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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
0answers
23 views

Is there any other momentum besides the Poynting momentum stored in an electromagnetic field?

I am having some conceptual difficulties with energy and momentum stored in the EM field. The force density at a point is $\rho E + j\times B$ Because of conservation of momentum, and because the ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

Derivation of the kinetic energy of decay product [on hold]

By conservation of momentum: $$M_{\alpha }V_{\alpha }+M_{Y}V_{Y}$$ By the conservation of energy: $$(\frac{1}{2})M_{\alpha }V_{\alpha }^{2} + (\frac{1}{2})M_{Y }V_{Y }^{2}$$ Here I begin the ...
0
votes
2answers
33 views

Collsion in 2D, find angle and final momentum

Suppose that the collision is completely inelastic. Disregard friction as the surface is smooth. Suppose that one is in the direction of $(1,0)$ and the other $(0,1)$. Is the final momentum the ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Greater momentum than initial?

The question is : Heavier object A, initially at rest, is struck by lighter object B. Is it possible for object A to have a larger final momentum than the initial momentum of object B? The ...
0
votes
1answer
14 views

difference between magnetic dipole moment and torque on a magnetic dipole?

I am a bit confused. What is the difference between magnetic dipole moment and torque on a magnetic dipole ?
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Relativistic Lorentz Force with constant, perpendiuclar, and uniform E and B fields

I am trying to solve the following problem from the Fundamentals of Plasma Physics by Bittencourt (Problem 2.7): Analyze the motion of a relativistic charged particle in the presence of crossed ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Solar sail, estimate force

I'm trying to get an estimative for how much force is applied on a solar sail by solar radiation. So the first question is elastic or inelastic collision? Elastic colision provides a change in ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Why Does Moving a Cup of Coffee Up and Down whilst carrying it Make it less Likely to Spill?

Sometimes I have a Very Full Mug of Coffee and I am trying to carry it without it spilling. I noticed that if I moved the Mug up and down when carrying it, it seemed to settle the coffee and make it ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

The proof of a discrete Fourier identity in quantum field theory

On page 25, in the book Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur by Tom Lancaster and Stephen. J Blundell, it states the following: We impose periodic boundary conditions forcing ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Find distance vs. time for a space ship moving through cloud of dust of uniform density [closed]

Here's a problem: We have a cylindrical spaceship with cross-sectional area $A$ moves through a stationary cloud of dust of uniform density $\rho$. Initially the ship has some speed $v_0$ and some ...
-2
votes
1answer
24 views

momentum and Kinetic Energy [closed]

Make some general statements about momentum and kinetic energy conservation. So, I is this correct? Two objects of varying mass have the same momentum. The least massive of the two objects will have ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Optimization of Bottle Rocket Water Level

My (entry-level) physics class is building bottle rockets, and we are competing to build the longest-flying bottle rocket. The rockets are filled partway (we get to decide how much to fill them) with ...
8
votes
2answers
548 views

Momentum and spacetime

My apologies up-front for the naive question and my rudimentary understanding, but I should be delighted if someone would enlighten me :) The question has to do with the application of the ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

When can I swap around the order of operators?

I was doing this question: Using $\left< x \middle| p\right> = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi \hbar}}e^{ipx/\hbar}$ show that: $$ \left<x \middle| \hat{p} \middle| \psi \right> = -i\hbar ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

Mathematical Proof of Force

I remembered reading an paper a while ago which tried to prove whether force actually exists, or if it a man made construct to aid our understanding of the world. However, I can't seem to find the ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

What does it mean to perturb the electromagnetic energy with respect to a change in a Lorentz frame?

I am perturbing the energy of an electromagnetic field using \begin{align} \dfrac{\partial U}{\partial \zeta} = \dfrac{1}{\mu} \boldsymbol{H}\cdot \dfrac{\partial \boldsymbol{H}}{\partial \zeta} + ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Collision and momentum conservation principle

Consider the following problem: A ball is dropped with an angle a between its direction and the normal of the floor and bounces up with an angle b between its direction and the normal of the floor. ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

After a glancing collision, why do air hockey pucks spins around in circle?

