Physical Science


Physical science can be defined as those sciences such as chemistry, physics, geology, and astronomy that describe nature as well as the properties of no-living matter and natural energy (Shipman, 2009). In human society physical science is found very useful in almost every activity in a daily basis. For instance, in defense, physical science has found its application in many sections. Physical science, especially physics enabled the defense officers to control their weapons while they are carrying out the assigned tasks. Forces in defense that are described by physics determine the impact of destruction that a given weapon can do when it is used effectively. Physics can also be useful in calculating the distance a bullet will cover when a particular gun is used in shooting.

During police chase, the police officers use extra force as they encounter opposite force due to wind. When an offender has been caught, the defense officials apply some force to throw him or her into their vehicle. If these officers are well informed on how to hold someone firmly before throwing them into the vehicle, they can do their work easily without using much effort. The specific area of physics that is applied mostly in operating defense weapons is the Newton’s laws. Newton’s laws are also used to describe the impact of defense weapons like guns and bombs and their effective usage (Gibbons, 2008).  


According to Gibbons (2008), Isaac Newton was a physicist and mathematician. He discovered three laws of motion which have been found very important in describing nature. According to Newton’s first law of motion any given object will remain in a uniform motion within a straight line or remain at rest unless influenced by an external force (Gibbons, 2008). Naturally, a moving object in earth’s atmosphere is influenced by the force from the point of origin and by the force due to gravity. According to Newton’s second law of motion, the effects of the same force applied on objects of varied mass can be compared (Holzner, 2006).

This is very significant because an individual can be able to achieve the maximum effect a given amount of force by carefully selecting an object with appropriate mass. Newton’s third law of motion reveals that when an external force is exerted on an object another force of equal strength is experienced on the object but towards opposite direction (Buckley, 2006). This law is very important since is used in describing various situations which to some extent are counter-intuitive. Newton’s three laws of motion have been found applicable in the field of military, especially with the use of weapons during defense.  

Application of Newton’s laws of motion in defense  

Newton’s first law of motion is very useful in the field of military because it deals with the influence of external forces both on moving objects and still objects. A bullet loaded in gun is a still object and therefore it needs some force to be applied on it so that it can move forward (Gibbons, 2008). It is true that a bullet is effectively utilized when it moves forward at a high speed toward a target. Depending on how powerful a gun is, a police officer should be aware on the appropriate distance to keep between the him or her and the target. This is because of the external forces such as frictional forces in the air and the force due to gravity.

When the target object is far away from the police officer, he or she may not effectively shoot the object because of the following reasons: the force of the bullet will be reduced gradually as it travels in air due to frictional drag therefore may not penetrate well into the body of the target object (Kundu, 2008); the bullet may not reach the target object due to gravitational force since when the bullet moves forward parallel to the earth’s surface, its height tends to zero such that it will land on the ground before reaching the object or if the gun is fired upwards, the bullet may reach a point to start moving downwards towards the earth’s surface before reaching the target object; or a police officer can miss the aim at the target object due to the wing blowing strongly on the side of the bullet (Gibbons, 2008).   

Therefore, the police officer must take note of the external forces before firing a gun to ensure that the target object is shot effectively and the bullet is not wasted or does not shoot the unintended object that close to the target object. If the gun has a short barrel, it may not effectively shoot a target object that is far away. The police officer should therefore use a long barreled gun in order to effectively shoot an object that is at a distance without much influence both by the frictional drag in the atmosphere and the force due to gravity. In case the long barreled gun is not available then it is advisable that the officer should look for a way to move closure as far as the target object is concerned that object will be hit with full force and on the intended part of its body such as the head, or legs. If the wind is blowing strongly, the police officer should calculate well on the direction to which the gun will be fired or else the bullet will be wasted or shoot unintended objects around the target object.  

Newton’s second law of motion is also very important for the police officers because it explains the impact of equal shooting force on bullets of different masses (Holzner, 2006). Bullets exist in different inches, for example, standard, magnum, and super-magnum have 2 ¾, 3, and 3 ½ inches respectively. A gun that supports up to the magnum sized bullets can throw a standard bullet to a longer distance than it can do to a magnum bullet. This is because equal force of the gun can be felt more on the small bullet than the larger one. Therefore, using the same gun, a police officer can effectively shoot a target object that is far away by use of a small sized bullet than it could be possible if a large sized bullet was used. Newton’s second law of motion is therefore useful in selecting bullets of appropriate size depending on the distance between the gun operator and the target object.   

A police officer finds Newton’s third law of motion important during the time of firing a gun. According to this law, the force by which a bullet is released from the gun is equal to the force by which the gun recoils (Buckley, 2006). This idea enables a police officer to prepare well while firing a gun, by observing the position of his feet. For example, the police officer needs to stand stably with the foot opposite the dominant hand being in front and bend slightly forward so that he or she cannot fall backwards as the gun recoils. With the proper firing stance, if an individual’s dominant hand is the right hand, then the right foot should be in front and vice versa to ensure maximum stability once the gun recoils.

When firing, it is advisable to hold the gun very firmly while making sure that the finger is always outside the gun trigger guard.  This will also ensure that the police officer does not lose the aim when the gun recoils. Therefore, with Newton’s third law of motion, police officers become aware on how to control their guns while shooting so that to avoid harming themselves as the gun recoils, losing their aims, and avoid wastage of bullets. A police officer can be very efficient and effective in his or her work when they understand Newton’s third law of motion.

The police chase also makes use of Newton’s third law of motion. As a police officer is chasing an offender, his or her forward movement is retarded by the opposite force due to the air in the atmosphere. So that they can move forward easily and faster, there is need to reduce the opposite force as much as possible. A police officer should button his or her shirt and tuck in the shirt well so that air can slip easily on his or her body while running and therefore reduce the opposite or reaction force.


Newton’s three laws of motion play a great deal in the field of law enforcement especially during the police chase as well discharging of the weapons such as the shotguns. Newton’s first law of motion deals with the influence of external forces both on moving objects and still objects. A police officer should understand that a bullet is influences by a number of external forces after the gun has been fired. In order to shoot a target object effectively a police officer should get closer to the target object so that the bullet is not influenced a lot by the external forces such as frictional drag and force of gravity. Frictional drag is a force of retardation on an object moving in air across the surface of earth (Kundu, 2008). Newton’s second law of motion explains the impact of equal shooting force on bullets of different masses.  According to Newton’s third law of motion, the force at which a bullet is released from the gun is equal to the force by which the gun recoils.

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