Newton's Third Law
Forces and Motion

Thinking about actions to take: Force Pairs Replace Interactions

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:

Try these

  • using interaction diagrams
  • connecting the study of Newton's third law to earlier understanding of Newton's second law

Teacher Tip: Work through the Physics Narrative to find these lines of thinking worked out and then look in the Teaching Approaches for some examples of activities.

Avoid these

  • presenting the law as obvious
  • presenting the Newton three pair of forces as both acting on one object

Teacher Tip: These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.

Newton's Third Law
is used in analyses relating to Collisions

Disable node explorer

IOP DOMAINS Physics CPD programme

Waves CPD videos

Our new set of videos gives teachers and coaches of physics a preview of the training we offer ahead of this term's live support sessions.

Find out more