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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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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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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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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69 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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60 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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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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36 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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44 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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48 views

How can solar sails be maneuvered?

Photons from the Sun are always radial to it and hence solar sails can only travel radially. Any techniques related to maneuvering?
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47 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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61 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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61 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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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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73 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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57 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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95 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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253 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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111 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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160 views

Conservation of angular momentum in a free rod

When a collision is elastic and no external torque acts on a system, angular momentum is conserved I found this example and checked the results: A ball (m = 1 Kg , v = p =+22 m/s, Lm = +11, Ke = 242 ...
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80 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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38 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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84 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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4answers
108 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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245 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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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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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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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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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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51 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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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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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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60 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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54 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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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 ...
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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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65 views

What does the relation between mass and energy of a free particle mean?

What does the Hamiltonian for a free particle mean? Does it mean that the kinetic energy of the particle is in reverse relation with mass? $H$ or $E=\hbar^{2}k^{2}/2m$. Or better to ask: what's the ...
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49 views

Mass of photon, is it possible? [duplicate]

$P=E/C$ In relativistic mechanics a Photon is defined as. $P=hf/C$ Replacing "P" $ mc=hf/C$ $M=h/CT$ What does it mean, did they have mass?
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28 views

Conservation of generalized energies in Newtonian and Relativistic Systems

I was considering the following problem: In a closed system, it is assumed that mass, momentum and energy is conserved. If we label the total mass of the System $M(i)$ at a time i, the total Momentum ...
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156 views

Ball flying towards me - Newton's third law is violated?

I was trying to answer the question of the flying ball here on the basis of Newtons third law and Momentum conservation. Here is what I have tried. Lets take $m_1$ (the ball) hits $m_2$ (the man). ...
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137 views

Force of a Train

Imagine that there are two trains and the first train is twice as long as the second train. They have the same mass per unit length and they are traveling at exactly the same speed. If the first ...
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113 views

Total divergence term and corresponding Feynman Diagram

A total divergence term added to the Lagrangian doesn’t affect the action because the integral of a total divergence vanishes. But if one attempts to derive the Feynman rules from the Lagrangian with ...
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Why doesn't an object that collides with one that is at rest just do a 180?

Newton's third law says "for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction." So why is it, say, that when a pool/billiards ball hits the wall of the table, the ball doesn't just turn around?
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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 ...
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70 views

What is the motion of a balloon with a person climbing on a ladder?

Suppose you had a balloon of mass $M$ in the atmosphere at rest relative to the ground, with a ladder attached reaching towards the ground. A person (of mass less than $M$) begins climbing up the ...
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How are momentum and position operators dependent on the chosen inertial frame?

How are momentum and position operators in quantum mechanics dependent on the chosen inertial frame of reference?
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52 views

Relationship between momentum and energy for rocket-powered aircraft

I'm trying to write a problem for my students in an algebra-based physics class. We have a flight simulator and I've got a glider in the simulator that has a couple rocket boosters attached. Students ...
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Playing catch in space?

I was thinking about this on the bus (exam this week :P). What would happen if two people played catch in outer space? Lets say person A and B are in space at rest, A throws a mass m at B, what ...
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Is the kinetic energy of an electron always $1.6 \cdot 10^{-19}~\text{J}$?

I was doing the following problem. For $d$. They bizarrely added an extra step. They calculated the momentum of the electron to find the De Broglie wavelength using the kinetic energy relationship. ...
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Does constant velocity of center of mass imply linear momentum is conserved?

I know that if momentum is conserved for a system, you can derive that the velocity of the center of mass of that system is constant. I was wondering if the second condition also implies the first: if ...
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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 ...