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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Force of a Train [on hold]

Imagine that there are two trains - exactly equal except for the first train is twice as long as the second train. (They are equal in the sense that they have the same mass per unit length.) They ...
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71 views

Total divergence term and corresponding Feynman Diagram

A total divergence term added to the Lagrangian doesn’t affect the action because the integral of a total divergence vanishes. But if one attempts to derive the Feynman rules from the Lagrangian with ...
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3answers
63 views

Why doesn't an object that collides with one that is at rest just do a 180?

Newton's third law says "for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction." So why is it, say, that when a pool/billiards ball hits the wall of the table, the ball doesn't just turn around?
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Conservation of momentum when rain pours into a wagon

Suppose a wagon is moving at constant velocity on a friction-less surface, and rain begins to fill the wagon. The net force on the wagon is zero, so momentum is conserved; as the mass of the wagon ...
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1answer
44 views

What is the motion of a balloon with a person climbing on a ladder?

Suppose you had a balloon of mass $M$ in the atmosphere at rest relative to the ground, with a ladder attached reaching towards the ground. A person (of mass less than $M$) begins climbing up the ...
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Measuring Momentum/Impulse of explosion (like dynamite) [on hold]

I want to measure the impulse that i need to stop a body moving toward certain direction. How can i do it? Maybe the following example will clarify my question: For example if there is a body that ...
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1answer
34 views

How are momentum and position operators dependent on the chosen inertial frame?

How are momentum and position operators in quantum mechanics dependent on the chosen inertial frame of reference?
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1answer
28 views

Relationship between momentum and energy for rocket-powered aircraft

I'm trying to write a problem for my students in an algebra-based physics class. We have a flight simulator and I've got a glider in the simulator that has a couple rocket boosters attached. Students ...
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48 views

Discontinuous momentum in relativity

I'm thinking about a fantastical scenario where the velocity of all macroscopic objects in the universe is instantaneously set to 0. In a Newtonian reference frame, this is relatively easy to ...
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2answers
59 views

Playing catch in space?

I was thinking about this on the bus (exam this week :P). What would happen if two people played catch in outer space? Lets say person A and B are in space at rest, A throws a mass m at B, what ...
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3answers
90 views

Is the kinetic energy of an electron always $1.6 \cdot 10^{-19}~\text{J}$?

I was doing the following problem. For $d$. They bizarrely added an extra step. They calculated the momentum of the electron to find the De Broglie wavelength using the kinetic energy relationship. ...
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What is the change in the Earth's velocity if the mass of the Earth is $6 \times 10^{24} \text{ kg}$? What is the energy released? [closed]

A car of mass $m=1000 \text{ kg}$ hits at a building that is rigidly fixed to the Earth (car velocity equals $100 \text{ km/h}$). It stops on that building. What is the change in the Earth's ...
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Does constant velocity of center of mass imply linear momentum is conserved?

I know that if momentum is conserved for a system, you can derive that the velocity of the center of mass of that system is constant. I was wondering if the second condition also implies the first: if ...
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7answers
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Ball flying towards me or me flying towards ball

Suppose a ball is flying towards me at a speed of 10m/s and that, on impact, I feel "x" amount of pain. If, instead, it was me flying towards the ball at the same speed, with all other conditions ...
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1answer
33 views

Physics and velocity [closed]

The question that follows is complicated to me and I need a bit of guidance and some answers, please. A 60kg man is ice skating due north with a velocity of 6m/s when he collides with a 38kg ...
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1answer
64 views

Origin of momentum. Noether's theorem

My professor talked about Noether's theorem and how translation is the origin of momentum conservation. But why is it not velocity that is conserved but mass times velocity. And on the same note why ...
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2answers
58 views

Interpretation of the four-vector $k$ in scalar QFT

I'm studying the canonical quantization of the Klein-Gordon real scalar quantum field theory, given by the classical Lagrangian density $$\mathscr L = {1\over ...
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2answers
74 views

Why do these two derivations of the formula for impulse contradict?

