Support materials only that illustrate some possible contexts for exploring Science as a Human Endeavour concepts in relation to Science Understanding content.
Knowledge of forces and motion has led to developments that have reduced the risks for drivers, their passengers, and other road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Car safety has improved through the development and use of devices such as seatbelts, crumple zones and airbags. An understanding of motion has also led to the design and implementation of traffic-calming devices such as speed bumps and safety barriers (ACSPH056). Knowledge of force and linear motion is used in forensic investigations into car accidents. Road laws and regulations, including the setting of speed limits in particular locations, are based on these scientific investigations and have resulted in lower road accident injuries and fatalities (ACSPH057).
The study of linear motion and forces has led to major developments in athlete training programs, sporting techniques and equipment development. Biomechanics applies the laws of force and motion to gain greater understanding of athletic performance through direct measurement, computer simulations and mathematical modelling (ACSPH054). Equipment such as bicycle frames and running shoes has been improved to reduce stresses and strains on athletes’ bodies. Many sports teams employ biomechanics experts to improve kicking, throwing or other techniques using knowledge of forces and motion. Advances in interpretation of video technologies, data logging and electronic detection and timing systems has also significantly improved reliability of judgements in sporting events (ACSPH055).
Isaac Newton’s interest in how objects fall and the orbits of planets led to the writing and publication of Principia Mathematica, which outlined the Laws of Motion. Newton’s laws provided an explanation for a range of previously unexplained physical phenomena and were confirmed by multiple experiments performed by a multitude of scientists (ACSPH053). Newton’s laws of motion enable scientists to make reliable predictions, except when considering objects travelling at or near the speed of light, or very small objects like atoms or subatomic particles, or when very strong gravitational fields are involved (ACSPH058). Phenomena related to semiconductors, superconductors and errors in GPS systems cannot be predicted using Newton’s Laws and other theories must be used (ACSPH058).