The Law of Inertia



The law of inertia

A body will preserve its velocity and direction so long as no force in its motion's direction acts on it. The principle of inertia is one of the fundamental principles of classical physics that is used to describe the motion of objects and how they are affected by applied forces. Inertia comes from the Latin word, iners, meaning idle, sluggish.
The law of inertia is also important for Galileo's astronomy. He used this law to explain why we do not feel the earth's motion, and especially why objects falling on the surface of the earth move together with the earth. This explanation is related to the law of relativity, which is also based on the constant acceleration of bodies. In this way, Galileo succeeded in refuting the claims of his opponents, as in the example of the boat in which Galileo proved the law of inertia.

The property of an object, by virtue of which it cannot change its state of rest or of uniform motion along a straight line of its own, is called inertia.
Inertia is a measure of the mass of a body. The greater the mass of a body greater will be its inertia or vice-versa.
Inertia is of three types:
(i) Inertia of Rest: When a bus or train starts to move suddenly, the passengers sitting in it fall backwards due to the inertia of rest.

(ii) Inertia of Motion: When a moving bus or train stops suddenly, the passengers sitting in it jerk in a forward direction due to inertia of motion.

(iii) Inertia of Direction: We can protect ourselves from rain with an umbrella because raindrops can not change their direction due to it's own due to inertia of direction.

Have you experienced a jerk when brakes are suddenly applied to the vehicle?
This happens because initially, the car was in motion; the body was also in motion. Later, due to the application of brakes, the car came to rest; but the body due to its inertia still wants to be in motion. Therefore, the body doesn’t come to rest at once and experiences a jerk.

Galileo’s Law of Inertia
Aristotle’s Law was falsified by Galileo. Galileo corrected Aristotle’s law saying “An external force is required to keep a body in motion, only if resistive forces are present”

According to this law, A body moving on a frictionless surface should move with constant velocity.

  • A body at rest is considered equivalent to a body in uniform motion (In both cases, acceleration = 0; net force = 0)

  • Galileo’s law is the basis of Newton’s 1st Law of motion

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