For a lab testing the conservation of momentum, I had to hit an air hockey puck so that it would hit another stationary puck in a glancing collision. After the pucks collided, they travel their ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Where would be the source of thrust for a rocket thruster in space?

I am making a game that involves spaceships and I was building an engine block. That engine block spawns a "thruster fire" under it that represents the...thruster fire. My question revolves around ...
1
vote
3answers
66 views

Why does it hurt more to fall from 10 stories, than 1?

$F=ma$. Falling from any distance, mass stays the same, and acceleration due to gravity stays the same. So, why does it hurt more, the longer you fall?
1
vote
0answers
38 views

How to calculate linear momentum in this elastic collision? [closed]

A small mass m = 5.0 kg approaches from the left with velocity v and a greater mass M = 40.0 kg approaches from the right with the same velocity. If the collision is elastic and the value of v is v = ...
1
vote
2answers
32 views

Inelastic Collision and Energy

How is is possible for momentum to be conserved and for KE to not be conserved? Momentum is related to velocity and velocity is related to KE, therefore if KE was lost, how can the system have the ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

What's the physical meaning of change in momentum vector?

If I there is a initial momentum of 10Ns upwards, and final momentum of 10Ns to the right, I can find the difference in momentum by drawing a triangle and finding the resultant vector. But, how is ...
-2
votes
1answer
33 views

Question on Projectiles and momentum conservation [closed]

Firstly I apologize for bringing forth a high-school physics problem here, as some of you'll find this problem highly childish. But there are certain things i need to clarify about this. Q: An ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Why two colliding bodies exert varying forces on each other during the course of their collison?

Suppose a bat hits a ball .What is the explanation of why the force is not constant during the course of the collison. At certain instants both ball and bat exert varying degrees of force on each ...
2
votes
0answers
116 views

What exactly is NASA's proposed mechanism for “propellantless” “EM Drive” propulsion? [duplicate]

Of course, this question runs perilously close to this site's prohibition against discussing non-mainstream physics. However, the accepted answer in meta about what is acceptable and what is not ...
1
vote
0answers
12 views

Does the force of releasing the latch of a spring-latch contraption affects the force generated by the spring?

There is this contraption in my class, where a rod is attached to a latch and a spring. By pulling the latch back behind a piece of metal, the latch is secured, the rod if pulled back and the spring ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

$\mathbf{P}=M\mathbf{v}_{cm}$ for a continuous body?

While restudying some fundamental concepts with greater attention, I have reflected on the following deduction, which I find in my book of mechanics, of the identity of the temporal derivative ...
5
votes
2answers
533 views

Inertia Vs Momentum

At my recent lesson on kinematics, my teacher taught about inertia and momentum. This is what she said. Inertia: a characteristic of an object that resists changes to its state of motion. Momentum: ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Newton's Third law of motion: A hammer hits a wall vs. hits a tire

When we hit the wall by a hammer, Newton’s third law says that hammer applies force on the wall (action) and wall applies force on hammer (reaction) equal in magnitude but opposite in direction ok ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Does conservation of moment hold in space expansion?

I recently watched a video describing that the expansion of space is a "stretch". Everywhere in the universe expanding together. My question is, does conservation of momentum hold true in this ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Newton's law for rigid bodies

Is newton's third law valid for rigid bodies? Say, if we have a bullet hit on a rod which is vertically placed on a rough floor. Friction is just sufficient sp that the rod rotates and does not ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Is angular momentum the conjugate momentum of an angle?

