concept of tension by using physical objects. Suspend an object such as an eraser from a peg by using a rubber band. Hang another rubber band beside the first but with no object attached. Ask students what the difference is between the two. What are the forces acting on the first peg? Explain how the rubber band (i.e., the connector) transmits force. Now ask students what the direction of the external forces acting on the connectoris. Also, ask what internal forces are acting on the connector. If you remove the eraser, in which direction will the rubber band move? This is the direction of the force the rubber band applied to the eraser.

Forces are classified and given names based on their source, how they are transmitted, or their effects. In previous sections, we discussed the forces called push, weight, and friction. In this section, applying Newton’s third law of motion will allow us to explore three more forces: the normal force, tension, and thrust. However, because we haven’t yet covered vectors in depth, we’ll only consider one-dimensional situations in this chapter. Another chapter will consider forces acting in two dimensions.

The gravitational force (or weight) acts on objects at all times and everywhere on Earth. We know from Newton’s second law that a net force produces an acceleration; so, why is everything not in a constant state of freefall toward the center of Earth? The answer is the normal force. The normal force is the force that a surface applies to an object to support the weight of that object; it acts perpendicular to the surface upon which the object rests. If an object on a flat surface is not accelerating, the net external force is zero, and the normal force has the same magnitude as the weight of the system but acts in the opposite direction. In equation form, we write that

N=mg. N=mg.
4.17

Note that this equation is only true for a horizontal surface.

The word tension comes from the Latin word meaning to stretch. Tension is the force along the length of a flexible connector, such as a string, rope, chain, or cable. Regardless of the type of connector attached to the object of interest, one must remember that the connector can only pull (or exert tension) in the direction parallel to its length. Tension is a pull that acts parallel to the connector, and that acts in opposite directions at the two ends of the connector. This is possible because a flexible connector is simply a long series of action-reaction forces, except at the two ends where outside objects provide one member of the action-reaction forces.

Consider a person holding a mass on a rope, as shown in Figure 4.9.

A hand is pulling downward on a rope with an object labeled m for mass attached to the bottom of the rope. A tension force vector from the hand points downward and another tension force vector from the object points upward. A weight force vector from the object points downward. The rope is the medium that transmits between the two objects' forces of equal magnitude but that act in opposite directions.
Figure 4.9 When a perfectly flexible connector (one requiring no force to bend it) such as a rope transmits a force T, this force must be parallel to the length of the rope, as shown. The pull that such a flexible connector exerts is a tension. Note that the rope pulls with equal magnitude force but in opposite directions to the hand and to the mass (neglecting the weight of the rope). This is an example of Newton’s third law. The rope is the medium that transmits forces of equal magnitude between the two objects but that act in opposite directions.

Tension in the rope must equal the weight of the supported mass, as we can prove by using Newton’s second law. If the 5.00 kg mass in the figure is stationary, then its acceleration is zero, so F net =0. F net =0. The only external forces acting on the mass are its weight W and the tension T supplied by the rope. Summing the external forces to find the net force, we obtain

F net =TW=0, F net =TW=0,
4.18

where T and W are the magnitudes of the tension and weight, respectively, and their signs indicate direction, with up being positive. By substituting mg for Fnet and rearranging the equation, the tension equals the weight of the supported mass, just as you would expect

T=W=mg. T=W=mg.
4.19

For a 5.00-kg mass (neglecting the mass of the rope), we see that

T=mg=(5.00 kg)(9 .80 m/s 2 )=49.0 N. T=mg=(5.00 kg)(9 .80 m/s 2 )=49.0 N.
4.20

Another example of Newton’s third law in action is thrust. Rockets move forward by expelling gas backward at a high velocity. This means that the rocket exerts a large force backward on the gas in the rocket combustion chamber, and the gas, in turn, exerts a large force forward on the rocket in response. This reaction force is called thrust.

Tips For Success

A common misconception is that rockets propel themselves by pushing on the ground or on the air behind them. They actually work better in a vacuum, where they can expel exhaust gases more easily.

Watch Physics

Newton’s Third Law of Motion

This video explains Newton’s third law of motion through examples involving push, normal force, and thrust (the force that propels a rocket or a jet).

Grasp Check

If the astronaut in the video wanted to move upward, in which direction should he throw the object? Why?

