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4. Physics and Natural Laws

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4. Inertia and Energy

Objects that are moving tend to continue moving, in a straight line and at a constant speed, while objects that are not moving tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some other force. This is called the law of inertia.

For example, vessels in space can move really far without much spent energy because there is very little air acting to slow them down. When you are waiting for a green signal on flat pavement at an intersection, you will not move unless you engage the engine or are otherwise pushed.

While driving, momentum keeps your vehicle moving, unless it is acted upon by something, such as your brakes, the road surface, a fixed object (such as a tree), or another vehicle.

Inertia causes your body and loose objects in your car to keep moving forward when your vehicle stops suddenly.

You may be injured because of the inertia and momentum of loose objects in your car that fly through the air during a sudden stop.

When you are hit from behind while stopped, your head tends to stay in place due to inertia while the seat pushes the rest of your body forward. This causes whiplash. Using your head restraint mitigates injuries due to whiplash.

Lesson Summary


  

Lesson 4 Quiz


You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

  1. Gravity:


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  2. The primary factor in decreasing the Kinetic Energy of an object is to:


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  3. Centrifugal force:


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  4. The best way to maximize the traction of your tires is to:


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  5. According to the formula for stopping distance, how many feet will it take you to stop, from 60 mph?


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