Newton's Second Law, Fnet = ma Rapid Review for AP Physics B & C

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 10, 2011

For a more thorough review, refer to these concepts:

Rapid Review

  • The net force on an object equals the mass of the object multiplied by the object's acceleration.
  • To solve a problem using Fnet = ma, start by drawing a good free–body diagram. Resolve forces into vector components. For each axis, the vector sum of forces along that axis equals mai, where ai is the acceleration of the object along that axis.
  • When an object is on an inclined plane, resolve its weight into vector components that point parallel and perpendicular to the plane.
  • For problems that involve a pulley, remember that if there's one rope, there's one tension.
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