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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How does the solar sailing concept work?

Wikipedia describes solar sailing as a form of spacecraft propulsion using a combination of light and high speed ejected gasses from a star to push large ultra-thin mirrors to high speeds. I ...
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85 views

If photons don't have mass, how can they accelerate objects? [duplicate]

As far as I know photons don't have mass but they do have momentum ($p=mv$). Scientists say that if we put a shiny (reflective) shield of large radius in the vacuum of space, then light from sun will ...
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166 views

Impulse and Change In Momentum — Are they really different?

My entire time learning physics, I have simply assumed that Impulse and Change in momentum are the same thing. It makes sense -- Force changes momentum, and impulse finds the total of force. ...
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76 views

Movement in outer space via Newton's law of every action has an equal and opposite reaction

What is more effective for travel in outer space ignoring all other factors like air radiation etc. I have a 10 kg bag of rice would I travel faster throwing the whole bag at once or throwing a grain ...
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25 views

electron spin separation

I am having doubt whether the electron's up spin moment and down spin moment can be isolated from one another. If it got separated, will each moment acts as magnetic monopole (stable or unstable). ...
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1answer
63 views

Is there such a thing as instantly stopping?

I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but I've never taken a physics class and I was curious about something. But anyway, my question is, is there such a thing as instantly stopping? For example, if ...
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4answers
149 views

Is the canonical momentum conserved when a particle moves in magnetic field?

Here is a question about the canonical momentum that I had asked some days ago, but I still have one point that I am not understand. Considering a particle moves in a magnetic field with charge $q$ ...
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2answers
103 views

A question about canonical momentum and arbitrariness for potential in magnetism

The following question confuses me: There exists magnetic field $B_z =- \beta x$ where $x > 0$, and a particle is incident from origin point $(0,0)$ with pisitive charge $q$, mass $m$, and ...
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0answers
64 views

Force needed to change momentum, from fixed position

I have a situation where I want to change the velocity of a mass, by applying a force from a fixed position. For example in the diagram below, the mass starts with the initial velocity in the upper ...
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1answer
65 views

Quantum explanation of Newton's Third Law of Motion

Newton's law states that for every action there is equal and opposite reaction. This law explains how rockets fly in space and accounts for the the majority of the lift action generated by a ...
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2answers
147 views

Energy transfer in elastic collision [duplicate]

In a given reference frame where object 1 (with known mass and velocity) collides elastically with object 2 (with known mass and velocity), can we identify which object loses kinetic energy? Is it ...
2
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1answer
131 views

Why positronium can annihilate in vacuum?

I thought that the annihilation process of positronium cannot take place without a third-party particle. This can be directly derived from energy & momentum conservation: energy conservation: ...
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3answers
938 views

Can conservation of momentum related to Newton's first law?

I know this is a scrap of thought, but the first law states that (from Wikipedia): If an object experiences no net force, then its velocity is constant Is it describing the conservation of ...
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2answers
2k views

How to construct the radial component of the momentum operator?

I'm having trouble doing it. I know so far that if we have two Hermitian operators $A$ and $B$ that do not commute, and suppose we wish to find the quantum mechanical Hermitian operator for the ...
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0answers
78 views

Change of QM Momentum operator under coordinate transformation

Can any one please let me know what is the general procedure to construct the momentum operator under some coordinate transformation? For example, I understand that if ...
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3answers
207 views

When is energy conserved in a collision and not momentum?

Consider the following example: A bullet of mass 45g is fired at a speed of 220 m/s into a 5.0 kg sandbag hanging from a string from the ceiling. The sandbag absorbs the bullet and begins to ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Conservation of Momentum/Energy collision Problem

I'm working on a physics problem in preparation for the MCAT and there's this particular problem that's troubling me. I don't know if it's a bad question or if I'm not understanding some sort of ...
0
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0answers
138 views

photon momentum

assume 2 space ships "at rest" in the vacuum, at about 300.000KM apart one from another, one having a laser source, the second having a receptor. Also assume both ships have synchronous clocks (they ...
2
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2answers
541 views

Calculating angular velocity after collision

Suppose I have a disc which doesn't move, just rotate around the axis going through its centre of mass perpendicular to its surface. The disk has a stick perpendicular to its surface at the edge. I ...
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2answers
663 views

When should we use the concept of Impulse/Momentum instead of Force?

