How is conservation of momentum present in an airbag?

  • #1
How is conservation of momentum present in an airbag?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Orodruin
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
Gold Member
16,829
6,652
In the same way it is present everywhere. If you want a more specific answer you must specify more accurately why you think there would be a problem.
 
  • #3
sophiecentaur
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2020 Award
25,523
5,034
How is conservation of momentum present in an airbag?
I think I know what you are getting at.
When your body is brought to a halt in an accident, you need to get rid of all that momentum. The Impulse (change of momentum) needed is Force times the Time the force acts. An airbag extends the time considerably, compared with hitting the windscreen or even hitting the seatbelt. The force on your body is reduced proportionally so you may step out of the car, unhurt when the other passenger could have to be scraped off the windscreen. You both 'had' the same amount of initial momentum and end up with none.
 
  • #4
jbriggs444
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
9,612
4,261
I think I know what you are getting at.
When your body is brought to a halt in an accident, you need to get rid of all that momentum. The Impulse (change of momentum) needed is Force times the Time the force acts. An airbag extends the time considerably, compared with hitting the windscreen or even hitting the seatbelt. The force on your body is reduced proportionally so you may step out of the car, unhurt when the other passenger could have to be scraped off the windscreen. You both 'had' the same amount of initial momentum and end up with none.
In addition to extending the impulse in time, the airbag extends it in space, thus reducing the pressure at any specific point (e.g. nose on steering wheel) by increasing it at all the other points.
 

Related Threads on How is conservation of momentum present in an airbag?

  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
4K
Replies
3
Views
569
Replies
3
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
914
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
354
Replies
6
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
0
Views
1K
Top