Problems with Newton's Second Law

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Given a car being pushed by a constant force:

a. How will the acceleration change in relation to the mass of the car? --> Done, it'll decrease
b. How will a graph of acceleration in the y axis and and (1/m) being the x axis will look like? What will the slope of the graph mean? --> Trouble with this one

2. Relevant equations

F = ma
a = F(1/M)

3. The attempt at a solution

For part B, I have already determined the graph should be decreasing, but I have doubts if it's exponential or as (1/x) does. I think it's as (1/x), since F is constant. As to what the slope means, I think it refers to the Inertia of the object in question. I have serious doubts with this though.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


Homework Helper
a. How will the acceleration change in relation to the mass of the car? --> Done, it'll decrease
I don't care for this answer, which is an oversimplification! In my opinion, the question asks for a "relationship" between mass and acceleration. That word "relationship" means they want the formula relating mass and acceleration. You probably have a formula with an "m" and an "a" in it. The thing to do is rearrange it so it says "a = ...".

For the b part, compare your formula for a= with the some standard formulas.
For example, y = slope*x + b is the formula for a straight line.
y = a*x^2 is a quadratic or parabola
y = a*e^x is an exponential.
Which one fits your formula for "a=" . . . with the "y" replaced by "a", the "x" replaced by "1/m" ?
You should find that it is one of the above, exactly, so you will know whether the graph is linear, parabolic or exponential.

Want to reply to this thread?

"Problems with Newton's Second Law" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Top Threads