Momentum Definition and 422 Discussions

In Newtonian mechanics, linear momentum, translational momentum, or simply momentum (pl. momenta) is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. It is a vector quantity, possessing a magnitude and a direction. If m is an object's mass and v is its velocity (also a vector quantity), then the object's momentum is





{\displaystyle \mathbf {p} =m\mathbf {v} .}
In SI units, momentum is measured in kilogram meters per second (kg⋅m/s).
Newton's second law of motion states that the rate of change of a body's momentum is equal to the net force acting on it. Momentum depends on the frame of reference, but in any inertial frame it is a conserved quantity, meaning that if a closed system is not affected by external forces, its total linear momentum does not change. Momentum is also conserved in special relativity (with a modified formula) and, in a modified form, in electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and general relativity. It is an expression of one of the fundamental symmetries of space and time: translational symmetry.
Advanced formulations of classical mechanics, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, allow one to choose coordinate systems that incorporate symmetries and constraints. In these systems the conserved quantity is generalized momentum, and in general this is different from the kinetic momentum defined above. The concept of generalized momentum is carried over into quantum mechanics, where it becomes an operator on a wave function. The momentum and position operators are related by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
In continuous systems such as electromagnetic fields, fluid dynamics and deformable bodies, a momentum density can be defined, and a continuum version of the conservation of momentum leads to equations such as the Navier–Stokes equations for fluids or the Cauchy momentum equation for deformable solids or fluids.

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  1. Fatboyx

    I Pulling cable through underground ductwork.

    Hello all, I am an Engineering dropout turned Cable Splicer. In my job we do a lot of Heavy Duty underground cable pulling. Usually plastic jacketed cable through some type of ductwork (typically plastic as well). We use a winch truck and a heavy rope to pull this cable through the ducts...
  2. B

    Velocity of a relativistic particle in a uniform magnetic field

    d(ɣmv)/dt = qvB (dɣ/dt)mv + ɣm(dv/dt) = qvB Substituting gamma in and using the chain rule, it ends up simplifying to the following: ɣ^3*m(dv/dt) = qvB Now, I am confused on how to solve for v.
  3. lola1227

    Momentum Collision Homework Problem -- help please

    Parallel: M1V1+M2v2=M1V1’+M2V2’ (0.5)(3)+0=(0.5)(cos60)(3)+V2’Cos(x)(0.5) V2’cos(x)= Perpendicular: M1V1+M2v2=M1V1’+M2V2’ 0=(0.5)(0.3)(sin60)+V2’sin(x)(0.5) V2’sin(x)= And the divide 2 by 1 Which is tan(x)=2/1 And then plug then back in to solve, but I don’t think we do it like this because...
  4. Assaltwaffle

    I Question about transfer of Energy and Momentum in Ballistics

    My apologies if the prefix is too high of complexity. I don't know where this would fall, difficulty or academically speaking. While it may be surprising to some given Hollywood's portrayal of it in movies, if a person in wearing hard bulletproof armor is struck by a projectile, the person is...
  5. J

    I Momentum, impact force and Earth

    Suppose two objects, A and B, with large lengths LA and LB, and masses MA and MB, collide at time t0. Both objects before collision are vertical and aligned concentrically, being object B positioned initially at a higher z coordinate than object A. The bottom end of object A is rigidly...
  6. Anmol Dubey

    Calculating final rotational speed from angular velocity

    I have no idea how to go about this. Any help would be appreciated thanks :) Edit: I converted the 1.5 rev/s to rad/s = 9.4 rad/s
  7. V

    Trouble with a Rocket Propulsion question (Variable Mass & Momentum)

    I chose to set the upwards direction to be positive and dM/dt = R = 190 kg/s, so I can solve the problem in variable form and plug in. With the only external force being gravity, this gives M(t) * dv/dt = -M(t) * g + v_rel * R where M(t) is the remaining mass of the rocket. Rearranging this...
  8. R

    I Why is momentum considered a vector and kinetic energy a scalar?

    I'm not interested in the mathematical derivation, the mathematical derivation already is based on the assumption that momentum is a vector and kinetic energy is a scalar, thus it proves nothing. Specifically, what happens if we discuss scalarized momentum? What happens if we discuss vectorized...
  9. P

    The velocity of a movable block that is penetrated by an arrow

    This problem is in a chapter on momentum in the book basic engineering mechanics explained. Help me Mario
  10. mattlfang

    Perfectly inelastic collision of two moving and rotating disks

    two moving and rotating, uniformly weighted disks perfectly inelastic collide. The disks are rotating in opposite directions (see the diagram) At the moment of their collision, the angles between their velocity and the line connecting their centers are 45 degrees. The velocities are therefore in...
  11. Eobardrush

    Why momentum of a ball bounced off a wall increases twice fold?

