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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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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1answer
81 views

What is the relation between a basis transformation and an induced transformation $\psi(\Lambda^{-1} p)$ on the wave function? [closed]

I'm having trouble understanding why is $\psi(\Lambda^{-1}p')$ the correct wave function in the Lorentz transformed frame $p' = \Lambda p$. Suppose the state in frame $O$ is given by $$ ...
4
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2answers
570 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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1answer
38 views

Pressure, Momentum and Energy: A 'Peculiar' Relation

Is the following possible? $$ P = \frac{p^2}{3E} $$ where $P$ is pressure, $p$ is momentum and $E$ is energy. In what convention is the above relation acceptable? EDIT: The source paper can be found ...
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1answer
74 views

Elastic Collisions and Relative Velocities

In a 1D elastic collision, it is well-known that the relative velocities of the two objects (before and after the collision) are reversed. What is the extension of this result to 2D or higher? Is ...
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1answer
135 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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2answers
117 views

Is momentum conserved in the collision of a ball with a hanging rod?

Suppose we have a situation like A ball of some mass $m$ with some velocity collides with rod hinged at point $A$. Is momentum conserved in this situation? I know that hinge will give impulsive ...
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1answer
106 views

What would happen if Newton's Cradle was made of other geometrical objects rather than spheres?

What would happen if Newton's Cradle was made of other geometrical objects rather than spheres? For example, what would happen if it was made of cubes and the contact area was larger?
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1answer
92 views

Doubt regarding stress-energy tensor definition

I'm having some trouble understanding the following definition of the stress energy tensor: $T^{\mu\nu}$ is the flux of four-momentum $p^{\mu}$ across a surface of constant $x^{\nu}$. Here's an ...
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1answer
74 views

What am I REALLY doing when I take the Fourier transform of the momentum operator

I was playing around with some equations and found a surprising relationship when I took the fourier transform of the momentum operator Define $\hat P = \frac{\hbar}{i} \partial_x$, then $F(\hat P) = ...
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2answers
255 views

Conservation of momentum and energy in an explosion

One simple problem is physics is to determine the mechanical energy difference after an explosion. To do this, you must assume that momentum is conserved because in a explosion you have internal ...
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1answer
66 views

What is “momentum density” and why it important to QFT?

I am reading Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur. On page 98, they provide a summary of a basic canonical quantization procedure: Step I: Write down a classical Lagrangian density in ...
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3answers
11k views

Small car colliding with large truck

A small car collides with a large truck. Why do both vehicles experience the same magnitude of force? Wouldn't the large vehicle experience less force than the small one?
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1answer
48 views

Thrust and specific impulse of a rocket

A picture of the question this originates from is given below. Note: I normally work with SI units and am mostly unfamiliar with those used here. The specific impulse of a rocket can be calculated ...
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0answers
41 views

Possible Lack of Invariance in Two Inertial Reference Frame Scenarios

Two objects are connected together via a ideal spring which is compressed initially. Then the spring is released, the two balls are no longer connected and go their separate ways. Assume no other ...
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1answer
35 views

Rolling on a frictionless pond

I have a doubt about one of the questions in my textbook. Q- You are standing with your bag in your hands in the middle of a friction-less pond. How can you come out of the ice? There is of ...
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1answer
43 views

Transformation of $q_k$ and $p_k$ from invariance of Hamiltonian

This is a step in Nakahara's Geometry, Topology and Physics, 2nd edition, 2003, on pages 7-8: Given that $q_k ' = q_k +\epsilon f_k(q)$, we have that $$\Lambda_{ij} = \frac{\partial q_i'}{\partial ...
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2answers
150 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 ...
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0answers
39 views

How much energy and momentum is carried by a mechanical wave?

Let's assume there is a wave spreading across in a substance. Described by some partial differential equation. How can I calculate the momentum and energy carried by this wave? Or maybe the energy and ...
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1answer
242 views

What is reduced momentum in “A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field” by James Clerk Maxwell?

I was reading Maxwell's paper titled [A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field][1]. In part 2, section 3 ("Dynamical Illustration of Reduced Momentum"), Maxwell discusses a mechanical ...
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0answers
59 views

Two cars colliding with different speeds

If I have one car travelling at 30 m/s and another travelling at 10 m/s both weighing the same amount, why is it that the car travelling 10 m/s would have more damage? According to Newton's third law ...
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1answer
60 views

Where does energy goes if I jump down from a balloon?

Suppose you are in a hot air balloon of mass $M$ which is floating in the air, and you get out and start climbing down a rope at constant velocity $v$. By conservation of momentum we can show that the ...
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1answer
24 views

When is it appropriate to drop pressure terms when applying conservation of momentum to a fluid?

