- #1

WraithGlade

- 19

- 0

I'm trying to figure out how transfer of momentum works so that I can simulate it reasonably accurately and understand it on an intuitive level.

My intuition goes like this:

Momentum must be conserved. Therefore, if for example I had a 1 meter long Newton's Cradle with numerous polished steel balls on it, spanning the whole length, then if a steel ball moving at 1 meter/sec collides head on with the left side of the array then the ball furthest to the right in the array will begin swinging away from the array exactly 1 second after the first ball collided with the left side.

In other words, my intuition is that in momentum space it would be as if the original ball had never collided at all and just continued traveling along the space. Whereas, in contrast, in physical space, this would amount to the momentum being transferred along the line in order to achieve the equivalent effect.

Is my intuition correct?

Is the amount of time momentum transfer requires in the presence of collisions equivalent to the amount of time the original momentum would have taken to traverse the system without the presence of the colliding bodies?

This is all of course assuming that no energy is lost anywhere.

Thanks for reading.