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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Redshift of a reflected photon from a solar sail

Can someone help me understand my mistake here? I'm thinking of a photon travelling with momentum $p=h/\lambda$ which reflects off a solar sail of mass $m$ travelling with momentum $p_0$ in the same ...
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2answers
68 views

Flywheels and work

I'll start with a scenario for some control in the concepts I'm asking about today. Forgive me in advance, I never had the chance to explore physics in school, but I'd be happy to learn something new ...
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132 views

I need to know how many pounds of force a 3 million pound object has moving at 1 mph [closed]

How many pounds of force does a 3 million pound object have moving at 0.1, 0.5, and 1 mph?
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3answers
129 views

Differentiation operator with respect to observable acting as a function of the observable?

In his Principles of Quantum Mechanics Dirac writes: $$\int \langle \phi \frac{d}{dq}|q'\rangle dq' \psi(q')=\int \phi(q') dq' \frac{d\psi(q')}{dq'}.$$ To me it is rather strange, and it seems as if ...
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197 views

What force counteracts friction when a block is pulled?

Firstly, I understand and apologize that this is more of a physics question than a math question. I noticed that when I pulled a book out from under a pack of gum, the gum stayed largely in place (it ...
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72 views

Ziolkowsky Rocket Equation

I've looked at multiple sources on the internet and just can't wrap my mind around it. If I reference the wikipedia page on it; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsiolkovsky_rocket_equation I am getting ...
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4answers
2k views

How to calculate a collision which is partly elastic and partly inelastic?

(For the purpose of this question, "calculating a collision" means: given the velocities and masses of two objects in a collision, figuring out the new velocities of both objects after the collision). ...
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169 views

Add weight in front or behind the moving wheel?

Consider a wheel with bearing and axle bar rolling on level ground. If I want to help the wheel continue moving longer(or faster speed), should I add weight by moving the rider body in front or ...
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1answer
243 views

Conservation of energy and momentum via the continuity equation in asymmetric time and space translation

I am confused about energy and momentum conservation, time and space translation symmetry, and the continuity equation. Suppose we have a mass $m$ in inertial space far from any gravitational ...
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306 views

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Question: The uncertainty in position is equal to the uncertainty in momentum. What is the uncertainty in velocity? What I did: I know that the uncertainty in position multiplied by uncertainty in ...
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3answers
120 views

Kinetic energy relationships with momentum and mass [closed]

If I have some arbitrary particle, we will call particle 1 and another particle 2 that have the same momentum, yet particle 1 has half the mass of particle 2, how does the kinetic energy compare ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is scattering vector $\vec{q}$ called vector of 'momentum transfer'?

In the world of scattering the angle at which you detect the scattered radiation is known as $q$, where $$ \vec{q} = \frac{4\pi\eta}{\lambda}\sin(\theta/2) $$ I read in a lot of books that this is ...
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3answers
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Conservation of 4-momentum in special relativity

I understand that the inner product of two 4-vectors is conserved under the Lorentz transformations, so that the absolute value of the four momentum is the same in any reference frame. This is what I ...
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1answer
53 views

Swinging onto a Hill

I was just watching the movie "Frozen" (not the Disney one), and they were trapped in a ski lift 50 feet off the ground. They had to jump. My question is, when they jump, should they swing on the ...
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2answers
130 views

Energy definition in special relativity

I'm going through the early homework assignments for my special relativity course and I've got myself a little confused about energy. I've got a basic understanding of what the 4-momentum is, having ...
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1answer
393 views

What factors indicates inelastic collision?

I am watching this example from Wikipedia: I am wondering what factors would indicate that the collision of 2 objects will be inelastic (I know macroscopic scale impacts are never perfectly ...
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1answer
44 views

Velocity change of objects

Is it possible for small object (small mass, let's say bullet) to hit large object (big mass, let's say rock) and still move forward (or stop) instead of being reflected (let's say objects don't crush ...
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2answers
45 views

How to cancel momentum without causing damage?

This is a fictional scenario I've designed and I'm trying to obtain a plausible logic for it to be somehow possible: I have a moving object, like a car or a person running, how can I stop it ...
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2answers
569 views

Calculating velocity change after impact?

Let's say there is no gravity here and objects won't crush. We have 2 rocks with $m=10\text{ kg}$. First rock has velocity $v_1=0\text{ m/s}$ and second $v_2=10\text{ m/s}$ (flying in leftward ...
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3answers
1k views

Why doesn't a wall move when you push it if there's space behind it?

In the first screen you can see that if a person were to push a wall within a typical household the wall would not move while keeping themselves tractioned to the floor. If you push hard and do not ...
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4answers
4k views

How to tell if the collision is elastic or inelastic?

I'm a programmer and a game developer, not a mathematician or a physicist. So please go easy on the math :) I know two things: How to find the new velocities of two objects after an elastic ...
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2answers
152 views

Determine $p_x$ from $[x,p_x]=i\hbar $ [closed]

With $[x,p_x]=i\hbar $, how to determine the form of the operator $p_x$?
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2answers
121 views

Ballistic Pendulum Demo Problem

I have a question about the following problem: I got the solution $v=\frac{M+m}{m} \sqrt{2gh}$. But my real question is in the following picture: In the above slide, how can you derive ...
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2answers
101 views

Where did the universe get its initial momentum?