In my notes it says "The ideas of impulse and momentum is useful in solving problems where:- a) the force F is not easily calculable (e.g. sudden impact or blow) b) the impulse force is ...
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48 views

Hidden momentum

I'm trying to learn about hidden momentum. After reading what I could find with a google search, I understand that it is equal to the momentum carried by radiation, calculated with the Poynting ...
2
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2answers
117 views

Canonical momentum density vs. energy-momentum tensor

Suppose we have a scalar field $\varphi$ with Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} \kappa \left( \frac{\partial \varphi}{\partial x} \right)^2 + \frac{1}{2} \rho \left( \frac{\partial ...
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7answers
1k views

How can momentum but not energy be conserved in an inelastic collision?

In inelastic collisions, kinetic energy changes, so the velocities of the objects also change. So how is momentum conserved in inelastic collisions?
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1answer
91 views

Can it require different amounts of energy to generate the same impulse?

According to impulse principle the impulse is the same as the change in the object's momentum: $\bar I = \delta p$ Because the momentum can be calculated like this: $\bar p = m\bar v$. If we solve ...
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0answers
61 views

Collision Between Two Particles: Writing the Mass As A Function of The Angle [duplicate]

Suppose we have two masses, $m_1$ and $m_2$, where $m_2$ is at rest, and $m_1$ is headed directly towards $m_2$. I would like to write the ratio of the masses as a function of the angle. Using ...
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2answers
175 views

Friction on an object moving with momentum over a surface

I'm familiar with the equations for friction for a static object and an object moving at steady speed over a surface from high school physics. But we never learned how an object moving only due to ...
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2answers
95 views

Does turning sharply on a bicycle conserve more energy than a wide turn?

I use a bike to commute, so I spend a lot of time thinking about how to get the most bang out of my momentum. Aside from the extra distance traveled in a wide turn, does making a sharp turn save you ...
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3answers
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Is the giant Newton's cradle in the Kit-Kat ad feasible?

Apologies in advance if this is too basic a question for Phys.SE. I don't want to dumb down this venerable institution. :) My wife and I just watched this TV ad for Kit-Kat where a crew of crane ...
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184 views

How multiple objects in contact are resolved in an inelastic collision, when edge normals don't “line up”

In a case I understand, let's say I have an object A moving at velocity V toward 3 objects in contact B, C, and D: The momentum of A is the mass of A times its velocity. To figure out how the ...
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2answers
145 views

How to calculate velocities after collision?

I'm currently writing a program for a particle simulator. One of the requirements is that the particles collide in a realistic way. However, I don't know how to calculate the final velocities. For ...
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4answers
1k views

Examples where momentum is not equal to $mv$?

I am aware that momentum is the thing which is conserved due to symmetries in space (rotational symmetry, translaitonal symmetry, etc). I am aware that in some systems, the generalized momentum, ...
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3answers
544 views

Can a particle have momentum without energy?

Can a particle have linear momentum if the total energy of the particle is zero? Even if a particle has a certain velocity, can its potential energy cancel out the kinetic energy as to add to zero ?
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1answer
77 views

Perceived sway difference between double-decked vs. single-decked buses?

