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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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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1answer
663 views

Best current bounds on nonconservation of momentum?

It's not straightforward to test conservation of momentum experimentally, and many experiments that seem like tests really aren't. For example, in a Newtonian system of identical particles that ...
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Conservation of momentum when rain pours into a wagon

Suppose a wagon is moving at constant velocity on a friction-less surface, and rain begins to fill the wagon. The net force on the wagon is zero, so momentum is conserved; as the mass of the wagon ...
6
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3answers
945 views

The elusive difference between impulse and momentum

1) In classical mechanics, impulse is the product of a force, F, and the time, t, for which it acts. The impulse of a force acting for a given time interval is equal to the change in linear ...
5
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1answer
208 views

Directional derivatives in the multivariable Taylor expansion of the translation operator

Let $T_\epsilon=e^{i \mathbf{\epsilon} P/ \hbar}$ an operator. Show that $T_\epsilon\Psi(\mathbf r)=\Psi(\mathbf r + \mathbf \epsilon)$. Where $P=-i\hbar \nabla$. Here's what I've gotten: ...
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Translation Invariance without Momentum Conservation?

Instead of the actual gravitational force, in which the two masses enter symmetrically, consider something like $$\vec F_{ab} = G\frac{m_a m_b^2}{|\vec r_a - \vec r_b|^2}\hat r_{ab}$$ where $\vec ...
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9answers
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How to explain independence of momentum and energy conservation in elementary terms?

I'm trying to explain to someone learning elementary physics (16 year old) that linear momentum and energy are conserved independently. I'm not a professional physicist and haven't tried to explain ...
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7answers
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Ball flying towards me or me flying towards ball

Suppose a ball is flying towards me at a speed of 10m/s and that, on impact, I feel "x" amount of pain. If, instead, it was me flying towards the ball at the same speed, with all other conditions ...
11
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4answers
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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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2answers
145 views

Where does de Broglie wavelength $\lambda=h/p$ for massive particles come from?

I'm curious where the de Broglie relation $p=\frac{h}{\lambda}$ comes from? I know that for light (which has no rest mass), the following is true: $E=pc$ and $E=hf$ so, $$pc=hf \Rightarrow ...
4
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4answers
867 views

Uncertainty Principle for a Totally Localized Particle

If a particle is totally localized at $x=0$, its wave function $\Psi(x,t)$ should be a Dirac delta function $\delta(x)$. Accordingly, its Fourier transform $\Phi(p,t)$ would be a constant for all $p$, ...
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0answers
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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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2answers
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Matter waves and de Broglie wave length

The wavelength of a particle of momentum p is calculated using De Broglie relation. The de Broglie relation was postulated for what is called a matter waves. Now according to the statistical ...
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2answers
210 views

What is the reason behind why a quantum particle cannot be at rest?

So I've seen different reasonings for this; which is correct, or are they both corollaries of each other? 1) For a particle to be at rest, we would know its momentum and therefore by Heisenberg's ...
8
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4answers
30k views

What is the relationship between kinetic energy and momentum?

I can't seem to figure out the relationship between $E_k$ and $p$ or $F$. I understand that the units are pretty different. But for example: A bullet with a mass of 10.0g is moving at the speed of ...
5
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1answer
238 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 ...
5
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3answers
411 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 ...
5
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3answers
5k views

What is the difference between impulse and momentum?

What is the difference between impulse and momentum? The question says it all...I know the second of of them is mass * velocity, but what is the first one for, and when is it used? Also, what are its ...
4
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2answers
450 views

Would a sneeze by a cosmonaut in a spacesuit affect his movement?

Naive question; feel free to shoot me down It is a truism that any motion in space would continue indefinitely unless it is opposed by an external force. If a cosmonaut were to sneeze within his/her ...
4
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3answers
6k views

Hammer vs large mass on nail

Why is a hammer more effective in driving a nail than a large mass resting over the nail ? I know this has to do with momentum, but cant figure it out.
4
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3answers
4k views

Which will stop first a heavier car or a lighter car?

If the friction from brakes, wind resistance and all such factors remain constat, which will stop first? A heavier car or a lighter car? How will the momentum of the car and graviational pull on a ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Walter Lewin Lecture 16 - Ball bouncing on wall?