Lagrangian mechanics can be used to describe the double pendulum (see here, for example). In this development are the conjugate momenta $p_{\theta_i}$ exactly the angular momenta $m_i l_i \frac{d ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Massless particle that have momentum not equal to 0

I saw some problems in special relativity that use conservation of total energy and momentum and the conclusions are spectacular. My problem is the following: how can a massless particle like neutrino ...
1
vote
2answers
37 views

How to explain the momentum exchange of two solid particles collision at molecular scale?

Here is my question: assume two solid sphere collided to each other in vacuum, at macroscopic, it can be explain by Newton's law. But at molecular scale, does the surface atoms touch to each other or ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Why is the position space free particle wavefunction a function of momentum?

This is one of those little things that has always confused me. If someone said to you "in quantum mechanics, the eigenfunctions of a free particle are $\exp(ipx/\hbar)$" how would you know that ...
7
votes
5answers
289 views

In an elastic collision, can we choose between cons. of energy and cons. of momentum?

Suppose we have two solid spheres with masses $m$ and $M$, respectively, and that $m$ is significantly less than $M$. The lighter sphere is placed directly on top of the heavier one, and the two are ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

How would a plane hitting a ball move (opposite of Pong)?

When a moving ball hits a stationary plane at an angle of incidence to the normal, it bounces away at the same angle (the angle of reflection), which is commonly understood. My question is 1) What ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Conservation of momentum in field theory

By studying electrodynamics a while now, I came to this question on the conservation of momentum. In Newtonian mechanics the Third Law allows us to prove the conservation of momentum, with the ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Relativistic Momentum in One Frame

(I) What is the momentum of a proton traveling at v = 0.75c? This problem requires a simple substitution. Using the equation $\ p_{rel} = m*u * (1/\sqrt(1 - v^2/c^2))$, where $v$ is the speed of a ...
62
votes
7answers
10k views

Can we theoretically balance a perfectly symmetrical pencil on its one-atom tip?

I was asked by an undergrad student about this question. I think if we were to take away air molecules around the pencil and cool it to absolute zero, that pencil would theoretically balance. Am I ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

How do waves have momentum?

A question on a practice test I'm taking is as follows: By shaking one end of a stretched string, a single pulse is generated. The traveling pulse carries: A. mass B. energy C. momentum D. ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

Path integral in quantum mechanics

I am confused by the derivation in Srednicki QFT's chapter 6 from (6.8) to (6.9). In (6.8), we have $$<q'',t''|q',t'>~=~\int DqDp \exp[i\int_{t'}^{t''}dt(p\dot{q}-H(p,q))],\tag{6.8}$$ and ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

Relativistic Momentum and Energy - Lorentz Transformations [closed]

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Lab is colliding fully ionized gold (Au) nuclei accelerated to an energy of 200 GeV per nucleon. Each Au Nucleus contains 197 ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Collisions between an object and a wall

Is momentum conserved when an object bounces back against a wall? The wall doesn’t move, but the object moves in the opposite direction. Assume this is an ideal, elastic collision. If, initially, the ...
5
votes
1answer
375 views

Why can't Compton scattering happen in leading order of perturbation theory?

Why is the matrix element of Compton scattering in leading order of perturbation theory equal to zero? Why can this process only be described in second order of perturbation theory, i.e. with exchange ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

$p^4$ in radial coordinates not Hermitian

Griffiths' quantum textbook claims in question 6.15 that "$p^2$ is Hermitian, but $p^4$ is not, for hydrogen states with $l=0$." First off, I am puzzled at his use of terminology. An operator is ...
2
votes
3answers
195 views

Confusion regarding rotational motion!

Let us assume I have a rod of some mass m, moment of inertia I, length l and center C. If I apply a force F on C for a duration of time t, it will accelerate forward. If I apply it elsewhere, the ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

How can I find the angular and linear velocity of a 2D body that breaks into two bodies?

Afternoon. This is my first question, so do let me know if I'm doing anything wrong. Looking for help on building a 2D physics game engine with bodies that split in half: I have a two dimensional ...