I was trying to derive $I = F\Delta T$ from $p = mv$. First I converted $v = at$: $$\begin{align} p &= mv \\ p &= m \times at \\ p &= ma \times t \\ p &= Ft \\ \Delta p &= F ...
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0answers
13 views

Low-momentum behaviour of a short-range potential

I've read the follow sentence in a journal article (arXiv preprint) which constitutes part of my coursework. As discussed in the previous section, the low-momentum behavior of any short-range ...
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4answers
151 views

Why is $M\frac{dv}{dt} = v_{rel} .\frac{dm}{dt}$ correct and $(M - dm)\frac{dv}{dt} = v_{rel} .\frac{dm}{dt}$ wrong?

Newton's 2nd law of motion can't be applied for mass-varying systems. Another force, known as Thrust must come to play. It can be measured using law of conservation of linear momentum. ...
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3answers
308 views

Entire Universe's Momentum

I was thinking about the definition of the conservation of momentum, which says that momentum is conserved unless outside forces are acting on the system, and I was wondering that if the system is the ...
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0answers
24 views

How does momentum effect velocity? [duplicate]

I'm in AP physics and we haven't even covered this yet so sorry if my question seems strange... I know $p = m v$, However right now I am writing a 2D physics engine and I am having some trouble with ...
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2answers
85 views

A student of mine wants to build a Gyroscopic Inertial Thruster

I work as a tutor with students in their first three semesters. One of my more eager students is obsessed with this thing: A Gyroscopic Inertial Thruster Here is a Wikipedia Article on that. I was ...
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0answers
58 views

Throwing a baseball against the back of a car [closed]

We, some fellow students and I, are trying to figure out what to. But we simply do not know which formula to use at question a. We found the following: $\Delta P=(2mv_{ball,i}M)/(m+M)$ Could someone ...
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2answers
65 views

Mathematical subtlety in a physics problem

A wagon of initial mass $M$ is moving with an initial velocity $V_o$. Now sand starts accumulating on this wagon, increasing the total mass from $M$ to $M+s$. We have to find the final velocity of ...
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3answers
108 views

Impulse and force in a karate chop, can we maximize force minimizing the time of impact?

I have heard that we can maximize the force by minimizing the time of impact in a punch. If that is true, the paradox is if we increase the time of contact with the same amount of force still we ...
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1answer
61 views

Why does accounting for direction give the wrong result for a bouncing ball?

This a conservation of momentum problem, gathered from an old textbook. I thought it would be simple, but I seem to be goofing up somewhere in my basic conceptual understanding. PROBLEM: A 1.0 kg ...
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1answer
35 views

Can Hooke's law go along with Newton's 3rd law & how is momentum conserved in case of spring?

Let there be a spring in its relaxed state- that is neither compressed nor extended. One end is fixed on the left and other end is free in the right. Now, I stretch the spring by pulling the free-end ...
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2answers
95 views

Question of Conservation of Momentum

I think I understand the concept of conservation of momentum in an inelastic collision. However, what if two objects, one being more massive than the other, started out together and then separated ...
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0answers
11 views

Calculate the distance travelled by hot air before it looses its momentum

Hot air is released from a nozzle with certain velocity into the atmosphere. As the stream travels, it looses momentum and after some time mixes with air.How can we calculate the distance the stream ...
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1answer
38 views

Calculating speed of spheres in an asymmetric Newton's cradle?

If we assume there is an asymmetric Newton's cradle with 3 spheres of different masses and the first one is initialized with some certain speed can we calculate the outcome speed of the all the three ...
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1answer
46 views

Conservation of momentum 1-D problem: track is not level

This problem is a standard kind of 1-D problem. You have 2 equal carts approaching each other and collide on linear air track. BUT the person setting up the track did NOT do a good job at making the ...
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1answer
35 views

What matters more in the strength tester game at a carnival, momentum or force?

