In introductory mechanics, the momentum of a particle is its mass times its velocity. In electrodynamics, the momentum of a field is proportional to the cross-product of the electric field with the magnetic field. In special relativity, momentum is generalized to four-momentum.

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Circular motion and momentum

I have to explain why there is a force pointing inwards in a circular trajectory (assume constant speed), but without relying on centripetal force argument. So I choose two arbitrary points in the ...
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22 views

Neutron X collides with a stationary neutron Y when travelling directly towards it with velocity v. Show X will stop and Y will move off with v [on hold]

By writing equations showing conservation of kinetic energy and conservation of momentum, show that an elastic collision between neutron X travelling with velocity v directly towards neutron Y, which ...
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1answer
37 views

Does the spatial momentum of the ground state of a Poincare symmetric QFT vanish?

Consider a flat space QFT, the Lagrangian (in general interacting) has Poincare symmetry, and $\lvert\Omega\rangle$ is the ground state (or just merely no insertion at the far boundaries, from ...
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140 views

Calculating $\langle x | \hat{x} | p \rangle$ in $p$ basis

I am trying to calculate $\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ p\rangle$. I can work in the $x$-basis like so: $$\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ p\rangle=\int dx'\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ x'\rangle\langle x'\ |\ ...
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1answer
51 views

The Egg Smashing Tournament

My cousins and I have a annual egg breaking tournament. First, each of us gets a hard boiled egg. Then, in a bracket tournament style, a pair of us face off in an egg breaking round: one person holds ...
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1answer
33 views

Calculation of velocity via kinetic energy and momentum yielding different answer

I am attacking the given problem (as a preface I'm not asking to be spoon fed any answers, just looking for clarity from people much smarter than myself) A 15.0kg block is attached to a very light ...
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2answers
59 views

How is the conservation of momentum satisfied in long-range attraction such as electromagnetism and gravity?

I'm not a physicist, but my understanding is that electromagnetism (including attraction between opposite charges) is mediated by the photon, and gravity is probably (hypothetized to be?) mediated by ...
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1answer
43 views

Particle disintegration (Landau & Lifshitz)

In the particle disintegration problem in the book by Landau and Lifshit(z), it is considered a particle with velocity $\vec{V}$ in the lab frame, which disintegrates into two particles with masses ...
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2answers
54 views

When momentum coincides with impulse

If an object is pushed for some time by some force from a resting state, can I say that at the exact moment the force is removed, impulse equals momentum?
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2answers
60 views

Why is momentum conserved in inelastic collisions? How is it related to momentum-impulse theory?

First of all I want to mention, that I've found many questions around this site and in other websites dealing with my question; however, I don't think they answer my question fully. So I am here to ...
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1answer
52 views

Linear Momentum Based Problem [closed]

A ball moving along a straight line collides elastically with another stationary ball of the same mass. At the moment of collision the angle between the straight line passing through the centres of ...
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3answers
220 views

The momentum of a swinging sword

Suppose you are faced with a zombie, and the only way to kill it and save yourself is to chop its head off with your sword. However, you are very weak from illness, and can only afford to strike once. ...
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56 views

Problem with momentum operator

Why is there no problem with the eigenfunction of the momentum operator being non-normalisable? How can it be a valid quantum state?
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129 views

What does “spread of momentum” actually mean?

I was reading Feynman's lecture in which Feynman invoked his own way of explaining the uncertainty principle using single-slit experiment. There I found: To get a rough idea of the spread of ...
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1answer
36 views

Relating to Inelastic Collisions

There is a very simple equation for an inelastic collision but it really only applies to 2d scenarios: $$v = \frac{(m_1 u_1 + m_2 u_2)}{(m_1+m_2)}$$ What would be the equation for an inelastic ...
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2answers
88 views

Conservation of Momentum: Perfectly Elastic Collision, Example Problem

I am a middle school science teacher. I'm a little rusty on my physics knowledge, and I came across a question that I feel like I should be able to solve, but it also feels like there is a piece of ...
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1answer
34 views

Equations for a collision between two particles

Say I have two particles on a 2D plane, they have a x and y coordinate, a x and y velocity, a mass, a coefficient of restitution and a coefficient of friction. What formulae would I need to determine ...
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2answers
33 views

How do we prove that the initial velocity is equal to final velocity relative to centre of mass?

