Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Laws of Motion
Name: pete
Status: student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 


Question:
If a car accelerates because there is an balanced force acting on it how can it move if for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?


Replies:
You are assuming that the action and the opposite reaction will act on the same object. Not so. Think of the quintessential example of the gun firing a bullet. The action force acts on the bullet while the reaction force acts on the gun.

So why does the bullet move so much faster than the gun? Can you figure it out? Check out the law of the conservation fo momentum.

Larry Krengel



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory