# Can every mass obey the Newton's 3rd law?

As in, if we were able to produce a very huge amount of force on a very small body, would it push back with the same force? Given it doesn't break or disintegrate. Like if we electromagnetically put tremendous force on a single electron, would it push back with the same force when released?

• – exp ikx May 21 at 12:25

Yes, a very small body can exert a very large force if it is being acted upon by a very large force (and vice-versa). There is no limit in terms of the mass of the objects involved as to whether they follow the third law of Newton or not. For example, I would like to point out an example which is trivial but is similar in an emotional sense to what you have in mind: an apple exerts the same force on the Earth as the entire Earth does on the apple. More dramatically speaking, for an apple lying on the ground, you can say that the Earth is supported by the apple just as much as you can say that the apple is supported by the Earth.

Now, there are violations of the third law of Newton but those are related to fields carrying the momentum on their own--not related to how massive the particles are (or not).

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Newton's third law doesn't tell anything about mass. It is about forces, and it says in fact that momentum is conserved in every interaction. See Compton scattering, where a photon interacts electromagnetically with an electron and then it scatters.

Newton's third law isn't a law about massive objects. The law is about forces. Newton's third law essentially just tells us that all forces are interactions. It doesn't tell us anything about the dynamics resulting from such interactions.

Like if we electromagnetically put tremendous force on a single electron, would it push back with the same force when released?

If your single electron is experiencing a force then this force is due to an interaction between the electron and whatever the other thing (things) is that is causing the interaction. I am confused by your "when released" part. Whatever is pushing on the electron will also experience a force of the same magnitude in the opposite direction. once force stops the interaction stops.

• That was just because of the thought process being a steady increase of the force on the electron rather than a sudden increase. And then making one side of the force zero so as to "release" it. As in, why can't we use such a mechanism is space? – user163416 May 21 at 13:13

## Rule:

All mass follows Newton's 3rd law, no exceptions.(reason,to conserve momentum)