In elastic collision it is stated that the initial velocity relative to centre of mass is equivalent to final velocity of centre of mass of the same object. How do we prove that?
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1answer
43 views

Can individual forces be regarded as momentum flows? [closed]

Net force on an object can be defined in two ways equivalently (from a classical point of view): $$\vec{F} = m\frac{d\vec{v}}{dt}=\frac{d\vec{p}}{dt}$$ Looking at the last expression (definition in ...
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2answers
82 views

What does the force mean in $dp/dt$ form?

One was to write Newton's laws is: $$F=\frac{dp}{dt}.$$ I don't understand what is the force there. I believe that $F$ is the net external force on the system. So supposedly I have a mass which is ...
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1answer
774 views

Can conservation of momentum be violated?

The law of the conservation of momentum was accepted for year-hundreds. Even in Quantum field theory every particle collision must be momentum-conserving if there is homogenity in space. Can this ...
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0answers
19 views

In momentum theory, what happens if atmospheric velocity is larger than outflow velocity?

I am currently reading up on aerodynamics, essentially the actuator disk concept and momentum theory as it is described in e.g. Basic Helicopter Aerodynamics by Seddon and Newman. There they assume ...
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1answer
32 views

What will happen to the center of mass of the human body when a person carries a weight with one hand?

What will happen to the center of mass of the human body when a person carries a weight with one hand a briefcase for example. Wouldn't the center of mass move horizontally towards the side carrying ...
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3answers
73 views

Object falls and hits ground - which forces are involved to change its momentum?

When an object falls and hits the ground - which forces are involved to change its momentum? Should $m\vec{g}$ be taken into account of the forces that were involved in the change of momentum?
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1answer
19 views

Why would a photon striking an electron “make both recoil”? [duplicate]

Why would a photon striking an electron "make both recoil" as I read in an answer to another question. If the photon is massless, how can it make an electron change momentum?
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1answer
37 views

Pressure, Momentum and Energy: A 'Peculiar' Relation

Is the following possible? $$ P = \frac{p^2}{3E} $$ where $P$ is pressure, $p$ is momentum and $E$ is energy. In what convention is the above relation acceptable? EDIT: The source paper can be found ...
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1answer
81 views

What is the relation between a basis transformation and an induced transformation $\psi(\Lambda^{-1} p)$ on the wave function? [closed]

I'm having trouble understanding why is $\psi(\Lambda^{-1}p')$ the correct wave function in the Lorentz transformed frame $p' = \Lambda p$. Suppose the state in frame $O$ is given by $$ ...
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1answer
92 views

Doubt regarding stress-energy tensor definition

I'm having some trouble understanding the following definition of the stress energy tensor: $T^{\mu\nu}$ is the flux of four-momentum $p^{\mu}$ across a surface of constant $x^{\nu}$. Here's an ...
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1answer
72 views

Elastic Collisions and Relative Velocities

In a 1D elastic collision, it is well-known that the relative velocities of the two objects (before and after the collision) are reversed. What is the extension of this result to 2D or higher? Is ...
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1answer
73 views

What am I REALLY doing when I take the Fourier transform of the momentum operator

I was playing around with some equations and found a surprising relationship when I took the fourier transform of the momentum operator Define $\hat P = \frac{\hbar}{i} \partial_x$, then $F(\hat P) = ...
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2answers
116 views

Is momentum conserved in the collision of a ball with a hanging rod?

Suppose we have a situation like A ball of some mass $m$ with some velocity collides with rod hinged at point $A$. Is momentum conserved in this situation? I know that hinge will give impulsive ...
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1answer
66 views

What is “momentum density” and why it important to QFT?