    Question 2a: It is really hard for me to get my head around this. The solution of this question mentions the momentum of the ball after it rebounds is 12kgms. My attempt at this solution is as follows Before collision Momentum of ball= mv= 2x3= 6 kgms and momentum of wall= 0 Therefore Total...
  12. O

    1D Elastic Collision between an Elephant and a Fly

    1 = elephant 2 = fly So I am trying to find v'2 which is the final velocity of the fly. I have v1 the initial velocity of the elephant 2.1m/s. So I plug it into the equation and have v'2=(2m1/(m1+m2))*2.1m/s. We are not given the masses so I just know m1>m2 but I don't understand how that will...
  13. curiousPep

    Confused about which forces are external when Newton's Second Law is used

    So I have a trolley of mass m that moves on a straight line. A sphere of mass m, is attached on the trolley with a light string of length a and it is left to oscillate. Just to give some idea of their positions: r_trolley = xi r_sphere = (x-asinθ)i - acosθj (θ is the angle between the string...
  14. H

    Engineering Nozzle and diffuser momentum equation

  15. F

    I Determining Momentum from Wavefunction

    The goal I am trying to achieve is to determine the momentum (2D) in a quantum system from the wavefunction values and the eigenergies. How would I go about this in a general manner? Any pointers to resources would be helpfull.
  16. Wannabe Physicist

    Lagrangian Problem (Find Relation between Amplitude and Momentum)

    The given lagrangian doesn't seem to correspond to any of the basic systems (like simple/ coupled harmonic oscillators, etc). So I calculated the momentum ##p## which is the partial derivative of ##L## with respect to generalized velocity ##\dot{q}##. Doing so I obtain $$p =...
  17. S

    Hurricane forces — Comparing the force from a 60 mph wind to a 120 mph wind

    The marker wrote that the answer is 4 and it's because m and v double. I don't understand how m doubles??
  18. T

    Hollywood Physics Project

    Hi everyone, In my physics class, we are doing the Hollywood Physics Project. It's a project where you analyze the physics from a scene in a movie and talk about if it's accurate or not. I chose the scene from the Avengers where Thor strikes Captain America's shield with his hammer. The...
  19. F

    Momentum of a ball bouncing off of the floor

    ##m=.3 kg, v = 11 \frac {m}{s}, t = .25 s, \vec v_1 = mv\langle cos(-55), sin(-55) \rangle, \vec v_2 = mv\langle cos(25), sin(25) \rangle## $$m\vec v_1 - m\vec v_2 = \vec Ft = mv\langle cos(25)-cos(-55), sin(25)-sin(-55) \rangle$$ $$Ft = mv\sqrt{(cos(25)-cos(-55))^2 + (sin(25)-sin(-55))^2}$$ $$F...
  20. bo reddude

    I Physics of exercising and forces felt

    Let's imagine an ideal scenario where you're lifting your own weight in its entirety. Let's say a woman weighing 100 lbs. Suppose she's doing an idealized handstand and pushup from that position. So she's lifting 100 lbs. Let's say ideally all of the forces are on her arms only. Do these forces...
  21. shankk

    I Is the classical relation between energy and momentum valid in QM?

    Here we are talking about non-relativistic quantum physics. So we all know kinetic energy T = E - V = \frac{1}{2}mv^2 in classical physics. Here V is the potential energy of the particle and E is the total energy. Now what I am seeing is that this exact same relation is being used in quantum...
  22. S

    A silly question (perhaps) - Conservation of momentum for a cannon firing a cannonball

    Maybe a silly question but on the above question using the conservation of momentum: momentum before firing (0) = momentum after firing (55*35)+(M*2.5) If I re-range the above it's M = -(55*35)/2.5 = -770kg. I can I reconcile that minus sign (basically get rid of it)? Thanks
  23. yucheng

    What's the error in my solution (Freight car and hopper)

    Textbook solution: ##v## is the instantaneous velocity, $$P(t)=(M+b t) v$$ Then $$impulse = \Delta P = (M+b t) v = \int^{t}_{0} F dt'$$ Thus $$v=\frac{F t}{(M + bt)}$$ What I did instead was: Let ##M## be the instantaneous mass, and ##M_0## be the initial mass, then $$M=M_{0} + b t$$...
  24. yucheng

    Rocket propulsion equation: what's the error here?

