What were Newton’s Laws?

Francis Bacon and the Scientific Revolution Read more from
Chapter Skeptical and Natural Philosophy

Newton (1642–1727) is famous for three laws of motion and the universal law of gravitation, as follows.

  1. Every body continues in rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless an external force compels a change. This is the Law of Inertia.

  2. A change in motion is proportional to the force impressed and occurs in the direction of the straight line in which the force is impressed. F = MA, or Force equals Mass multiplied by Acceleration.

  3. To every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

Newton’s general law of gravity stated that every particle of matter in the universe attracts every other particle of matter with a force that varies directly as the product of their masses and varies inversely as the square of the distance between the particles.


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