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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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 ...
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Confused about elasticity and collisions

I was solving the following problem and the explanation to it confused me. There are two objects with mass $m$ and $M$, respectively. The object with mass $m$ has a velocity of $\sqrt{2gl}$ and ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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42 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 ...
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802 views

Can conservation of momentum be violated?

The law of the conservation of momentum has been established for hundred of years. Even in Quantum field theory every particle collision must be momentum-conserving if there is homogenity in space. ...
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Conservation of momentum but not kinetic energy in inelastic collisions

In inelastic collisions, the kinetic energy of the system is not conserved but the momentum is. Kinetic energy is: $0.5 \times \text{mass} \times \text{velocity}^2$. Momentum is: ...
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27 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 ...
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48 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 ...
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1answer
208 views

Shooting a bullet at a system of blocks [closed]

So, I made this question up myself.... and I'm curious about the answer. It requires only secondary-school-level knowledge of physics: You have a surface (ground) with a certain coefficient of ...
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2answers
62 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 ...
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156 views

Ball flying towards me - Newton's third law is violated?

I was trying to answer the question of the flying ball here on the basis of Newtons third law and Momentum conservation. Here is what I have tried. Lets take $m_1$ (the ball) hits $m_2$ (the man). ...
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81 views

Explain how 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. ...
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1answer
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A simple question about the principle of conservation of momentum [closed]

Questions: 1.Why strain has a relation with displacement like equation(7)? 2.How to change the left side to the right side in equation(9)? 3.How to deduce equation (10)? ...
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3answers
177 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 ...
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1answer
115 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 ...
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How do I find the momentum of a car after a turn of 90°? [closed]

I cannot solve this problem: A car ($m=4,000 \text{ kg}$) that is going north without changing its velocity at the speed of $24 \text{ m/s}$ makes a turn to the right at 90 degrees. What's ...
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1answer
113 views

Changing momentum of moving trolley

We have a trolley of mass $m$ and it is moving at a velocity $v$ along a smooth horizontal plane. It is full of water, and is leaking water at a constant rate out of the bottom of the trolley, i.e ...
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86 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 ...
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1answer
359 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 ...
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1answer
52 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 ...
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3answers
236 views

Expectation of momentum in the bound state

Is it logically correct to assert that the expectation of the momentum $$\langle \hat p \rangle=0$$ for any bound state because it is bound to some finite region? What is the physical interpretation ...
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Why do thuds occur?

thud (noun): a dull, heavy sound, such as that made by an object falling to the ground. thud(verb): move, fall, or strike something with a dull, heavy sound. I'm not doing neither in the ...
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50 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 ...
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66 views

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. Coordinate system is Cartesian ...
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421 views

Two dimensional elastic collisions with varying angle of incident

If in an elastic collision I know all initial values and that mass for each object remains constant throughout the collision (but different from one another) how can I determine their final velocity ...
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Is it possible to shoot bullets in space or would the recoil of the gun be too strong?

I've read a few articles that say that astronauts have already brought guns in space and that shooting bullets in space is possible. But won't the recoil of the gun be too strong? Law of ...
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3answers
55 views

Moving objects using light

Photon do not have mass but they have momentum, can we use laser to pick up golf ball and hurl it several yards away without burning it into crisp?
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1answer
32 views

How to pull out the momentum operator?

In the equation (1.7.17), how does operator $p$ get out of the bracket without any operation though $<a | $, $| x'>$ are function of $x'$? How to prove this?
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Elastic collision of point particle and rod

A 1 meter long rod on the ice with mass $m_2=1$ kg is perpendicularly hit on one end by a point particle with mass $m_1=0.1$ kg. The collision is elastic and the point particle is bounced back in ...
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8answers
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Can we explain Newton's first law mathematically?

At constant speed there is no acceleration. $(f'(x)=v'=0=a)$ .If $a=0$ then $F=ma=0$ and therefore no force acts on the object so the object will continue in the same direction, if any. This is only ...
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1answer
45 views

Finding final velocity in inelastic collision [closed]

Information: In a shipping company distribution center, an open cart of mass 49.0-kg is rolling to the left at a speed of 5.40-m/s (see the figure). You can ...
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516 views

How do I figure out the momentum of a water balloon when it reaches the person I am throwing it at?

Recently an experiment was performed in which myself and a partner filled a water balloon and threw it back and forth at each other without breaking it. We gradually increased the distance at which it ...
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61 views

What is the function type of the generalized momentum?

Let $$L:{\mathbb R}^n\times {\mathbb R}^n\times {\mathbb R}\to {\mathbb R}$$ denote the Lagrangian (it should be differentiable) of a classical system with $n$ spatial coordinates. In the action ...
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51 views

Can an electron borrow momentum from its field?

Let us consider a charged particle moving with uniform velocity $v$. We know that the EM field due to it has some momentum too. If the mass of the particle is $M$, then the momentum of the particle is ...
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1answer
127 views

Does the velocity vector always point in the same direction as the momentum vector?

I was told that the angular velocity vector does not always have to point in the same direction as the angular momentum vector. This is due to the fact that they are related by the equation $L=I ...
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208 views

Symmetries of a Uniform Magnetic Field

Simple question. A system with a uniform electric field everywhere in space has translational invariance in the directions perpendicular to the electric field but no translational invariance parallel ...
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139 views

Why isn't jumping against a wall an elastic collision?

According to this calculator http://www.abecedarical.com/javascript/script_collision1d.html when low mass object hits high mass object it is reflected gaining opposite velocity almost the same as ...
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1answer
69 views

Calculating electrodynamic momentum of a dumbbell (consisting of two point charges) in longitudinal motion

I'm working through a paper on momentum in electrodynamics that requires the integration below and would greatly appreciate any help. I'm pretty sure it evaluates to $2/d$ but I can't quite figure ...
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162 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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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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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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4answers
801 views

How does the momentum operator act on state kets?

I have been going through some problems in Sakurai's Modern QM and at one point have to calculate $\langle \alpha|\hat{p}|\alpha\rangle$ where all we know about the state $|\alpha\rangle$ is that ...
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263 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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1answer
88 views

In a CMCS 2-body system, why does the speed of the particles after collision stay the same?

A particle $m_1$ is traveling with velocity $v$ toward a stationary particle $m_2$. The velocity of the center of mass is given as $v_c=\frac{m_1}{m_1+m_2}v$. Changing to a moving coordinate system, ...
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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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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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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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310 views

Is any energy required to deflect an asteroid, with force always perpendicular to its trajectory?

Let's assume there is an asteroid traveling on a straight line (far from any gravitational source), and we need to deflect it from its actual trajectory, so we build a rocket motor on the surface and ...
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47 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 ...