    Equation for rocket motion: $$\frac{d \mathbf{P}}{d t} = M\frac{d \mathbf{v}}{d t} - \mathbf{u}\frac{d M}{d t}$$ But $$\mathbf{F}=\frac{d \mathbf{P}}{d t}=M\frac{d \mathbf{v}}{d t}$$ So $$M\frac{d \mathbf{v}}{d t} = M\frac{d \mathbf{v}}{d t} - \mathbf{u}\frac{d M}{d t}$$ And $$-...
  25. Sciencemaster

    I Does the wave function spread more quickly after it is observed?

    For the sake of this question, I am primarily concerned with the position wave function. So, from my understanding, the wave function seems to 'collapse' to a few states apon measurement. We know this because, if the same particle is measured again shortly after this, it will generally remain in...
  26. Matejxx1

    Describe the motion of yoyos suspended from the ceiling

    I have trouble solving this problem any help would be appreciated. Problem statement ##J=\frac{mr^2}{2}## a) Determine the motion of yoyos for ##n=1,2,3## The case for ##n=1## is simple, however, I am having trouble with ##n=2## and ##n=3##. for ##n=2## I started by drawing all the forces...
  27. B

    The definition of generalised momentum

    Why, in lagrangian mechanics, do we calculate: ##\frac{d}{dt}\frac{\partial T}{\partial \dot{q}}## to get the (generalised) momentum change in time instead of ##\frac{d T}{dq}##? (T - kinetic energy; q - generalised coordinate; p - generalised momentum; for simplicity I assumed that no external...
  28. mattlfang

    A ball hitting a two-ball system (with a spring between them)

    I honeslty don't quite know how to start. It seems like the Hooke's coefficent k is independent of the answer to this problem. I would also appreciate any clue of expressing the condition when "balls will collide again". The fact that all balls can keep moving make this rather difficult. It...
  29. E

    I Relativistic velocity, perpendicular acceleration and momentum

    A stationary observer sees a particle moving north at velocity v very close to the speed of light. Then the observer accelerates eastward to velocity v. What is its new total velocity of the particle toward the north-west relative to the observer? I ask because while the particles total...
  30. B

    2 contradicting approaches for a 1D elastic collision

    So I've managed to confuse myself on this problem :) Since the problem says we can assume ##m_p << m_b##, I'm assuming that the velocity of the bowling ball will be unchanged, such that ##\vec v_{b,i} = \vec v_{b,f} = -v_{b,0} \hat i## I started out using the energy-momentum principle, ##(\vec...
  31. OscarF

    Calculate speed from elastic and inelastic collisions? (momentum)

    So to cut to the chase, I missed my class' lesson on momentum - have tried to catch up, quite successfully but am baffled about this question. I know the conservation of momentum etc. but after trying for ages it's just not happening this question so any help would be much appreciated, Oscar.
  32. S

    Why do heavier projectiles tend to have higher momentum?

    I am wondering why heavier bullets have a higher momentum than lighter bullets when using similar powder charges? At the muzzle, a typical 150 grain bullet fired from a 30-'06 will travel at around 3000 ft/s. A 200 grain bullet from the same rifle will travel around 2600 ft/s. (The velocities...
  33. SilverSoldier

    Collisions, Impulses and Impulsive Tension

    1. When an object attached to a fixed point with a string, is given a velocity and the string goes taut. So it says in this book (Applied Mathematics 1 by L. Bostock and S. Chandler) that when the string goes taut, the component of the velocity of the particle becomes zero in the direction...
  34. wcjy

    Momentum and Conservation of energy

    When A hits B, COLM mV = -mVa + 2mVb V = 2Vb - Va COKE 0.5mv^2 = 0.5mVa^2 + 0.5(2m)Vb^2 V^2 = Va^2 + 2Vb^2 When B hits C COLM 2mVb=4mVc Vc = 0.5Vb COE 0.5(2m)Vb^2 = 0.5kx^2 +0.5(4m)Vc^2 sub Vc = 0.5b mVb^2 = KX^2 After that im stuck, cause i cant find V in terms of Vb only
  35. burian

    Application of momentum conservation in inelastic collisions

    So, what I did was suppose the mass of ramp is $ M_r$ and let velocity at B of block be v, then, after inellastic collsion both bodies v' velocity at B , $$M\vec{v}= M_r \vec{v'}+ M \vec{v'}$$ or, $$ \frac{M}{M +M_r} \vec{v}= \vec{v'}$$ Now, Suppose I take the limit as mass of ramp goes to...
  36. M

