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Homework Help: Newton's Third as logical device to make sense of 1st two laws

  1. Nov 18, 2011 #1
    In Introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner, the section on Newton's third law says that the third law is not only a physical principle but is also a logical necessity for the first two laws to make sense. I don't quite get this.

    These statement precedes an experiment regarding an object in a state of constant velocity of zero. Suppose the suddenly moves, the book asks what prevents us from considering that the object is not completely isolated, i.e. we always suppose that there is a force that moves and object. The book then proceeds that if this is true that the object is completely isolated then the second law would be completely meaningless. So there must be a third law which says that there is always an unequal and opposite reaction to what moved the object.

    How is this so?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2011 #2
    From the 2nd law there must always be a force that moved the object. But isn't it that we can already suppose a force which changes the acceleration of the object based on the Second Law as opposed from the proposition that it is logically required to posit a third law which axiomatizes the existence of a reacting force somewhere in the universe, as a matter of logic.
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