Barger, Vernon D. Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.
Last reviewed:August 2021
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A property of matter that manifests itself as a resistance to any change in the motion of a body. Inertia is a familiarly encountered phenomenon. For instance, a ball on a level surface will resist motion unless prodded or kicked (see illustration). The mass of a body is a measure of its inertia, with greater mass translating to greater inertia. In this way, the relatively lightweight ball in the prior example will be far easier to impel into motion than a heavy car, in neutral, on level ground. See also: Mass; Matter; Motion
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