    Two masses collide with a spring -- Find the final positions/velocities

    Let's say you have two masses on either side of a spring. Mass 1 is connected to the end of a spring. The spring itself has no mass. Mass 2 is free in space. So you have: [M1]-[spring] [M2] So it's more descriptive, I'll name the variables like you might in programming. Let's define...
  37. Prabs3257

    Momentum conservation in SHM

    I first got the velocity of the combined mass with conservation of momentum and as it was in the mean position the velocity can be written as v = wA ( w= angular frequency , A = amplitude ) as we have to take it back to natural lenght i put A as the initial extension but i am getting a wrong ans...
  38. K

    Projectile-car system and momentum

    I have done question 1. But I'm struggling with the other one. So since the only thing I know about the rocket is the mass and the velocity, I guess I have to use momentum to solve this problem. From the first question, I found out that the x-velocity of the projectile is ##v_x=5...
  39. victor01

    I Clebsch–Gordan coefficients: An Identity

    Hi, everyone. I'm trying to get the next identity It is in the format <j1, j2; m1, m2 |j, m>. I hope you can help me
  40. Pushies

    I can't comprehend impulse = momentum

    Here is my calculation: F = ma 50N = 1050kg * a a = 0.0476m/s² S = ut + ½at ² 1000m = 0t + ½(0.0476)t² t = 204.980s y = 204.980s (time to travel 1000m) since impulse = momentum, F * t = mv F * x = m * distance covered/y 50N * x = 1050kg * 1000m/204.980s 50N * x = 5122.450N⋅s x = 102.440s...
  41. P

    Difficult Elastic Collision problem between two springs

  42. I

    Physics momentum problem -- Collision between 2 blocks that stick together

    So far I found the answer for a and b, but when I attempted to do the other ones I was completely lost. A.) P= MV M = 25g = .025kg V = 18 .025 * 18 = .45kg*m/s B.) KE= 1/2 mv^2 1/2 (.025)(18)^2 4.05 J
  43. domingoleung

    Bullet penetrating a block

    Change in KE = Change in thermal energy 0.5 * (6)* vblock^2 = 0.4 * 6 * 9.81* 0.1 vblock = 0.885 By Conservation of Momentum, (0.05)(854) = (0.05)*vbu + (6)(0.885) I am not sure whether Change in KE = Change in thermal energy is true coz there should be a change in internal energy of the...
  44. cemtu

    I Heisenberg Uncertainty: simple explanation required please

    why can't we know where electron goes after it was hit by light? Light has a travel direction, can't we assume that electron bounces to the same direction that the light was headed??
  45. A

    I To which particles does ##p=mc## apply?

    In A.P. French's Special Relativity, the author said the following, As I understand, photons are massless, so I don't think the last equation above applies to photons, but then, when deriving it, he used an equation proper to photons (##E=pc##). So in which context is ##m=p/c## valid?
  46. Kermit_the_Phrog

    Simple Canon Question (Conservation Of Momentum): Frame of Reference

    Since Pi = Pf, 0 = MbVbg + McVcg I just need to express Vbg in terms of Vbc and Vcg (that is, I need to express the velocity of the ball relative to the ground in terms that I know/want to solve for): by reference frames: Vbc = Vbg + Vcg so Vbg = Vbc -Vcg Now I can sub in and solve 0 =...
  47. S

    Conservation of Momentum: Elastic Collision of Two Masses

    I really want to know which answer is correct. I don’t really know if I should include velocities to the left as negative velocities in the equation. Is it -1 or 4.33? Please help! Thanks!!!
  48. C

    Pushing a stalled car out of an intersection

    Hints given: -Start with free body diagram. Use the relationship between impulse and momentum to find the final velocity of the car after he has pushed for time t. -Use a kinematic equation to relate the final velocity and time to the distance traveled. -What is his initial velocity? My...
  49. A

    Collision of a puck and a brick

    x(before) y(before) x(after) y(after) puck (0.36)(13.8)=4.968 0 (0.36)(10.41)cos(α) (0.36)(10.41)sin(α) brick 0 0 (1.35)(1.34)cos(β) -(1.35)(1.34)sin(β) total 4.968 N*s 0 4.968 N*s 0 thus: (0.36)(10.41)sin(α) =(1.35)(1.34)sin(β) β= sin^(-1)[3.747sin(α)/1.809]= sin^(-1)[2.071sin(α)]...
  50. J

    Particle bouncing between walls

    I thought it would be a good idea to pretend that the walls are stationary and that each time the particle hits a wall, it gets a velocity addition of the velocity of the wall it’s hitting. Using this I ended up at the formula V = initial velocity of particle + n(velocity of left wall) +...