I never did Physics in university and I consider that a mistake so I am correcting that now by teaching myself. To that extent I have been watching the MIT lecture videos by Walter Lewin and I am ...
2
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1answer
53 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 ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
2
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1answer
516 views

Quantum mechanical analogue of conjugate momentum

In classical mechanics, we define the concept of canonical momentum conjugate to a given generalised position coordinate. This quantity is the partial derivative of the Lagrangian of the system, with ...
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1answer
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Converting angular velocity to linear velocity through friction

A very basic question here; it's related to this one, but not quite the same. If a rotating rigid body (a sphere for the sake of discussion) with mass $m$, radius $r$ and inertial tensor $I$ has ...
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2answers
145 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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4answers
167 views

Why is $M\frac{dv}{dt} = v_{rel} .\frac{dm}{dt}$ correct and $(M - dm)\frac{dv}{dt} = v_{rel} .\frac{dm}{dt}$ wrong?

Newton's 2nd law of motion can't be applied for mass-varying systems. Another force, known as Thrust must come to play. It can be measured using law of conservation of linear momentum. ...
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5answers
281 views

Does the rotational speed of a planet consistently become faster and faster given that there are no conflicting events? [closed]

Does the rotational speed of a planet consistently become faster and faster given that there are no conflicting events?
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3answers
590 views

Could a fish in a sealed ball, move the ball?

If you had a glass ball filled with water, completely sealed and containing a fish, could the fish move the ball?
6
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6answers
211 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 ...
5
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2answers
863 views

Why is momentum conserved in an inelastic collision and kinetic energy is not conserved?

We know that in an inelastic collision that total momentum of the system before collision equals the total momentum after collision. But total kinetic energy before collision is not equal to total ...
5
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4answers
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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 ...
4
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2answers
797 views

Use of Operators in Quantum Mechanics

I understand the form of operators in use for quantum mechanics such as the momentum operator: $$\hat{\text{P}}=-ih\frac{d}{dx}$$ My question is in what ways can I use it and what am I getting back? ...
3
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2answers
223 views

Why does a stationary force affect the conservation of momentum, but not the conservation of energy?

Let's say I have two positive charges approaching one another at the same speed with only their mutual forces acting on one another. Total momentum (= 0) and energy is conserved and the charges ...
3
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2answers
495 views

Origin of motion and relative speed of bodies in the universe

Charged particles can hit the earth at relativistic speeds. But it seems that all large bodies have fairly low relative speed. Of course, speed can increase considerably when a body orbits close to a ...
3
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2answers
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block slides on smooth triangular wedge kept on smooth floor.Find velocity of wedge when block reaches bottom

Find the velocity of the triangular block when the small block reaches the bottom: Here is what I did: The final velocity(at the bottom)of the small block of mass m is $\sqrt{2gh}$ along the plane ...
3
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2answers
455 views

Derivative of a Position Eigenket

I was flicking through Zettili's book on quantum mechanics and came across a 'derivation' of the momentum operator in the position representation on page 126. The author derived that ...
2
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2answers
461 views

Movement of man and ladder and their center of mass

Suppose there is a massless frictionless pulley. A rope over it carries a mass $M$ and on other side carries a ladder of mass $(M-m)$ and a man on that ladder, of mass $m$. Now the man starts ...
2
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1answer
310 views

Relativistic kinematics of particle decay

Suppose a particle decays to three other particles. The masses of all particles are assumed to be known and we work in the rest frame of the parent particle. So there are 12 parameters for this ...
2
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3answers
505 views

Explanation for classic mechanics puzzle

I'm trying to figure out a nice way to describe to a kid the physics behind these experiments: Assuming ideal conditions, we have a small boat with a sale, close to a lake's shore and a fan fixed on ...
2
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1answer
343 views

Rocket drive and conservation of momentum

I am currently reading through some lecture notes of Physics 1 and in a chapter about the dynamics of the mass point, there is an example covering the rocket drive. Let $v$ be the velocity of the ...
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5answers
704 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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2answers
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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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2answers
154 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 ...
1
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1answer
262 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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0answers
226 views

Angular Momentum Conservation in Gravitational Interaction

thanks for any help. I'm trying to show that in a 2body problem, angular momentum is conserved given that $\dfrac{dp}{dt}=\dfrac{-GMm(rv)}{r³}$, where p is momentum, t time, G gravitational constant, ...
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3answers
324 views

Displacement with zero velocity

I know that we can rotate a deformable object using internal forces only in space. Thus we can cause an angular displacement without the use of any external forces. The following youtube video shows ...
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3answers
1k views

Same momentum, different mass

The question is: if A bowling ball and ping pong ball are moving at same momentum and you exert same force to stop each one which will take a longer time? or some? which will have a longer ...
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2answers
114 views

What moves an object? Momentum or Kinetic Energy? [duplicate]

What exactly makes an object move? Momentum is $\vec p= mv$ where $m$ is mass of an object and $v$ is the velocity of an object, and as a result of this when I fire a bullet the bullet may travel much ...