Newton s 3 rd law of motion
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Newton’s 3 rd Law of Motion. Newton’s 3 rd Law. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Examples. Hammer and Nail:

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Newton s 3 rd law of motion

Newton’s 3rdLaw of Motion

Newton s 3 rd law
Newton’s 3rd Law

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction


  • Hammer and Nail:

    • As a hammer hits a nail, the hammer applies a force to the nail AND the nail applies a force on the hammer this is why the hammer slows down as it hits the nail

  • Rocket blasting off the launch pad:

    • As the rocket applies a thrust force downward, the rocket moves upward

Newton s 3 rd law of motion


They are known as: “action-reaction pairs”

Action reaction pairs
“Action-Reaction Pairs”

Object A applies an “action” force on Object B while at the same time Object B has a “reaction” force on Object A of equal magnitude but opposite direction.

That s a lot to write out
That’s a lot to write out…

  • It can be shortened with a formula! 

  • FAB = -FBA

    • In English this simply says the Force that Object A puts on Object B is equal but opposite (remember: the negative just means opposite direction) to the Force that Object B puts on Object A

Why is it so difficult
Why is it so difficult?

  • There is no action-reaction pair!

  • You need the bending “action” to have the jumping “reaction”.

Newton s 3 rd law of motion

Think, pair, share (Think about it yourself, talk it over with a partner, and then write your ideas in your notes):

Use Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion to explain to a classmate why it hurts when you punch a wall.

Can a wall really punch you back
Can a wall really punch you back?

YES! Well, in a way…

Newton s 3 rd law of motion

  • The wall applies a force that is exactly equal in magnitude but opposite in direction.

    • This “reaction” force is known as a negative force; remember the negative just refers to the fact that it is opposite in the direction it goes

Check your understanding
Check YOUR Understanding

A truck driving down the road hits a mosquito. The mosquito is smashed and the truck continues driving.

Which of the two forces is greater: The mosquito on the truck or the truck on the mosquito? Why?

(Hint: really think about Newton’s 3rd Law here and maybe even think back to Newton’s 2nd Law to answer “why?”)

When you think you have the answer
When you think you have the answer…

Use your Peer-to-Peer Network toask a classmate (that has already completed this question) if your answer matches theirs