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Have you ever wondered why objects stay at rest or keep moving in a straight line until acted upon by an external force? This phenomenon, known as inertia, is explained by Newton’s first law of motion. To better understand this fundamental law, let’s delve into a simple experiment that will unlock the secrets of inertia.

For this experiment, you will need a smooth table, a small ball, and a ruler. Start by placing the ruler on the table, ensuring it extends beyond the edge. Now, position the ball at the zero mark on the ruler and give it a gentle push. Observe what happens.

As you perform this experiment, you will notice that the ball initially stays at rest but starts moving as it encounters the edge of the ruler. This is because of its inertia. According to Newton’s first law, an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an external force. In this case, the external force is the edge of the ruler, which pushes the ball into motion.

Now, let’s try a variation of the experiment. Place the ruler on the table again, but this time, position the ball at a distance from the zero mark. Give the ball a gentle push and observe its motion. What do you notice?

You will observe that the ball moves in a straight line until it encounters the edge of the ruler. Once again, this is due to its inertia. The ball tends to keep moving in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force. In this case, the external force is the edge of the ruler, which alters the ball’s path.

By conducting this experiment, you have experienced firsthand the concept of inertia explained by Newton’s first law. Objects tend to maintain their state of motion unless acted upon by an external force. This principle has far-reaching implications in various aspects of our daily lives, from car accidents to space travel.