If, according to Newton's third law, forces come in pairs then what about the big bang? where did the universe get that initial push/momentum?
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3answers
340 views

Why does my gravity simulation do this? [closed]

For a school project i created a simple 2D gravity sim in Matlab using the simplest possible method. There are 2 nested loops so that the total force and acceleration of every object can be ...
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1answer
249 views

Probability of measuring momentum [closed]

Suppose we have this wavefunction: $$ \psi = A \left( cos(kx) + cos (2kx) \right) $$ I have to find the possible results of measurement of momentum and their probabilities. Attempt For a momentum ...
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1answer
130 views

How to get the accurate relativistic momentum form for photons? [duplicate]

I have studied from Griffiths, the relativistic form of momentum is $$p = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}} m_0v$$ Now when I evaluate the momentum for photon, I just insert $v=c$ and $m_0=0$ and I ...
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1answer
648 views

Inner product of position and momentum eigenkets

Let's define $\hat{q},\ \hat{p}$ the positon and momentum quantum operators, $\hat{a}$ the annihilation operator and $\hat{a}_1,\ \hat{a}_2$ with its real and imaginary part, such that $$ \hat{a} = ...
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4answers
178 views

Losing mass in space

So I came across a question while studying laws of motion. Roughly, this is how it goes: There are two astronauts in a space shuttle, who together have mass 200 kg. If by doing exercise, they manage ...
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1answer
88 views

Spacecraft momentum question [closed]

Assume you're sitting in your spacecraft. The mass of you and the spacecraft is 2000 kg. You're traveling at 200km/h through the vacuum of space. You have a thruster pointing in the direction you're ...
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1answer
87 views

Spacetime and the conservation laws

I'm reading Peter Atkins' book, Galileo's Finger, and in the chapter on energy, he makes the points that the conservation of momentum stems from the shape of space (that it's smooth and not lumpy) and ...
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1answer
71 views

Does mass equal angular momentum?

At the wikipedia pages for angular momentum ($L$) and moment of inertia ($I$) we find the equations: $$L=I \omega$$ $$I=m r^2$$ where $m$ is mass and $r$ is the distance between said mass and ...
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3k views

question about derivative of momentum = force proof***

I was trying to prove it 2 ways, 1st way: $$p=mΔV$$ $$a=ΔV/t$$ $$ΔV=at$$ $$p=m*a*t$$ Remember $$F=ma$$ $$F(t)=p$$ The derivative of momentum just gives us the "regular force" since b4 that momentum ...
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54 views

Difference between momentum calculated from wavefunction and momentum computed by energy formula

Take a quantum well, for example. The energy of an electron is given by: $E_n=k_n n^2$. Moreover, we know that the momentum of an electron with energy $E_n$ is given by: $p=mv=m(2T/m)^{1/2}$, where ...
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1answer
118 views

Simultaneous conservation of linear and angular momentum

Suppose there is a ring in the space where there is no gravity. The width of the ring is $r$ which is negligible compared to its inner radius $R$. The ring is in horizontal position. Now imagine a ...
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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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0answers
99 views

Calculating a spacecraft's deflection angle [closed]

There is a spacecraft with mass $M_1$ moving in a certain trajectory with a constant speed $V_r$. To modify its trajectory, a engine is turned on and starts ejecting gas at a speed $V_g$, which is ...
2
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1answer
130 views

Does the average momentum vanish for an eigenstate of the simple harmonic oscillator?

Suppose we have a simple harmonic oscillator, let's consider the ground state, $|0\rangle$ and the first excited state $|1\rangle$. $\langle 0|\hat p|0 \rangle$ is zero right? Since the particle can ...
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2answers
393 views

Photons have no mass. So, why does $E = pc$ hold? [duplicate]

It's a somewhat theoretical question. In special relativity, The energy of a photon is given by $E = pc$. But, my argument is that, since photons have no mass, how can they have a momentum $p$? The ...
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1answer
82 views

What's wrong with this simple derivation of energy flux in a photon gas?

In a photon gas, we know that pressure, $P$, and energy density, $u$, are related by: $$P=\frac{u}{3}$$ We also know from relativity that the momentum of a photon is $$p=\frac{E}{c}$$ Finally, the ...
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3answers
1k views

How do the electric or magnetic fields contain momentum?

I have recently come to know that the electric and magnetic field contain both linear and angular momenta, which are known functions of the electric and magnetic fields at any given point in space and ...
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2answers
185 views

Understanding Momentum

I'm trying to learn more about momentum and I'm a little confused. Based on my understanding, in an isolated system, total momentum is conserved in a collision. Today in class the professor went over ...
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1answer
73 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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4answers
823 views

Definition of force, kinetic energy and momentum

I've edited the post. Q1 and Q4 are the important ones but I didn't delete Q2 and Q3 since some older answers would not make sense anymore. To begin with, the formula of the kinetic energy $T$ is ...
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1answer
241 views

How would one compute the angle of deflection, in a relativistic collision - underspecified system?

Consider the simplistic case of two identical mass particles colliding elastically with the second particle initially stationary and the first particle travelling with energy $E$. By conservation of ...
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1answer
140 views

Momentum of Light Question [duplicate]

Since light beams carry momentum, why would a person holding a flashlight not feel a recoil similar to that of a rifle being fired?
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4answers
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Force as change in momentum vs. change in velocity

Is there ever a situation where the distinction between $F = m \frac{dv}{dt}$ and $F = \frac{dp}{dt}$ is important? I can't think of a situation where one is true and not the other (assuming only ...
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1answer
258 views

changes in horizontal velocity and the effect on time airborne (thus overcoming gravity)

I would like to know if a object is launched horizontally in the air at a lower speed and a higher speed, why does the higher speed keep it airborne longer. what are the forces and why does gravity ...
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141 views

Can acceleration be achieved without reaction mass?

In a previous question, I asked whether a flashlight can accelerate me. The answer is yes. This has led me to wonder, this is inferior to all other known propulsion methods in all aspects except one: ...
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1answer
303 views

Particle In a box, momentum, and velocity

On a homework assignment, we are give the width of a well $a$, the mass of the particle $m$, and we want to find the average velocity of the particle at the $n=1$ state. Here is my attempt at the ...