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# What is Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion?

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### Quick Answer

Newton's Third Law of Motion is that all forces operate in equal pairs that move in opposite directions. This is often summarized as "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

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This law means that when one object exerts force on another, the same amount of force is exerted on the initial object, but in the opposite reaction. For example, when a billiard ball strikes another ball, the second ball is propelled forward. Simultaneously, the momentum of the first ball is slowed or stopped by opposing force. The amount that the first object is affected by the opposing force depends on the mass and motion of the second object.

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The rolling motion of a wheel results from a force causing two points on opposite sides of the wheel's axis to move in opposite directions. Typically when a force is applied to an object, all points move in the same direction, causing the object to slide. When a force is applied to a wheel, however, its shape allows rotation to occur.

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Sir Isaac Newton is most well known for explaining how gravity functions. However, the English mathematician and scientist also established the basics for differential and integral calculus and invented a reflecting telescope.

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