Newton’s Third Law

‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction’

ASOS Coat (op shopped by Adelle!) | Jeanswest tee | Lee Jeans | Dotti Heels

Academically, I was a science girl through and through. I excelled in chemistry class, and I absolutely loved my daily physics lesson. My understanding of maths was quite limited, making senior physics that much more difficult for me, but conceptually, physics always made sense to me – I just ‘got’ it. Everything was concrete and based on things I witnessed in every day life. The bending of light or sound waves when they hit a different medium could be likened to the bending of waves in the ocean as they travelled over a reef. I could always remember the concept of inertia by picturing dad slamming his foot on the brakes at 80km/hr and my drink going flying into the windscreen.

Newton’s Third Law was one of those physics concepts that was a little more abstract though, one that took a little more to grasp than others. Newton maintained that for every force a body exerted, there was exactly the same force exerted in the opposite direction from a second body. For example, the frictional force that a car tyre creates on the road, is matched in magnitude by the frictional force that the road pushes back with. It works on the idea that a force cannot exist without a reacting force… an action cannot exist without a reaction.

While I understood the concept of this law in a physical manner, I have found that as I have grown, matured and set out on the adventure that is adult life, I have started to see this law make sense to me (in a much looser sense) in different ways.

**An action cannot exist without a reaction**

Any comment you make (especially in our social media driven world) will always be met with some sort of reaction – positive or negative. Any action you take will result in some sort of consequence coming in from a body external to you. You can’t avoid reactions or consequence, it is science they just have to be there. The more you actually acknowledge this, the easier it becomes to consider the reactions and consequences prior to making your choices. And, as discussed a few weeks ago with Jenelle at Inspiring Wit, this is where an even more adult and somewhat misunderstood concept of integrity comes in to play. Choices made knowingly, with the consequences of making the wrong choice clearly understood, maintain integrity and build a stronger, more concise image. Making the right choice on an informed basis, prepares you for the equal and opposite reaction, whatever it may be.
Who said that you never learned essential life skills at school? Maybe I didn’t learn how to do my taxes or vote, but I can’t say I didn’t apply some of my physics education in my every day life!