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If action and reaction are always equal and opposite, why don’t they always cancel each other?

They don’t cancel with each other because they act on two different bodies.

This post was part of TyroCity discussion forum
Question asked by drupadh_thapa
Answered by chimini_chand

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Yes, the actions and reactions do cancel each other. But it takes some time to come to the equilibrium. When a gunman fires a bullet, he/she feels the recoil action pushing him/her backwards (opposite to the direction that bullet takes). Thus we feel the reaction that arises out of any action. The phenomenon of action and reaction can be felt not just in mechanist sense, rather it can be felt in the works of emotions, political actions, management decisions etc. When one harms or hurts me, i feel the pinch and tend to reciprocate the same way. When management imposes some impractical rules or decisions, the opposition, defiance or antipathy arises in the same intensity. Things come to normal once the change is adapted, accepted by all and it is no longer felt impractical.

This post was part of TyroCity discussion forum
Answered by Shikhar