A buddy and I were arguing over which matters more in the strength tester game (assuming the same accuracy of the hit): 1) momentum or 2) force. He was arguing that if you swing the hammer directly ...
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27 views

Making An Energy Momentum Plot For A Rashba Model (Using Discretization)

I want to make a plot of the Energy versus the Momentum of the Rashba model, using discrete matrices. First Ill show how I did this for the free particle. Subsequently I will show what goes wrong for ...
5
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1answer
220 views

Is it possible for photon to run in circle by its own gravity?

I have heard that gravity came from energy and momentum so photon has gravity too. Then there are theory state that photon has energy tied to frequency. So if a photon has very very high frequency ...
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4answers
70 views

Question about dot product of four vectors?

I am looking back over some old notes and see that I have written $\bar{p}=\left(\overset{E}{\vec p}\right)$ and $\bar{x}=\left(\overset{t}{\vec x}\right)$ (using Plank units) And then $\bar{p} ...
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3answers
416 views

Why doesn't a ray of light have enough momentum to make us fall?

Why can't light be so powerful that it has enough momentum to make us fall?
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2answers
77 views

Momentum conservation in an electromagnetic system?

Suppose that I have two charged particles in the configuration below. Let us assume the following: We apply a constant force $f$ to the the bottom particle so that it has a constant acceleration ...
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1answer
74 views

Cart moving on frictionless tracks in the rain

I am working on a question in which a cart is moving on frictionless tracks and it begins to rain. The cart has a drainage hole to let the rain out at exactly the same rate at which it enters ...
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3answers
77 views

Is linear momentum conserved in an isolated system always?

Consider a isolated system of particles. If no external force acts on this system, the momentum of the system should remain constant. If the isolated system of particles represents living ...
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1answer
20 views

Negative Change in Momentum

Does negative change in momentum always signify decrease in momentum, or could it also represent a change in direction while conserving magnitude of momentum?
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3answers
151 views

How can the linear momentum can be understood physically?

Currently reading Classical Mechanics by Herbert Goldstein, and I'm trying to understand every concept physically. Speed can be understood physically, as the distance traveled within a certain amount ...
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4answers
208 views

Why Does Angular Velocity Increase as Radius Decrease?

Suppose a child were to ask you why a tetherball (picture below) seems to speed up as it wraps around the pole. How would you explain this to them? Certainly you wouldn't say something like, "Angular ...
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5answers
351 views

Why is there no relation between kinetic energy and momentum in collision of two bodies? [duplicate]

The statement that baffles me: During most of the collisions, part of the kinetic energy evolve as heat, nevertheless momentum is still conserved. Ok, the statement may be true. But what ...
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3answers
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Work done after explosion of chemical bomb

Question: Suppose, a chemical bomb is stationary. Then it explodes into n parts in all direction. What is work done? My Efforts The bomb is stationary, so momentum and and kinetic energy is 0. ...
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3answers
109 views

Would this Produce Thrust? (Photon Momentum, Speed of a Pressure Wave)

This thought occurred to me after I began reading about the EM drive, and I know there are a lot of theories out there on how that works/doesn't work, I'm wondering why this solution wouldn't make ...
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2answers
119 views

What is the relation between kinetic energy and momentum? [closed]

If kinetic energy is doubled, what happens to momentum? Is it also doubled? I've tried working through the formulas for each but keep getting lost. $$KE=\frac{mv^2}{2}$$ $$p=mv$$ so if ...
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8answers
5k views

What is a rocket engine thrusting against in space?

I know Newton's third law of motion might be the answer for this but still I am wondering how the rockets could thrust in the empty space and move in the opposite direction. I guess an astronaut ...
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1answer
96 views

What is the time dependent expectation value for momentum

For an electron in an equal linear superposition of two eigenstates in a one-dimensional infinitely deep square potential well of width L, how do you isolate the time dependent part of the expectation ...
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68 views

How to show that $\partial S/\partial q=p$ without variation of $S$?

I'm trying to get some understanding in treating action $S$ as a function of coordinates. Landau and Lifshitz consider $\delta S$, getting $\delta S=p\delta q$, thus concluding that $$\frac{\partial ...