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ERIC Number: EJ913093
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Dramatic (and Simple!) Demonstration of Newton's Third Law
Feldman, Gerald
Physics Teacher, v49 n2 p103-105 Feb 2011
An operational understanding of Newton's third law is often elusive for students. Typical examples of this concept are given for contact forces that are closer to the students' everyday experience. While this is a good thing in general, the reaction force can sometimes be taken for granted, and the students can miss the opportunity to really think about what is going on. In the case of magnetic forces, however, the notion of action at a distance actually requires a careful inspection of the forces involved and thereby promotes a more detailed analysis of the situation. In this paper, a simple demonstration of Newton's third law is presented in the context of a magnet falling through a hollow conducting tube. The results are unambiguous and lead the students to an irrefutable verification of Newton's third law.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A