I'm trying to wrap my head around pressure forces in incompressible, irrotational, invicid flow. Applying conservation of momentum to a control volume gives me \begin{equation} ...
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1answer
65 views

newton's cradle with 2 balls dropped from same height at same time

I'm creating a logo and want it to be as exact as possible. The logo idea is a "Newtonian cradle", but with only 2 balls and on straight steel wire (can't be bend). What would happen if I dropped ...
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1answer
87 views

Conservation of relativistic momentum

I'm trying to prove that momentum, $\rho = m \, v \, \gamma(v)$, is conserved in all frames of reference. I'm having problems with the following situation that I made; momentum is not conserved to ...
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2answers
249 views

Is it possible to determine the outcome of any impact knowing only the ratio of masses? [duplicate]

In elastic collisions in 2-D if two balls $A$, $B$ ($m_A = m_B$, $R = 1$) have equal mass we can determine in advance the outcome of the collision. If cue-ball $A$ impacts object-ball $B$ (at rest) ...
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1answer
52 views

Sum over momentum states

In our lecture we used quite a couple of times that the sum over momentum states can be approximated by an integral over them. But instead of substituting $\sum_p \rightarrow \int d^3p$, we replaced ...
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0answers
110 views

Colliding objects due to gravitational attraction [closed]

If two objects initially at rest, are released and move toward one another due to gravitational attraction, they collide and exchange during collision some amount of impulse, i.e. the object 1 ...
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10answers
788 views

Why does Energy-Momentum have a special case?

I was reading Energy-momentum, and I came across this simplified equation: $$E^2 = (mc^2)^2 + (pc)^2$$ where $m$ is the mass and $p$ is momentum of the object. That said, the equation is pretty ...
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4answers
207 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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2answers
490 views

Rocket/Thrust/Gas/Free Expansion of Gas

We know, the rockets in space use Newton's 3rd law to increase their velocity and hence move. What I don't understand is how it is possible in space aka vacuum-state without air? From what I know, ...
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1answer
71 views

How does the space shuttle move in a vacuum? [duplicate]

If there is no friction in space, then how does the space shuttle boost? According to Newton's law we move by pushing something; in space, there is vacuum, so how the space shuttle moves without ...
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4answers
101 views

Which is the right explanation for rocket motion? [duplicate]

What actually causes a rocket to move? Is it the pressure in the rocket engine or the amount and velocity of mass that is being ejected out. The reason I am asking is, I found these two explanations ...
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1answer
37 views

a mistake related to variable mass system

I'm having a problem with finding my mistake when trying to find the derivative of the momentum when mass is being ejected in a constant rate. The problem is this - a body in space is burning fuel ...
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1answer
67 views

Find angular velocity of motor

I'm quite bad at this, but I'm trying to change that and I need some assistance. Please bare with me while I attempt to explain what I'm trying to figure out and correct me where I'm wrong. Basically ...
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2answers
67 views

Dumbbell rotation

What if apply impulse to dumbbell consisting of two masses and massless rod? It is clear for me that left dumbbell will move straight line. But it is not clear for me what kind of motion will have ...
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7answers
4k views

The best way in which a man can pull a train

I have chosen this example as a paradoxical limit, but my question really regards the optimization, distribution and outcome of force when you try to pull a weight: how can you optimize your ...
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2answers
41 views

Can momentum be distributed to multiple objects which travel in different vectors?

This is a question about the conservation of momentum: If there were a cluster of billiard balls floating in space and the cluster was struck by one moving ball, the cluster balls would scatter in ...
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3answers
8k views

Can kicking a falling phone save it from shattering?

So I saw this tip but I don't think this is true, it would be that your leg or shoe is more flexible than a hard floor so the momentum change would be slower right?
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1answer
47 views

Why we can omit some forces while applying linear momentum principle

While applying linear momentum principle, namely that if force is zero linear momentum of the system is constant, in textbook they don't count for $N$ force from $M \to m.$ This force have component ...
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2answers
135 views

Question about impulse and momentum

Check this question first please My question is: Why can't I use equations of motion to get the final speed after rebounding?Acceleration not equal to $9.8 \text{m/s}^2$ or the intial after ...
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3answers
106 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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2answers
50 views

Hydrodynamics: Conservation of momentum violated by a fan in a cylinder?

Consider the following situation: there is a hollow cylinder with both caps removed. The cylinder is submerged into water. Inside the cylinder, we place a fan (or pump) that pumps the water through ...
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1answer
25 views

Selection of system in Conservation of momentum

I came across a question in which a cart is moving and having sand. Suddenly the sand valve malfunctioned and the sand starts falling from the cart. So momentum of which system will remain conserved. ...
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1answer
58 views

Diffracted electron - where does it gain additional momentum?

When an electron is diffracted, the momentum after the diffraction has different direction than before. Where does the electron gain this momentum? This is related to this question, but it's ...
2
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0answers
53 views

Is there a general formula to translate from *canonical* to *physical* momentum?

In Peskin and Schroeder, after having derived a conserved tensor $T^{\mu \nu}$ associated with translations in space-time (the stress-energy tensor), it is said that the charges $\int d^3 x T^{0i}$: ...
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1answer
55 views

Obtaining momentum operator $P^\mu$ from Lagrangian and energy-momentum tensor $T^{\mu\nu}$

I am pretty new to quantum field theory. Given the Lagrangian density, $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} ( \partial_\mu \phi ) ( \partial^\mu \phi ) - \frac{1}{2} m^2 \phi^2 $$ and its energy-momentum ...
2
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2answers
187 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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5answers
242 views

The elusive difference between force and impulse

Impulse is defined as the product of a force $F$ acting for a (short) time $t$, $J = F*t$, and that is very clear. What I find difficult to understand is how a force can exist that doesn't act for a ...
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1answer
573 views

Relation between linear momentum and translational kinetic energy

The momentum $m v$ of a particle is formally the same as the derivative its translational kinetic energy $\frac{1}{2} m v^2$ with respect to $v$. Similarly the angular momentum $I \omega$ is the ...