Chaun Ballard

Using the Laws of Motion to Explain Ferguson

from the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia

1. First Law

a body at rest tends to remain

at rest

a body in motion tends to remain

in motion

at a constant speed in a straight line

unless acted on

by an outside force

2. Second Law

the acceleration a of a mass m

by an unbalanced force F

is directly proportional

to the force

and inversely proportional to the mass

or a [knee jerk reaction] = F [ired shots] / m [ichael brown]

3. Third Law

for every action there is an equal

and opposite reaction

the total momentum of a system

of bodies

not acted on by an external force

remains constant

(see conservation laws in physics)

4. [Limitations]

newton’s laws of motion


with his laws of gravitation

provide a satisfactory basis

for the explanation

of motion

of everyday macroscopic objects

under everyday conditions


when applied to extremely high speeds

or extremely small objects


laws break down

Chaun Ballard was raised in both St. Louis, Missouri and San Bernardino, California. For six years now, his wife and he have been teaching in the Middle East and West Africa. He is currently a graduate student in the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s MFA Program, and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Apogee Journal, HEArt Online, International Poetry Review, The Caribbean Writer, Cactus Heart, Grist: The Journal for Writers, Orbis: Quarterly International Literary Journal, Off the Coast, Rattle, and other literary magazines.

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