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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
1answer
63 views

Does mass equal angular momentum?

At the wikipedia pages for angular momentum ($L$) and moment of inertia ($I$) we find the equations: $$L=I \omega$$ $$I=m r^2$$ where $m$ is mass and $r$ is the distance between said mass and ...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

Difference between momentum calculated from wavefunction and momentum computed by energy formula

Take a quantum well, for example. The energy of an electron is given by: $E_n=k_n n^2$. Moreover, we know that the momentum of an electron with energy $E_n$ is given by: $p=mv=m(2T/m)^{1/2}$, where ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Simultaneous conservation of linear and angular momentum

Suppose there is a ring in the space where there is no gravity. The width of the ring is $r$ which is negligible compared to its inner radius $R$. The ring is in horizontal position. Now imagine a ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Does the average momentum vanish for an eigenstate of the simple harmonic oscillator?

Suppose we have a simple harmonic oscillator, let's consider the ground state, $|0\rangle$ and the first excited state $|1\rangle$. $\langle 0|\hat p|0 \rangle$ is zero right? Since the particle can ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Shortcut to find $\hat{p}^2$ expectation value

I have been going through several calculations where I am asked to calculate $\langle p^2 \rangle$ and the task is proving to be pretty tedious. Does anyone know of a shortcut for this? Such as with ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

Calculating a spacecraft's deflection angle [closed]

There is a spacecraft with mass $M_1$ moving in a certain trajectory with a constant speed $V_r$. To modify its trajectory, a engine is turned on and starts ejecting gas at a speed $V_g$, which is ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

What's wrong with this simple derivation of energy flux in a photon gas?

In a photon gas, we know that pressure, $P$, and energy density, $u$, are related by: $$P=\frac{u}{3}$$ We also know from relativity that the momentum of a photon is $$p=\frac{E}{c}$$ Finally, the ...
6
votes
2answers
263 views

About photons and mirrors

If a photon hits a 'perfect' mirror (with no environment interference) would the mirror move a bit?
0
votes
2answers
63 views

Understanding Momentum

I'm trying to learn more about momentum and I'm a little confused. Based on my understanding, in an isolated system, total momentum is conserved in a collision. Today in class the professor went over ...
8
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
864 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 ?
0
votes
1answer
24 views

How would one compute the angle of deflection, in a relativistic collision - underspecified system?

Consider the simplistic case of two identical mass particles colliding elastically with the second particle initially stationary and the first particle travelling with energy $E$. By conservation of ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

Difference between momentum and kinetic energy

From a mathematical point of view it seems to be clear what's the difference between momentum and $mv$ and kinetic energy $\frac{1}{2} m v^2$. Now my problem is the following: Suppose you want to ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Momentum of Light Question [duplicate]

Since light beams carry momentum, why would a person holding a flashlight not feel a recoil similar to that of a rifle being fired?
0
votes
2answers
88 views

Can acceleration be achieved without reaction mass?

In a previous question, I asked whether a flashlight can accelerate me. The answer is yes. This has led me to wonder, this is inferior to all other known propulsion methods in all aspects except one: ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Why won't this reactionless drive idea work (motor with a moving weight in space)

I know people will say it violates many laws of motion and conservation but could anyone explain why it is so? It's NOT a question about free energy. Imagine a motor in space. It has an arm (rod) ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

changes in horizontal velocity and the effect on time airborne (thus overcoming gravity)

I would like to know if a object is launched horizontally in the air at a lower speed and a higher speed, why does the higher speed keep it airborne longer. what are the forces and why does gravity ...
1
vote
0answers
77 views

Particle In a Box and momentum, velocity

So on a homework assignment, we are give the width of a well, $a$, and the mass of the particle $m$ and we want to find the average velocity of the particle at the n=1 state. So here is my attempt at ...
0
votes
2answers
157 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Relative Velocities and Conservation of Kinetic Energy

An object of mass m moves with velocity $v$ towards a stationary object of same mass. Impact is an elastic collision. $v_1$ is the velocity after impact of the mass originally moving $v_2$ is the ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Quantum Mechanics - Finding momentum probability density [closed]

everyone. I got a bit stuck on 2(iii), this is supposed to be a easy question, but i don't know how you get the square term? I thought you just do the Fourier transform, but then I got some ...
1
vote
2answers
126 views

Why not shoot a marble sized spacecraft at the moon?

I was thinking about the Google XPrize for Space Travel the other day. In order to claim the prize of building a robot that goes to the moon, travels 500m, and relays data, I had the idea of building ...
2
votes
3answers
155 views

What happens with a tunneling particle when its momentum is imaginary in QM?

In classical mechanics the motion of a particle is bounded if it is trapped in a potential well. In quantum mechanics this is no longer the case and there is a non zero probability of the particle to ...
-1
votes
1answer
88 views

How does $p_x$ commute with $p_y$, i.e. $[p_x,p_y]=0$? [closed]

I know it's a simple and basic question but would someone show me how to evaluate $[\hat{p}_x,\hat{p}_y]$?
5
votes
2answers
616 views

Impulse from absorbing a photon? Is there an increase in rest mass?

I'm going through A P French's special relativity. In one chapter (6) the following is set up: Suppose that a stationary particle of mass $M_0$ is struck by a photon of energy $Q$, which is ...
4
votes
4answers
323 views

Complex conjugate of momentum operator

Consider momentum operator representation in position space. $$\hat{p}=-i\frac{\partial}{\partial x} \,\ \text{and its eigen functions are } e^{ipx} \,\text{and} \,\ e^{-ipx}.$$ ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Work done or not in this case?

