What happens when Newton’s third law is broken?

If you are thinking that what happens when Newton’s Third Law is broken? In this Article we are going to discuss about this.

Let’s Dive into it

Newton’s third law is considered as a fundamental principle of physics, and We have seen this law is true in most of the situations. 

But third law of Newton’s proved wrong under some circumstances. Like in the realm of Quantum Mechanics.

In the Quantum mechanics means at microscopic particles can sometimes behaves as they are violating the Newton’s third law.

For example, 

  • In certain types of interactions, 
  • The reaction may not be exactly equal and opposite to the action.

Explain Newton’s Third Law of Motion with example

Newton’s third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Means if we apply 20 N force on one object, then that object will also apply the 20N force on us. But these forces are never cancels to each other.

Because these forces are applied on/ by two different objects. One force is applied by us and one force is applied by another object on us.

Let’s See this concept with some examples of our daily life,

Birds are flying in the sky.

When birds are flying birds are applying the some amount of force on the air in the downward direction ( which is known as action force). So as a result air also apply the reaction force on the wings of bird in the upward direction due to which bird start moving in the upward direction.

Swimmer Swimming in the Pool

Whenever a swimmer is swimming in the pool. He is pushing as action force on water in the backward direction but the water will apply the reaction force on the swimmer in the forward direction.So due to which swimmer will move in the forward direction.

Does newton’s third law apply in space?

Yes, the newton third law is applicable in space. The gases coming out from the rocket pushes the rocket in the forward direction as there are no air Molecules. As on the earth surface the gravitational pull of the earth is more so the effect of the newton’s third law appears more in comparison to space.

Newton’s third law of motion is also known as the law of:

Newton’s third law of motion is also known as the law of action and reaction.

Because whenever two objects are interacting with each other they are applying the two forces on each other.

These forces are known as Action and Reaction force. Due to which Newton’s Law of motion is also known as Law of Action and Reaction.

What is newton’s third law of motion simple definition

In Formal language Newton’s third Law is stated as For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Let’s Break it in simple way:

Let’s assume a person throws a stone🥌 on the dog 🐕 and dog start reacting on this and start barking 🤪on the person🤵🏻.

Now in this case the Force applied on the dog using stone is action force and Dog starts barking on the person which is acts like a Reaction force on the person.

Newton’s third law of motion equation

According to this law, Every action have equal in magnitude and opposite in the direction force.we can easily represent Newton’s third Law of motion using this simple equation as:

Faction = – Freaction

 Here Negative sign represents the both the action and reaction are applied in the opposite direction but these forces have equal  magnitude.

Is newton’s third law always true ?

Yes in Most of the cases Newton’s Third law is true in which an object is moving with slow speed.

But this law is not applicable🙅🏻 in the case where the two objects are interacting with contact force like friction force. As in this case frictional force depends on the different parameters like nature of the surface, material of the surface and coefficient of friction.

Frictional Force

In the other case,when an object is moving the speed comparable to the speed of light.Under that cases the high speed start affecting the forces and momentum associated with the object.The Newton’s third law will not be applicable in that condition.in this conditions Einstein theory of Relativity only will be applicable.

Significance of Newton’s Third Law of Motion

It Explains How we can easily move on the surface of the earth:

whenever we are moving. And we are applying that the force of pushing force on the earth with our foot. This force, which is acting as a action force. So as a result, the ground will also apply the reaction force to push back our foot. So due to which we can easily move on the surface.

It explains how the rocket work:

Whenever the rocket will releases the gases.These gases will exerts the action force in the downward direction. Due to which the reaction force of this the rocket starts moving in the forward direction.



It explains how we are able to breathe:

When we breathe  we are exhaling the gases out from the lungs. The gases which are coming out from the lungs exerts the action force on the air. As a result the air will exerts the reaction force due to which air rushes into the lungs.

Newton’s third law of motion examples in sports :

There are many evidence are there about Newoton’s Third law is applicable in many sports. So, now i am going to give few examples how newton’ third law is applicable in the sports also.

Shot Put:

when a shot put player throws the shot. He will exert the force on the shot.This force is known as the action force. The Reaction equal and opposite force is exert by shot on the shot putter due to which shotput starts moving.


When a tennis player hits a ball, the tennis player exerts the action force on the ball. As a result the tennis ball will also exert the reaction force due to which recoiling velocity is produced in the racket. 


When a bowler throws a ball towards the batsman. Bowler will exert the action force on the ball. Then the ball will exert a equal and opposite reaction force on the ball which causes the ball to roll down the lane.


How many laws of Newton are there?

There are total three Newton’s law of motion describes by  Sir Issac Newton.That are Known as Newton’s Laws of motion. All these laws are describes the relation between the force applied on the object and the motion executed by the object due to applied force.

Is Newton’s 3rd Law true?

Yes Newton’ 3rd law  is true in most of the cases. There are many evidences are there for Newton’s Third law as Recoiling of a gun,Flight of aeroplane, Movement of rocket  and Many more.

Where is Newton’s third law not apply?

Newton’s Third law is not applicable when an object is moving relativistic speed that means the speed of light. Under that condition Newton’s 3rd law is not holds.But under this situations the Einstein theory of relativity will be applicable.

What is Newton’s first law called?

Newton’s First law is also called the Law of Inertia.This is because the Newton’s first law is related to inertia.According to this law, if an object is at rest it will remains at rest, If a object is in motion it will remains in motion until no external force is applied on the object.

Is Newton’s 3rd law the meaning of life?

Yes Newton’s 3rd law have meaning in our Life as when we fire a bullet from the gun,The bullet will start moving in the forward direction by the explosion of the gunpowder.The explosion will produce an equal and opposite reaction force which pushes the gun backwards.


In Conclusion we can say about Newton’s Third law which states that For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.This Law helps us to understand our world in a better way,

It assists us the various physical phenomena that are happening in our routine life, Like Swimmer swim in the pool, Bird fly in the sky or How can we breathe.

But under some situations Newton’s Third law is not holds good  like in motion of relativistic particles.

Still Newton’s Third law is applicable in many situations.

Thanks and Have a Nice day.

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