Why is that when I'm standing in a moving double deck bus, my body doesn't move a lot; whereas, in a moving single deck bus, my body moves quite a bit? It seems like I swing a lot in single deck ...
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2answers
51 views

A block in motion explodes [closed]

A 9.5 kg block (A) is traveling in the positive x-direction with a speed of 3.0 m/s. At some point, it explodes and breaks into two pieces. After the explosion, block C, which is 6.0 kg, moves off ...
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318 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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1answer
99 views

Energy conversion and momentum conservation law

Bullet ($m=0.02\ kg\ ;v_1=400 \ m/s$ ) hits pendulum ball ($M=3.98\ kg$) and system with stacket bullet and ball bends to one side. Need to find max. delta height ($h$) (position change in vertical ...
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2answers
118 views

Explain Momentum

It's a shame for me to be in Year 12 and still haven't understood the concept of Momentum. This is what I think, and I know I'm wrong. But, it is a good place to start for you to explain: "Since the ...
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1answer
84 views

In calculations with uncertainty principle why could you equate the uncertainty in momentum with the actual momentum of the system

This website is trying to calculate the confinement energy of a electron starting from the uncertainty principle, but it does this: $\Delta p=p$. Why is this valid?
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1answer
96 views

Hamilton-Jacobi formalism and on-shell actions

My question is essentially how to extract the canonical momentum out of an on-shell action. The Hamilton-Jacobi formalism tells us that Hamilton's principal function is the on-shell action, which ...
2
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3answers
345 views

Steady isothermal flow of an ideal gas

So I have a steady isothermal flow of an ideal gas through a smooth duct (no frictional losses) and need to compute the mass flow rate (per unit area) as a function of pressures at any two different ...
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2answers
312 views

Conservation of linear momentum magnitude along a trajectory

I was once criticized for "taking angular momentum as momentum going in a circle". I was loosely trying to state, in classical mechanics, that in using conservation of momentum, one can switch between ...
5
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3answers
249 views

How can particles travel in a straight line?

A particle can be set off in a certain direction by giving them momentum. Momentum is a vector, so the particle heads off in a specific direction. But the wave function of the particle allows it to ...
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57 views

Deduction of relativistic mass formula in 1+1 dimensions

I have read the explanation/calculation of relativistic momentum and relativistic mass in the Feynman lectures, see chapter 16.4 here: http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_16.html. (I guess this ...
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1answer
116 views

Deriving $p = mv$ from translational symmetry (momentum conservation law)?

"In classical mechanics, momentum is defined as the quantity which is conserved under global spatial translations or, alternatively, as the generator of spatial translations." (G.Parisi, ...
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5answers
310 views

How to get the position operator in the momentum representation from knowing the momentum operator in the position representation?

I know that $$\tag{1}\hat{p}~=~-i\hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial x}~.$$ How can I get $$\tag{2}\hat{x}~=~i\hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial p}~?$$ I think this simple and I'm just over thinking it, ...
3
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0answers
76 views

Lagrangian with vanishing conjugate momentum, independent variables

Given a Lagrangian density $\mathcal L(\phi_r,\partial_\mu\phi_r,\phi_n,\partial_\mu\phi_n)$, for which we find out that for some $\phi_n$ its conjugate momentum vanishes: ...
6
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1answer
135 views

Lorentz covariance of the Noether charge

The invariance under translation leads to the conserved energy-momentum tensor $\Theta_{\mu\nu}$ satisfying $\partial^\mu\Theta_{\mu\nu}=0$, from which we get the conserved quantity$$P^\nu=\int ...
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77 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 ...
2
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1answer
470 views

What is the linear momentum of an EM wave in a medium?

In free space, the linear momentum density of an EM wave is given by the Poynting vector $\vec S$ over the speed of light squared, $\vec g=\frac{\vec S}{c^2}$. In a medium, $S$ is generally not ...
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2answers
159 views

Not so simple problem using momentum, energy and angular velocity…?

I have an object in free space (no gravity) with angular momentum $ = \omega_i $, and some velocity vector $=\vec{V_i}$. To simplify we will say it has a mass-less rigid rod length $ = \ell $, ...