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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Newton's cradle

Why, when one releases 2 balls in Newton's cradle, two balls on the opposite side bounce out at approximately the same speed as the 1st pair, rather than one ball at higher speed, or 3 balls at lower ...
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2answers
66 views

Isolated and non-isolated systems: Momentum?

I'm having a difficult time understanding why two billiard balls colliding is an isolated system, yet a car crashing into a wall is a non-isolated system. Does it really only have to deal with the ...
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1answer
108 views

Case of the mysterious bullets (taken from Mad About Physics)

"Two ideal bullets, identical in shape, size and mass, strike the same target with the same speed just before the collision. Force meters at the target register two times the force value for bullet A ...
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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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1answer
222 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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0answers
28 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Will a stone thrown in space move forever?

If I throw a stone on space, in a place where gravity is equal zero, will the stone move forward forever, because no air, so no friction?
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3answers
624 views

Does the canonical commutation relation fix the form of the momentum operator?

For one dimensional quantum mechanics $$[\hat{x},\hat{p}]=i\hbar $$ Does this fix univocally the form of the $\hat{p}$ operator? My bet is no because $\hat{p}$ actually depends if we are on ...
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418 views
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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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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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2answers
122 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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3answers
78 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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3answers
153 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
124 views

Inertia and momentum

Question #1: Why does speed have nothing to do with inertia? Question #2: If a car hits a steel wall and stops, where did the momentum go?
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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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4answers
209 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
3k views

What is canonical momentum?

What does the canonical momentum $\textbf{p}=m\textbf{v}+e\textbf{A}$ mean? Is it just momentum accounting for electromagnetic effects?
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3answers
3k views

Why does rubber ball bounce back while iron ball doesn't?

Suppose there are two balls, one of rubber and the other metallic. There are of the same mass and are thrown on a wall with the same velocity. Why does a rubber ball bounce back while a metallic ball ...
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5answers
353 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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1answer
51 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
1k views

Relative Velocity and Momentum

The question is, A $45.5~kg$ girl is standing on a $140~kg$ plank. Both originally at rest on a frozen lake that constitutes a friction-less, flat surface. The girl begins to walk along the plank ...
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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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8answers
3k views

Does leaning (banking) help cause turning on a bicycle?

I think it's clear enough that if you turn your bicycle's steering wheel left, while moving, and you don't lean left, the bike will fall over (to the right) as you turn. I figure this is because the ...
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4answers
410 views

Can momentum be conserved in a perfectly elastic collision?

I am taking for granted that when we say that something is conserved it is understood 'in its full integrity'. Energy is represented by a scalar J, and is conserved in elastic collision. momentum ...
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2answers
69 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 ...
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0answers
17 views

Finding final velocity of neutron [closed]

A neutron moves with velocity $u$. It collides head-on with a stationary nitrogen nucleus. The collision is elastic. The mass of a nitrogen nucleus is 14 times that of a neutron. After collision ...
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1answer
261 views

Difference in “momentum” names in Lagrangian mechanics

In the context of Lagrangian formulation of classical mechanics, the following names keep occurring in most textbooks, which confuse me a lot, are they different in any way? Momentum Generalized ...
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58 views

A question regarding 3 bodies connected as a system

Let us consider three bodies of equal mass connected to each other with 2 ideal strings of length l. The three bodies are placed in a straight line In this arrangement there is 1 body connected to 2 ...
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3answers
218 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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1answer
72 views

A question regarding collisions

Let us consider a system of 2 identical spherical bodies connected by a massless string that is taut. If one body is placed at the origin then the other is placed at some coordinate $(x,y)$. The ...
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2answers
143 views

Interpreting some domain issues of (potential) momentum operators

In the context of mathematical quantum mechanics, a well known no-go theorem known as Hellinger-Töplitz tells us that an unbounded, symmetric operator cannot be defined everywhere on the Hilbert space ...
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3answers
954 views

Center-of-mass frame for massless particles

Given a scattering event where a photon and electron go in and a photon and electron come out, what is the center of mass frame? I'd say, since the photon has no mass, it's the rest frame of the ...
5
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6answers
132 views

What is the relationship between force and momentum in collisions?

I know that $ \Sigma F = \Delta mv/\Delta t$. But if we had a marble that moves in a straight line at a constant velocity and colloids with another marble. Because of the law of conservation of ...
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2answers
118 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
149 views

In QED, why is the $e^- + e^+\leftrightarrow\gamma$ process forbidden on-shell?

QED has a vertex that couples a single photon to two fermions. This vertex describes the annihilation of an electron-positron pair into a photon. Why is this process forbidden for all three particles ...
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5answers
121 views

Relation between the conservation of Energy and the conservation of Momentum?

I just learn about the momentum and it conservative attribute in a closed and isolate system and there is something I don't understand when I relate it to the conservation of the energy Considering ...
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5answers
782 views

Conservation of Mathematical Constraints when deriving Energy and Momentum from $F=ma$

Background: Starting from $F = ma$, integrating with respect to time, and using basic calc, one can derive $\int Fdt = m (v_f - v_i)$ Starting from $F = ma$, integrating with respect to distance, ...
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0answers
103 views

Momentum operator in Dirac formalism

Could you derive the momentum operator as follows: Since $\mathcal{T}(\Delta x)=\exp(-ip_{x} \Delta x/ \hslash)$, if we set $\Delta x=x-0$ then it follows that $\left \langle x\right | ...
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2answers
53 views

Effect of movements of astronauts on International Space Station

I know that astronauts move in and around in ISS. When they move they also touch the modules of ISS and sometimes they apply force on the module to move. When this happens, as far as I know it affects ...
3
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1answer
85 views

Where does the partial derivative come from in Sakurai's derivation of the momentum operator?

How is the momentum operator derived in Dirac formalism? I am reading Quantum Mechanics by Sakurai and he gives the following derivation. But I don't understand how he goes from the third equation to ...
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1answer
844 views

How do I show the fractional change in Kinetic Energy in a completely inelastic collision?

Given the formula $$\frac{{\Delta}(KE)}{KE_i}=\frac{(KE_f-KE_i)}{KE_i}=\frac{-M}{(m+M)}$$ Now I know these that the conservation of momentum is always applicable. Also I understand that ...
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2answers
74 views

Elastic collisions and conservation of momentum

If you have an elastic collision between objects 1 and 2 and where 'kinetic energy is conserved', does this mean object 1 will always have the same velocity it had before the collision? Or will ...
3
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1answer
141 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
94 views

Special Relativity: Finding the Euler Lagrange of a massive particle

Knowing that $$\tag{1} L= -mc\sqrt{-\eta_{ab}\frac{d\xi^a}{d\lambda}\frac{d\xi^b}{d\lambda}}$$ we get $$\tag{2} p_a=\frac{\partial L}{\partial(d\xi^a/d\lambda)} = m\eta_{ab}u^b.$$ How come? If I ...
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2answers
61 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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3answers
104 views

Where does the energy required to stop a moving body come from and go?

For a long time, I have been thinking about this: In order to stop a moving body, I have to apply impulse to change the existing momentum to $0$. For the impulse I have to impart force on the moving ...
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1answer
133 views

Atmospheric pressure's effect on sound

An argument has been travelling in amongst my friends around this matter and after listening about it for 3 whole days I decided to ask it here. The Question is: Would a high atmospheric pressure ...
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2answers
90 views

Question relating to energy transfer in between two particles

How would I go about calculating the maximum kinetic energy transferred from one particle when it forms an elastic collision with another particle. For example, if I had two billiards one with mass m ...
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3answers
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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: ...