Worksheet: Newton's First Law of Motion

In this worksheet, we will practice applying Newton’s first law of motion to stationary and moving objects, comparing balanced and unbalanced net forces on these objects.


Which of the following statements most correctly describes Newton's first law of motion?

  • AAn object will change direction if a net force acts on the object.
  • BAn object will not change its velocity unless a net force acts on the object.
  • CAn object will move until a net force acts on the object.
  • DAn object will not move unless a net force acts on the object.


A book at rest on a table has a weight of 8 N.

At what rate is the book accelerating?

What is the net force acting on the book?

What magnitude force does the table apply to the book?


A ship with a weight of 7 000 N has both a motor and sails. The ship moves at a constant speed across the surface of the sea. The motor provides a force of 8 500 N and the drag from the water around the ship produces a force of 6 000 N. The wind is blowing in the opposite direction to the motion of the ship, so the sails provide a drag force on the ship.

What is the force on the ship from the wind pushing on its sails?

  • A −6 000 N
  • B 2 500 N
  • C 6 000 N
  • D −2 500 N
  • E 8 500 N

How many newtons of force does the water underneath the ship apply upward on the ship’s hull?

  • A 1 000 N
  • B 2 500 N
  • C 6 000 N
  • D 8 500 N
  • E 7 000 N


A satellite orbits Earth at a constant speed, traveling in a circle around Earth. Which of the following diagrams correctly shows the forces acting on the satellite, where the forces are shown by black arrows? The satellite is completely outside Earth’s atmosphere and has no engine.