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AS Mechanics Notes

Center of Gravity
The centre of mass of a body is that point at which the mass of the body may
be thought to be concentrated.

Finding the Center of gravity for irregular shapes (May be asked in an exam):

Pierce the card in at least two places.

Suspend the card from one of these holes.
Hang a plumbline from the point of suspension.
Using the plumbline as a reference draw a vertical line on the card.
Repeat for the other hole(s).
The centre of mass is where the lines cross on the card

Motion of an object depends on its resultant force. This is calculated by

adding all the forces together, taking their direction into account.

What are Newtons Law?

Mechanics Notes By Ashish

Newton's laws of motion are three physical laws that together laid the
foundation for classical mechanics. They describe the relationship between a
body and the forces acting upon it, and its motion in response to said forces.

How forces are represented?

This diagram clearly shows us how forces acting on an object are
represented, taking direction and magnitude into account.

Newton's First Law

Newton's First Law of Motion states that a body will remain at rest or
will continue to move at a constant velocity, unless an external force is

This means that in order for the acceleration of a body to change, there must
be a net force applied to the body. In other words, if the forces on an object
balance, there will be no acceleration (the object will continue at the same
So, if we are told that a body is not accelerating (i.e. if it is moving at a
constant velocity), we know that the resultant (overall) force in any one
direction will be zero.
What is Inertia?
The reluctance of a body to having its velocity changed is known as its inertia.
The greater the mass of an object the greater the inertia it possesses.
Newtons 2nd Law: The acceleration of a
body of constant mass is related to the
net external resultant force acting on the
Resultant force = mass x acceleration
F = m a

Mechanics Notes By Ashish

The graph on the right shows us how Force is directly proportional to

acceleration. If the force is decreased so is the acceleration.
Newtons 3rd Law: This Law states that if Body A applies a force on Body B,
Body B will apply the same type of force in the opposite direction, of the same
magnitude and on a straight line.
The following image represents Newtons third law.

Real Scenarios: Taking the Lift

Newtons 1st Law
When you get in the lift and when it moves at a constant speed you feel no
force up or down. When it sets off going up you feel like you are pushed
down, you want to stay where you are. When it sets off going down you feel
like you are lighter, you feel pulled up.
Newtons 2nd Law
As more people get in the lift its mass increases, if the lifting force is constant
we can see that it takes longer for the lift to get moving. Or we can see that
with more people the greater the lifting force must be.
Newtons 3rd Law
As you stand in the lift you push down on the floor, the floor pushes back

Exam Zone:

Mechanics Notes By Ashish


Mechanics Notes By Ashish


Terminal Velocity
As the body accelerates downwards the drag force
exerted by the fluid increases.
Therefore the resultant downward force on the body
decreases causing the acceleration of the body to
F = (weight drag) = ma
Eventually the upward drag force equals the
downward gravity force acting on the body.
When F = 0 = ma, that means that acceleration is 0,
meaning that the body is falling at a terminal velocity
(constant speed).
The following graph shows us an object that has reached its terminal velocity.

Mass is the amount of matter in an object.

SI Unit: KG
Weight is the force of gravity on an object.
SI Unit: Newtons (N)
Mechanics Notes By Ashish

Gravitational field strength is a measure of how strong gravity is at a particular

It is measured in newtons per kilogram (N/kg).
Earth has a gravitational field of (9.81N/kg)

Exam Zone


Hint: Think about streamline shapes for question 1 (C)

Mechanics Notes By Ashish