Law of Gravity and First Law of Motion - Creating a Unity Simulation

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Because of Newton's Law of Gravity, we have his three Laws of Motion. In this 2nd of 4 lessons, students will add to their gravity project from lesson 1 and create a Unity simulation using Newton's 1st Law of Motion: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Introduction

If you kicked a ball in space, it would keep going forever, only because there is no gravity, friction, or air resistance (drag) in space. It would only stop going in its direction if it hits something like a meteorite or reaches the gravity field of another planet. In fact, there are many examples of this concept that can be identified out in our "real world." 

Physics has played a role in video games since the very beginning. Even 8-bit Mario was affected by gravity as he jumped, even if it wasn't in a completely realistic manner. However, modern technology has lead to increased realism in video games, and with it a demand for more realistic video game physics. 

Today, video games continue to improve their realism every day. So how do game engines like Unity use the laws of physics, specifically Newton's Laws of Motion, as they develop games? One thing to remember is that most of a video game's physics are created using Unity Physics Engine, more specifically by adding a rigidbody to a game object. The Unity Physics Engine basically runs realistic simulations related to physics. It was created to make the physics of a game as realistic as possible, so naturally they include Newton's Laws. 

In this lesson, students will create a Unity simulation using Newton's 1st Law of Motion: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Lesson #1: The Apple Doesn't Fall Too Far From the Tree

Lesson #2: Law of Gravity and First Law of Motion

Lesson #3: Newtons 2nd 3rd Laws

Lesson #4: Let's Put It All Together

Lesson Times

Total time for lesson:
55 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Information and Communication Technologies Information and Communication Technologies
    • Games and Simulation
K-12 Subjects
  • Technology Education
Grade Levels
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Standards and Objectives

Standards

California's 2013 CTE Standards (3)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will be able to create a simple C# Script in Unity 3d.
  • Students will be able to interpret Newtons 1st Law of Motion into a game/simulation.

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