  1. He should throw the object upward because according to Newton’s third law, the object will then exert a force on him in the same direction (i.e., upward).
  2. He should throw the object upward because according to Newton’s third law, the object will then exert a force on him in the opposite direction (i.e., downward).
  3. He should throw the object downward because according to Newton’s third law, the object will then exert a force on him in the opposite direction (i.e., upward).
  4. He should throw the object downward because according to Newton’s third law, the object will then exert a force on him in the same direction (i.e., downward).

Worked Example

An Accelerating Subway Train

A physics teacher pushes a cart of demonstration equipment to a classroom, as in Figure 4.11. Her mass is 65.0 kg, the cart’s mass is 12.0 kg, and the equipment’s mass is 7.0 kg. To push the cart forward, the teacher’s foot applies a force of 150 N in the opposite direction (backward) on the floor. Calculate the acceleration produced by the teacher. The force of friction, which opposes the motion, is 24.0 N.

A teacher is standing and facing to the right. She is pushing a cart with various items on it including books and boxes. The teacher and cart are labeled, "System." A force vector labeled F teacher shows the force of the teacher's push on the cart and points to the right. A force vector of equal length labeled F cart show the force exerted by the cart and points to the left. A friction force vector at the bottom area of the cart points to the left. A force vector labeled F floor shows the force of the floor on the teacher's feet and points to the right. A force vector of equal length labeled F foot show the force exerted by teacher foot as she walks and points to the left. A free-body diagram of the system illustrates the friction force pointing to the left, the weight force pointing downward, the Newton force pointing upward, and the F floor force pointing to the right.
Figure 4.11

Strategy

Because they accelerate together, we define the system to be the teacher, the cart, and the equipment. The teacher pushes backward with a force F foot F foot of 150 N. According to Newton’s third law, the floor exerts a forward force F floor F floor of 150 N on the system. Because all motion is horizontal, we can assume that no net force acts in the vertical direction, and the problem becomes one dimensional. As noted in the figure, the friction f opposes the motion and therefore acts opposite the direction of F floor . F floor .

We should not include the forces F teacher F teacher , F cart F cart , or F foot F foot because these are exerted by the system, not on the system. We find the net external force by adding together the external forces acting on the system (see the free-body diagram in the figure) and then use Newton’s second law to find the acceleration.

Discussion

None of the forces between components of the system, such as between the teacher’s hands and the cart, contribute to the net external force because they are internal to the system. Another way to look at this is to note that the forces between components of a system cancel because they are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. For example, the force exerted by the teacher on the cart is of equal magnitude but in the opposite direction of the force exerted by the cart on the teacher. In this case, both forces act on the same system, so they cancel. Defining the system was crucial to solving this problem.

Practice Problems

14.

What is the equation for the normal force for a body with mass m that is at rest on a horizontal surface?

  1. N = m
  2. N = mg
  3. N = mv
  4. N = g
15.

An object with mass m is at rest on the floor. What is the magnitude and direction of the normal force acting on it?

  1. N = mv in upward direction
  2. N = mg in upward direction
  3. N = mv in downward direction
  4. N = mg in downward direction

Check Your Understanding

Teacher Support

Teacher Support

Use the questions in Check Your Understanding to assess whether students have mastered the learning objectives of this section. If students are struggling with a specific objective, the Check Your Understanding assessment will help identify which objective is causing the problem and direct students to the relevant content.

16.

What is Newton’s third law of motion?

  1. Whenever a first body exerts a force on a second body, the first body experiences a force that is twice the magnitude and acts in the direction of the applied force.
  2. Whenever a first body exerts a force on a second body, the first body experiences a force that is equal in magnitude and acts in the direction of the applied force.
  3. Whenever a first body exerts a force on a second body, the first body experiences a force that is twice the magnitude but acts in the direction opposite the direction of the applied force.
  4. Whenever a first body exerts a force on a second body, the first body experiences a force that is equal in magnitude but acts in the direction opposite the direction of the applied force.
17.

Considering Newton’s third law, why don’t two equal and opposite forces cancel out each other?

  1. Because the two forces act in the same direction
  2. Because the two forces have different magnitudes
  3. Because the two forces act on different systems
  4. Because the two forces act in perpendicular directions
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