I am reading Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur. On page 98, they provide a summary of a basic canonical quantization procedure: Step I: Write down a classical Lagrangian density in ...
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1answer
48 views

Thrust and specific impulse of a rocket

A picture of the question this originates from is given below. Note: I normally work with SI units and am mostly unfamiliar with those used here. The specific impulse of a rocket can be calculated ...
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40 views

Possible Lack of Invariance in Two Inertial Reference Frame Scenarios

Two objects are connected together via a ideal spring which is compressed initially. Then the spring is released, the two balls are no longer connected and go their separate ways. Assume no other ...
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1answer
35 views

Rolling on a frictionless pond

I have a doubt about one of the questions in my textbook. Q- You are standing with your bag in your hands in the middle of a friction-less pond. How can you come out of the ice? There is of ...
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1answer
42 views

Transformation of $q_k$ and $p_k$ from invariance of Hamiltonian

This is a step in Nakahara's Geometry, Topology and Physics, 2nd edition, 2003, on pages 7-8: Given that $q_k ' = q_k +\epsilon f_k(q)$, we have that $$\Lambda_{ij} = \frac{\partial q_i'}{\partial ...
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2answers
46 views

How can solar sails be maneuvered?

Photons from the Sun are always radial to it and hence solar sails can only travel radially. Any techniques related to maneuvering?
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38 views

How much energy and momentum is carried by a mechanical wave?

Let's assume there is a wave spreading across in a substance. Described by some partial differential equation. How can I calculate the momentum and energy carried by this wave? Or maybe the energy and ...
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58 views

Two cars colliding with different speeds

If I have one car travelling at 30 m/s and another travelling at 10 m/s both weighing the same amount, why is it that the car travelling 10 m/s would have more damage? According to Newton's third law ...
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1answer
60 views

Where does energy goes if I jump down from a balloon?

Suppose you are in a hot air balloon of mass $M$ which is floating in the air, and you get out and start climbing down a rope at constant velocity $v$. By conservation of momentum we can show that the ...
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1answer
23 views

When is it appropriate to drop pressure terms when applying conservation of momentum to a fluid?

I'm trying to wrap my head around pressure forces in incompressible, irrotational, invicid flow. Applying conservation of momentum to a control volume gives me \begin{equation} ...
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1answer
64 views

newton's cradle with 2 balls dropped from same height at same time

I'm creating a logo and want it to be as exact as possible. The logo idea is a "Newtonian cradle", but with only 2 balls and on straight steel wire (can't be bend). What would happen if I dropped ...
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1answer
52 views

Sum over momentum states

In our lecture we used quite a couple of times that the sum over momentum states can be approximated by an integral over them. But instead of substituting $\sum_p \rightarrow \int d^3p$, we replaced ...
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1answer
87 views

Conservation of relativistic momentum

I'm trying to prove that momentum, $\rho = m \, v \, \gamma(v)$, is conserved in all frames of reference. I'm having problems with the following situation that I made; momentum is not conserved to ...
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2answers
247 views

Is it possible to determine the outcome of any impact knowing only the ratio of masses? [duplicate]

In elastic collisions in 2-D if two balls $A$, $B$ ($m_A = m_B$, $R = 1$) have equal mass we can determine in advance the outcome of the collision. If cue-ball $A$ impacts object-ball $B$ (at rest) ...
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110 views

Colliding objects due to gravitational attraction [closed]

If two objects initially at rest, are released and move toward one another due to gravitational attraction, they collide and exchange during collision some amount of impulse, i.e. the object 1 ...
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1answer
137 views

Conservation of angular momentum in a free rod

When a collision is elastic and no external torque acts on a system, angular momentum is conserved I found this example and checked the results: A ball (m = 1 Kg , v = p =+22 m/s, Lm = +11, Ke = 242 ...
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1answer
68 views

How does the space shuttle move in a vacuum? [duplicate]

If there is no friction in space, then how does the space shuttle boost? According to Newton's law we move by pushing something; in space, there is vacuum, so how the space shuttle moves without ...
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1answer
37 views

a mistake related to variable mass system

I'm having a problem with finding my mistake when trying to find the derivative of the momentum when mass is being ejected in a constant rate. The problem is this - a body in space is burning fuel ...
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1answer
60 views

Find angular velocity of motor

I'm quite bad at this, but I'm trying to change that and I need some assistance. Please bare with me while I attempt to explain what I'm trying to figure out and correct me where I'm wrong. Basically ...