Isaac Newton
Newtons Laws of Motion

How does Newtons' first law affect skiing?

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June 24, 2007 8:30AM

Newton's First Law Says: An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Assuming you mean downhill (or alpine) skiing. Gravity is that "unbalanced force" which makes us accelerate once we are on a slope. Friction from the air, and a small amount from the snow on your skis is fighting the force of gravity, but is not enough to balance it, and so you accelerate. Likewise, if you come to a flat spot on the snow, snow and air friction will gradually slow you down until you stop. Here, the level ground is providing a counter force to gravity (otherwise you would sink down into the ground!)