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Last updated date: 25th Nov 2023
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MVSAT Dec 2023

You are inside a closed capsule from where you are not able to see anything about the outside world. Suddenly you feel that you are pushed towards the right. Can you explain the possible cause? Is it a feeling or a reality? Give at least one more situation like this.

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Hint: This question is based on the concepts of Newton’s laws of motion.This question includes the application of Newton’s first law (or law of inertia) and Newton’s third law. Newton’s third law states that an action has an equal and opposite reaction and first law justifies the inertial motion of a body.

Complete answer:
The law of inertia, also known as Newton's first law, states that if a body is at rest or travelling in a straight line at a constant speed, it will remain at rest or continue to move in a straight line at a constant speed until it is acted upon by a force. If a person inside a closed capsule feels a push towards right, it indicates that there is an external force acting on the capsule which pushes the capsule towards left. This is evident by Newton’s third law of motion.

The person feels a push towards the right since the person is in the inertia of rest with the capsule, and when the capsule is pushed towards left, the body of the person tries to remain at rest and thus feels a push towards right. The motion of the capsule towards the left is a reality, while the person only feels being pushed towards the right side.

Note: Similar to inertia of rest, there is a phenomenon of inertia of motion. This states that a body in motion will try to remain in motion when an external force tries to stop the body to rest. Both the laws of inertia are derived from Newton’s first law of motion.