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Homework Help: Newton's First Law

  1. Nov 22, 2009 #1
    A ball released from the top of the mast of a moving ship lands at the base of the mast. Explain this according to Newtons' first law.

    I just know that the first law is that if the net force acting on an object is zero, the object will maintain its state of rest or constant velocity. How does it apply to this scenario?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    I think the question is asking why the ball falls at the base of the mast rather than somewhere behind the ship, below the point from which it was dropped.
    Remember that the first law works in the horizontal direction even when there is a force in the vertical direction.
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