Newton and the Pshooter Gang

Copyright 2009 Greg London

My recent exposure to the tumbleweed project got me to realize just how rusty I was with my Newtonian physics (i.e. the motion of objects without special relativity messing things up). Basic things like momentum, forces accelerating objects, work, energy, and power were all stuff I'd studied long ago and since forgotten.

Different people learn things different ways and I never found a website that was the sort of review of physics that I was looking for. I ended up reading through a bunch of different sites and examples before I finally got back to the point where I understood the basics of Newtonian motion again.

I decided to take everything I'd re-learned and condense it down into a single paper that is an introduction to Newtonian Physics that someone with no familiarity to physics could read, and by the time they finish, ought to have a basic understanding of all the concepts. It does assume you have some basic algebra skills. But otherwise, I think anyone could read it and understand the concepts, even if they can't do all the math.

It's a bit of a work in progress yet, but in 50 pages it explains everything from mass, momentum/inertia, forces accelerating objects, work, energy, and power. In those 50 pages, it explains Newton's Three Laws of motion, plus the law of conservation of energy. In those 50 pages, it also explains how to use all of these laws to calculate the results of two objects colliding. And it introduces you to the concept of an inertial frame.

After the first 50 pages or so, is basically bonus material that would include how to translate the previous linear concepts into their rotational equivalents, unit conversions, and others. If you just want a basic introduction to Newtonian Physics, you should be able to understand it by the time you read the first 50 pages of this paper. After those 50 pages are somewhat related topics that I found interesting and explored a bit.

I licensed the paper under a Creative Commons-Attribution-ShareAlike license. This means you can copy the paper and distribute it. It also means you are free to modify the paper as long as you follow the ShareAlike requirements of the license, which basically boils down to you having to share your modified version under the same CC-BY-SA license. There are no commercial restrictions on using this document, so if you want to sell copies for money, you already have permission as explained by the license.

The purpose of the license is mainly to create a starting point for people to improve upon the original document and all those improvements remain part of the ShareAlike document so everyone benefits from any improvements.

You can read it here: