1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Finding change in momentum in 2-dimensions.

  1. Jul 27, 2015 #1
    To find the momentum change for an object in 2 dimensions do I find the initial momentum in both the x & y direction then apply the Pythagorean theorem, and then do the same for the final momentum and then find the difference between the two?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2015 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Momentum is a vector, so when you're looking for the change in momentum you're really looking for the difference between the initial an dthe final momentum vectors. Google for "vector subtraction Cartesian coordinates" and you'll find plenty of examples.
  4. Jul 28, 2015 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    If you just want the magnitude,
    ##\Delta p = \sqrt{(p_{1x} - p_{2x})^2 + (p_{1y}-p_{2y})^2}##
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook