Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm a little new to physics and I'm not quite getting the concept of inertia. Can someone help me?

share|improve this question
2  
Is there any special part you don't understand? –  jinawee Jun 17 '13 at 16:32
1  
What don't you get about it? –  David Z Jun 17 '13 at 16:32
    
In my physics book (Conceptual Physics Fundamentals by Paul G. Hewitt), he talks about newtons laws of motion having to do with inertia while what he's talking about is completely unrelated. I got a little confused. :D –  JJP Jun 18 '13 at 22:54
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The Wiki article is very much satisfactory. Without a proper definition of your question - like where exactly you require an explanation or confused about, all I can say is this. It's the resistance of an object to an applied force. Or in other words, the ability of an object (of course it should be massive) to maintain its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an imbalanced external force.

Take an object. Place it somewhere - your table, floor or anything you like. It won't move forever unless you or something else disturbs it. Push or pull the resting object (I mean, apply a force to it). It will move on forever. In reality, this ideal object is acted upon by friction (at the contact surface). So, the object comes to rest almost instantly (or more depending the friction coefficient). Another way (regarding the inertia of direction), the classical example is by swinging a stone tied to a string where the stone has inertia and so, it tends to break the contact (string) and go away in some particular direction...

share|improve this answer
    
Wow...thanks guy! –  JJP Jun 18 '13 at 22:43
    
FWIW, you're welcome ;-) –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Jun 19 '13 at 2:16
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.