NEWTON'S FIRST LAW OF MOTION


Activity #1: Inertia – A Body at Rest

In this experiment you will learn about inertia. In it, you will try to remove a book cover from under an object without moving the object on top. Magicians do this all the time. Remember seeing a magician pull a tablecloth out from under a pile of dishes? Was it magic or science?

Before you begin:

  1. Print out the Activity 1 checklist.pdf .

  2. Write down in the Wiki Discussion Board what you think will happen when you try to remove a book cover from under an object without moving the object on top. Try to explain the scientific reasons for the outcome you predict.
  3. Print out the Document Sheet.pdf. This is the sheet in which you will track and record your findings.

Materials

You will need the following items for this experiment:

• one book cover or large piece of smooth paper

• one book with a hard, glossy cover

• one book with a rough or non-glossy cover

• objects to place on the book cover

Procedure

1. Place the book cover (or piece of paper) on a flat, smooth surface.

2. Put the book with the glossy cover on top of the book cover.

3. Quickly (and in one smooth motion) yank the book cover out from under the book.

4. Write down what happens.

5. Do the experiment again, this time putting other objects on top of the book cover. Observe what happens and write your answers to the following questions in the Wiki Discussion Board:

· Does mass (weight) have any effect on the experiment?

· Does the type of object you add have any effect? If so, in what way and why?

6. Try the experiment again using a book with a rough or non-glossy cover. What do you notice? Can you explain how this experiment relates to Newton’s First Law of Motion?arrow-previous-left.jpg