I have a very simple question. A motorboat directed upstream is seen to be at rest from the bank of a river. Is the engine doing any work? Is it right to say that since it is not causing any ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

What happens to the acceleration of a body undergoing constant force?

Here's the problem I have, specifically relating to a rocket in deep space: A rocket burns fuel at a constant rate. Assuming its mass remains constant, what happens to its acceleration? I seem to get ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

How we can manipulate the momentum of a particle?

Is there any way to affect a particle's momentum value?
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Interpretation of Conjugate Momentum in Field Theory

The conjugate momentum density, following as a conserved quantity with Noethers Theorem, from invariance under displacement of the field itself, i.e. $\Phi \rightarrow \Phi'=\Phi + \epsilon$, is given ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Definition of momentum-entangled particles

When we can say that two particle are momentum entangled ? I just read an article where it's said that two momentum entangled particles share the same momentum value in opposite directions no matter ...
1
vote
3answers
193 views

Why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E = pc$?

See, the energy of a photon is given out by $E = pc = hv$ why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E ^2= p^2 c^2 + m^2 c^4$ by putting $p = \gamma mv$ and then get a value for $m$ (which will be $0$ for a ...
0
votes
0answers
403 views

Nuclear reaction: creation of deuterium

A proton p collides with a neutron(at rest) n at relatively low-energies and creates a 'deuterium-core' d: $$p+n->d+\gamma$$ Find the wavelength for the photon as a function of the proton's ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Measurement of Mass and Momentum of a particle simultaneously

In quantum mechanics can the mass and the linear momentum of a particle be measured precisely or do they commute ?
2
votes
0answers
406 views

kinetic energy in collisions [closed]

We were hoping you could help us understand collision energy. Vehicle $ A $ is driving West at $35\space mph$ and weighs $ 1437 \space kg$. Vehicle $ B $ is driving North at $35\space mph$ and weighs ...
2
votes
3answers
163 views

Equilibrium that is not stable

Consider a system which is in an equilibrium state. Now, a small perturbation causes it to start oscillating about the equilibrium state, but over time, the momentum with which it overshoots the ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Recoil from a shotgun

First of all I'd like to point out that I'm a complete layman when it comes to physics and I apologise if this isn't the correct forum for this. If I were to sit on an office chair on a laminated ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

Calculating the Probability Current of a Travelling Wave

Calculate the probability current density vector $\vec{j}$ for the wave function : $$\psi = Ae^{-i(wt-kx)}.$$ From my very poor and beginner's understanding of probability density current it is : ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Colliding particles at speeds aproaching c [closed]

(In natural units where $\hbar=c=1$.) Two particles are to be collided. Each of these particles has a rest mass of 0.9 GeV and they will be collided at equal but opposite speeds. What is the minimum ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Do I need the exact velocity when experimenting with sliding coins?

I'm doing a home experiment but it's not going very well. I'm pushing coins on a table. I'm taking the time for how long it takes coin A to hit coin B and then I divide it by the time between them ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Calculating rate of change of momentum for a package [closed]

A helicopter is flying to the right (in the $+x$ direction) with a constant speed $v$, carrying a package of mass $M$ suspended below it using a cable as shown in the figure. (You can assume that $H$ ...
1
vote
3answers
242 views

Effect of incoming force on linear vs. angular velocity

First of all, I should note that I'm a programmer and have only an extremely basic understanding of physics; I only know how to explain my question in layman's terms and I apologize if I'm unclear or ...
10
votes
7answers
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

In the Dirac equation, do $\alpha$ and $p$ commute?

The Dirac Hamiltonian is given as $H = \vec \alpha·\vec pc + \beta mc^2$ , Do the alpha and beta operators commute with the momentum operator? If yes then how?
6
votes
2answers
199 views

Why $-i\hbar\vec\nabla$ for momentum in quantum mechanics, while $m\vec{v}$ in classical mechanics?

I am a little bit confused when thinking of the momentum representation in QM and CM. In QM, momentum is represented as $-i\hbar\vec\nabla$, while in classical, momentum is represented as $m\vec{v}$. ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

Momentum Operator in Quantum Mechanics

1) What is the difference between these two momentum operators: $\frac{\hbar}{i}\frac{\partial}{\partial x}$ and $-i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x}$? How are these two operators the same? My ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

Spring Damper System : Recoil Reduction

I am designing a man-"portable" 30mm sniper rifle. Although it may be classified as a anti-materiel cannon. I have the mass of the round in total, and the mass of the projectile leaving the barrel, ...
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Conservation of Mass, Momentum and Energy - Airburst Rounds

I have a airburst round with set amount of fragments with a certain shape inside my bullet. After a certain distance has travelled, a charge explodes in the back of the round disintegrating the shell ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

Including special relativistic effects in momentum in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

I've been told that an electron is somewhere within the space of $10^{-10}m$ and am supposed to find the uncertainty in its velocity. Simply applying $m\Delta x \Delta v \geq \frac{h}{4\pi}$ results ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Energy/Momentum required to deflect earth from its orbit

This question occurred to me when thinking about the firepower people have on earth. How hard is it to change the characteristics of the orbit of the earth when an explosion happens on its surface, ...