Wouldn’t an equal and opposite be exerted on your hand, thus canceling out the force and having no net change on the ball?

Noticeably different from a rocket, where propelled material is the force that drives the rocket forward.

I used to remember the answer to this question, but my physics is kinda fuzzy.

In: Physics

No, the forces don’t cancel out. You can push away the ball, but the ball also pushes you away–so the ball and you accelerate in opposite directions. The force is the same, but acceleration also depends on mass, so you can push a little ball a lot faster than it can push a big person.

This is just like with a rocket. Either the ball or you (depending on how you prefer to think about it) is like the exhaust being expelled in the opposite direction the rocket is going.

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