Newton’s Third Law with Force Detectors

Every year I teach Newton’s laws in physics and most of the students are able to grasp the first and the second law. However, Newton’s third law is the one that is most contrary to their everyday intuition. This law as the students know it is “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. The students have learned it since their first science classes. But if I probe more deeply about it through scenarios of different collisions between cars with different masses and velocities, students do not apply Newton’s 3rd law any more. And they do so due to their...

Read More