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F=ma Is The DEFINITION Of Force.

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Posted by Alexander on April 5, 2001 17:12:18 UTC

F=dp/dt is not a law of nature, or central LAW of mechanics as most textbooks claim, crediting "genious" insight to Newton. It actually is a definition of what we call force. We simply LABEL the rate of change of momentum dp/dt by the word "force", so instead telling over and over "rate of change of momentum" we shortname it "force". So F=ma is by definition.
If the momentum does not change, we instead saying "rate of change of momentum" is zero, say the same: "force" is zero.

Just a comment about "astonishing" accuracy of second law of motion which is NOT a law at all, but just a DEFINITION (of force).

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