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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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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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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Does a force really act on a body during a collision?

Consider two bodies A(black) and B(red) having equal mass. A is moving at a constant speed towards B, which is stationary. At certain point of time, they collide elastically, $\therefore u_{A}=v_{B}$ ...
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Does Newton's third law apply to momentum or to forces?

I read all the previous answers concerning the 3rd law and I have seen that it is definitely not universal, (Edit: but conservation of momentum is. If it is not universal it should be not a problem to ...
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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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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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63 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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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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50 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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Interpretation of the four-vector $k$ in scalar QFT

I'm studying the canonical quantization of the Klein-Gordon real scalar quantum field theory, given by the classical Lagrangian density $$\mathscr L = {1\over ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Origin of momentum. Noether's theorem

My professor talked about Noether's theorem and how translation is the origin of momentum conservation. But why is it not velocity that is conserved but mass times velocity. And on the same note why ...
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Low-momentum behaviour of a short-range potential

I've read the follow sentence in a journal article (arXiv preprint) which constitutes part of my coursework. As discussed in the previous section, the low-momentum behavior of any short-range ...
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274 views

Total Momentum From a Standing Electromagnetic Wave

How does one show the momentum imparted to a perfect conducting resonance cavity (boundary) of any shape by a classical standing electromagnetic wave inside is zero? It should be by conservation of ...
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Why do these two derivations of the formula for impulse contradict?

I was trying to derive $I = F\Delta T$ from $p = mv$. First I converted $v = at$: $$\begin{align} p &= mv \\ p &= m \times at \\ p &= ma \times t \\ p &= Ft \\ \Delta p &= F ...
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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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How does momentum effect velocity? [duplicate]

I'm in AP physics and we haven't even covered this yet so sorry if my question seems strange... I know $p = m v$, However right now I am writing a 2D physics engine and I am having some trouble with ...
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235 views

What is the time dependent expectation value for momentum

For an electron in an equal linear superposition of two eigenstates in a one-dimensional infinitely deep square potential well of width L, how do you isolate the time dependent part of the expectation ...
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A student of mine wants to build a Gyroscopic Inertial Thruster

I work as a tutor with students in their first three semesters. One of my more eager students is obsessed with this thing: A Gyroscopic Inertial Thruster Here is a Wikipedia Article on that. I was ...
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Impulse and force in a karate chop, can we maximize force minimizing the time of impact?

I have heard that we can maximize the force by minimizing the time of impact in a punch. If that is true, the paradox is if we increase the time of contact with the same amount of force still we ...
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Throwing a baseball against the back of a car [closed]

We, some fellow students and I, are trying to figure out what to. But we simply do not know which formula to use at question a. We found the following: $\Delta P=(2mv_{ball,i}M)/(m+M)$ Could someone ...
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Mathematical subtlety in a physics problem

A wagon of initial mass $M$ is moving with an initial velocity $V_o$. Now sand starts accumulating on this wagon, increasing the total mass from $M$ to $M+s$. We have to find the final velocity of ...
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66 views

Why does accounting for direction give the wrong result for a bouncing ball?

This a conservation of momentum problem, gathered from an old textbook. I thought it would be simple, but I seem to be goofing up somewhere in my basic conceptual understanding. PROBLEM: A 1.0 kg ...
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Work done after explosion of chemical bomb

Question: Suppose, a chemical bomb is stationary. Then it explodes into n parts in all direction. What is work done? My Efforts The bomb is stationary, so momentum and and kinetic energy is 0. ...
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85 views

Can Hooke's law go along with Newton's 3rd law & how is momentum conserved in case of spring?

Let there be a spring in its relaxed state- that is neither compressed nor extended. One end is fixed on the left and other end is free in the right. Now, I stretch the spring by pulling the free-end ...
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342 views

Question of Conservation of Momentum

I think I understand the concept of conservation of momentum in an inelastic collision. However, what if two objects, one being more massive than the other, started out together and then separated ...
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Elastic Collision And Momentum

The question I am working on is, "Two blocks are free to slide along the friction-less wooden track shown below. The block of mass $m_1 = 4.98~kg$ is released from the position shown, at height $h = ...
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Calculate the distance travelled by hot air before it looses its momentum

Hot air is released from a nozzle with certain velocity into the atmosphere. As the stream travels, it looses momentum and after some time mixes with air.How can we calculate the distance the stream ...
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Penetration of a bullet into a wall

In which of the following situation will the bullet of the pistol penetrate deeper in the wall? Why? Alternatively will the penetration in both cases be the same? Can you explain the concepts behind ...
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305 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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Calculating speed of spheres in an asymmetric Newton's cradle?

If we assume there is an asymmetric Newton's cradle with 3 spheres of different masses and the first one is initialized with some certain speed can we calculate the outcome speed of the all the three ...
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Conservation of momentum 1-D problem: track is not level

This problem is a standard kind of 1-D problem. You have 2 equal carts approaching each other and collide on linear air track. BUT the person setting up the track did NOT do a good job at making the ...
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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 ...
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Newton's cradle

Why, when one releases 2 balls in Newton's cradle, two balls on the opposite side bounce out at approximately the same speed as the 1st pair, rather than one ball at higher speed, or 3 balls at lower ...
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What matters more in the strength tester game at a carnival, momentum or force?

A buddy and I were arguing over which matters more in the strength tester game (assuming the same accuracy of the hit): 1) momentum or 2) force. He was arguing that if you swing the hammer directly ...
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241 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 ...
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Making An Energy Momentum Plot For A Rashba Model (Using Discretization)

I want to make a plot of the Energy versus the Momentum of the Rashba model, using discrete matrices. First Ill show how I did this for the free particle. Subsequently I will show what goes wrong for ...
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Will a stone thrown in space move forever?

If I throw a stone on space, in a place where gravity is equal zero, will the stone move forward forever, because no air, so no friction?
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737 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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Question about dot product of four vectors?

I am looking back over some old notes and see that I have written $\bar{p}=\left(\overset{E}{\vec p}\right)$ and $\bar{x}=\left(\overset{t}{\vec x}\right)$ (using Plank units) And then $\bar{p} ...
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Momentum conservation in an electromagnetic system?

Suppose that I have two charged particles in the configuration below. Let us assume the following: We apply a constant force $f$ to the the bottom particle so that it has a constant acceleration ...
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What is the relation between kinetic energy and momentum? [closed]

If kinetic energy is doubled, what happens to momentum? Is it also doubled? I've tried working through the formulas for each but keep getting lost. $$KE=\frac{mv^2}{2}$$ $$p=mv$$ so if ...
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Is linear momentum conserved in an isolated system always?

Consider a isolated system of particles. If no external force acts on this system, the momentum of the system should remain constant. If the isolated system of particles represents living ...
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175 views

How can the linear momentum can be understood physically?

Currently reading Classical Mechanics by Herbert Goldstein, and I'm trying to understand every concept physically. Speed can be understood physically, as the distance traveled within a certain amount ...