HomeAstronomyWhat makes Newton's laws work? Here's the simple trick.

What makes Newton’s laws work? Here’s the simple trick.

Paul M. Sutter is an astrophysicist at SUNY Stony Brook and the Flatiron Institute, host of “Ask a Spaceman and “Space Radio,” and author of “How to Die in Space.”

We all learned Newton’s laws in high school: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, force equals mass times acceleration, and for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. From those laws of motion, Isaac Newton discovered a universal theory of gravity that applied equally well to apples falling from trees and planets moving in their orbits. 

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