Mind & Body

An Easy Guide To Understanding The Basics Of Physics

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Physics is the study of the natural world. For example, physics could be used to find out why objects are attracted to each other, or how an object can have infinite mass but still move at a finite speed. This guide is meant to help you become familiar with some basic concepts in physics so that you can begin studying them on your own.

Kinematic Equations

One of the basics of physics is knowing how to use kinematic equations. Whether it’s studying kinematic equations through Pasco or another educational website, the study of this equation is necessary because it can be used to describe motion within physics. Kinematic equations are used to find the (x,y) velocity and/or position of an object as it goes through time.

The example equation below shows what a common kinematic equation looks like:


Where “v” represents the velocity of an object at any time t, “a” is the acceleration of the object, “u” represents the initial velocity of an object, and “t” represents time.

It may seem strange to have a variable representing both velocity and position because usually these two variables are related. The term v can represent either a change in position or velocity because velocity is defined as the rate of change of position. Another way to think about this is that v and x (position) will always be parallel (or the same). This means that if an object changes its speed, it will always change its position according to this equation:

v=u+at where u=0


Newton’s First Law of Motion

Newton’s first law of motion states that “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and the same direction unless acted upon by a net external force.” This law is basically saying that if you push an object on a horizontal surface, it will stay moving until you stop pushing or the surface is inclined to a certain degree. It also means that if an object is moving at a constant velocity, it will stay moving at the same speed until another force acts on it. However, this law does not apply to objects with infinite mass because even though they have a constant velocity, their momentum is zero, which results in them not accelerating or decelerating.

Newton’s Second Law of Motion

Newton’s second law is similar to Newton’s first law because it tells us that if a net force is acting on an object, the object will accelerate in the direction of the net force. This law can be used to calculate how much force is needed to change the velocity of an object by a certain amount. 

Newton’s Third Law of Motion

This law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When you push something, the thing you pushed pushes back on you with equal or greater force depending on how hard you push. This law is used to explain why rockets are able to be propelled into space by burning fuel. Since the action (burning fuel) creates an explosion, there must also be the reaction (propulsion). 

Conservation of Momentum

This law states that the momentum of an isolated system will remain constant. The equation for momentum is as follows: p=mv where “p” represents the impulse (the change in velocity); “m” still indicates the mass, and v represents the final velocity after a collision. Newton’s third law comes into play here because if there is a collision, the momentum of each object before the collision must be equal to the momentum of that same object-assuming that there are no other forces acting on it after the collision. Therefore, if you know how much mass an object has, what its initial velocity was, and what its final velocity is after a certain time, you can solve for how much time it took to reach that speed or vice versa.

Kinetic Energy

The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. This means that when an object moves, it has the same amount of kinetic energy as it did before and after the movement occurred. Kinetic energy is represented by: K=mv2 where “K” indicates the kinetic energy; m is still the object’s mass, and v is the final velocity after a collision. Like many other equations on this list, kinetic energy can be used to solve for one of its variables if you know how much force was applied, what its initial velocity was, and what its final velocity is.

Circular Motion

This law states that any object moving in a circle has an acceleration towards the center of the circle. This means that if you are traveling in a perfect circle, your velocity would always be zero because your linear velocity is constantly changing direction. The equation for circular motion is as follows: v=rω where “v” represents the velocity; “r” still indicates radius, and “ω” indicates angular velocity. 

Physics is a subject that can be approached from many different angles. Physics is important because it underlies almost every other field of science and impacts our daily lives. For example, technological inventions such as smartphones or skis wouldn’t exist without physics!


Jonathan Leger is a small business owner and freelance writer. He also runs a popular question and answer site at AnswerThis.co.

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