Is impulse only really used in real life because of the instruments you might have? I'm having trouble understanding why this idea is a useful physical construct. The best I found is that just like work can be thought of as a "transfer mechanism" of energy, impulse is the "transfer mechanism" of momentum (I don't recall where that quoted term is from). I was really just wondering why in an experiment someone would choose to talk about impulse rather than momentum. I have a hunch its because of what you can measure with what you have.