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
245 views

How to derive or justify the expressions of momentum operator and energy operator?

It has been noted here$\! { \, }^{\text(1, 2)}$, for instance, that $$\mathbf{F} = \frac{d}{dt}\!\!\biggl[ \, \mathbf{p} \, \biggr]$$ is true in all contexts. Likewise, in notable contexts it is ...
0
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is force described as rate of change of momentum? [closed]

momentum = mass * velocity Differentiating both sides leads to force = mass * acceleration since the mass doesn't participate in the differentiation as it is constant. Is this a sound ...
0
votes
1answer
255 views

Harmonic Oscillator Energy to Momentum Expectation Value

If we are given a wave function written in terms of harmonic oscillator energy eigenfunctions how can we determine the maximum possible momentum expectation value? It's a combination of the first two ...
-2
votes
2answers
171 views

Determine whether the ground state is an eigenfunction of [p] and of [p^2] [closed]

Consider a particle confined in an infinite square well potential of width L, $$V(x)=\left\{ \begin{array}{ll}\infty, &{\rm for}\ (x \le 0)\vee (x \ge L) \\0, &{\rm for} \ 0 < x < L ...
2
votes
1answer
444 views

Can the velocity of the center of mass of two spheres change after a collision?

I'm curious as to whether or not the velocity of the center of mass of a system comprised of two spheres can change after the two spheres collide. Looking at the equation for the velocity of the ...
1
vote
3answers
221 views

conservation of momentum when a bullet hits a block

why momentum is conserved when a bullet hit a block horizontally even when force of bullet is acting on it and net external force is not zero ?
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Impulse, relative velocties

Why is (m)(v)=Impulse or as they put it here, Vs = I/Ms? Shouldn't (m)(v) be equal to momentum, not I? I don't understand why that is the solution. I was trying to solve for relative velocities, ...
1
vote
3answers
1k 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
votes
1answer
107 views

Changing Momentum

Okay, so I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this. Before looking at the answer, I worked the example and got the answer only because I used dimensional analysis to get me to the right ...
0
votes
1answer
717 views

Calculating a 2D collision between two perfectly circular disks [duplicate]

Assume I have two disks, $p_1$ and $p_2$, of radius $r$, with their own velocities (preferably in $(x,y)$ form, but $(m, \theta)$ works too) and masses (unit-less, but same unit) collide in two ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Identity in quantum operator tutorial

I'm reading this tutorial by Ben Simons entitled Operator methods in quantum mechanics in connection with his course in advanced QM, and I'm a bit puzzled by an identity in page 25, a bit above ...
0
votes
1answer
150 views

Muon 3 Body Decay

I'm trying to calculate the maximum energy of the electron in the decay muon >electron + electronantineutrino +muonneutrino in the reference frame of the muon having no kinetic energy. $m_m$=mass of ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How to find the compression of a spring attached to an object

I am having some trouble figuring out the equation needed to solve this problem. A 3.0-kg block slides along a frictionless tabletop at 8.0 m/s toward a second block (at rest) of mass 4.5 kg. A ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Electromagnetic Energy and Momentum

I'm trying to show that the electromagnetic energy density and momentum density satisfy the inequality: $ u \geq c |\vec{\wp}| $, where $\wp$ is the momentum density and $u$ is the energy density. I ...
5
votes
4answers
227 views

A question abou $E=pc$ for massless particles

Since photon has no (rest)mass and $$E^2=(pc)^2+(mc^2)^2$$ we derive that $E=pc$ for particle with no (rest)mass. However, if we transform the non-relativistic formula for kinetic energy ...
2
votes
2answers
528 views

Conservation of momentum when friction is present

Conservation of momentum applies when net force is zero. Suppose that there is a system of a canon and a canonball. Total momentum of the system is zero before canonball is fired. Now canonball is ...
1
vote
1answer
281 views

Punching - Force or Momentum?

If I want to punch a person inflicting maximum damage, what do I need to care about? My force of punching, i.e, do I need more acceleration? Or do I need momentum, i.e my velocity for punching?
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Is there a heuristic argument for the expression $ \textbf{g} = \frac {\mathbf{S}}{c^2}$?

Electromagnetic momentum density and the Poynting vector are related by the simple expression: $$ \textbf{g} = \frac {\mathbf{S}}{c^2}$$ It can be rigorously derived from Maxwell's equations, but is ...
0
votes
2answers
405 views

Why does the amount of energy transferred depend on distance rather than time?

The change in energy of an object can be determined by the work equation, where work is the change in energy: $$ W = F \cdot d $$ I conceptualize the transfer of energy as simply a series of small ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

Rocket hovers- and then what?

If we have a rocket, using conservation of momentum we derived in my classical mechanics course $$m\dot{v}=-\dot{m}v_{ex}+F^{EXT}$$ $m$ is the total mass of the rocket and fuel still on the rocket ...
1
vote
0answers
290 views

projectile that splits into two fragments of equal mass

I am studying for an exam, and this is part of a problem in my book. A projectile is launch from level ground and is intended to hit a target 100m away. Instead, it explodes into two fragments of ...
1
vote
0answers
176 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

How does a “hammer thrower” that we see in the Olympics, impart so much momentum

How does a "hammer thrower" that we see in the Olympics, build so much momentum into the club? It's sort of like the golf swing, the more momentum, primarily in the club head, the further the ball ...
25
votes
1answer
565 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Trouble evaluating an integral arising from particle collision

Assume we have two charged particles colliding. He have particle 1 with mass $m_1$, charge $Z_1 \cdot e$ which travels in $x$-Direction passing by a STATIONARY particle 2 (mass $m_2$, charge $Z_2 ...
8
votes
4answers
12k views

Which is easier, pushing or pulling?

It is generally assumed, from a person's perspective, that pushing a cart is more easier than pulling one. But why? Is there any difference in terms of force required to achieve the same amount of ...
4
votes
3answers
347 views

How does the momentum operator act on state kets?

I have been going through some problems in Sakurai's Modern QM and at one point have to calculate $\langle \alpha|\hat{p}|\alpha\rangle$ where all we know about the state $|\alpha\rangle$ is that ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Proof that the momentum operator is Hermitian

I am trying to prove that the momentum $p_x$ operator is Hermitian, my approach is the following $$<p_x>~=~\int \Psi^*(\vec{r},t)[-ih\frac{\partial}{\partial x}]\Psi(\vec{r},t)\, d^3r.$$ I try ...
-1
votes
4answers
410 views

Classical mechanics and the speed of a train-mosquito collision, when perfectly rigid bodies

This is all under the assumption that they are perfectly rigid bodies: A train is moving at 300m/s. A mosquito is moving directly towards it, head-on, at 4m/s. When the mosquito and the train ...
3
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
438 views

Relation between 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is momentum conserved when a ball hits a vertical wall?

Almost in every book on physics, there's an example of conservation of momentum when the ball that is moving horizontally in the air, hits some massive wall. They claim that the return speed of the ...
2
votes
1answer
537 views

Heavy vs Light Particle Ideal Gases

Assume there are two ideal gases. The first is made of a light particle, and the second is made of a heavy particle. The two are of the same amount, in the same volume container, and at the same ...
1
vote
1answer
522 views

Are principle of Conservation of energy and principle of conservation of momentum consequences of Newton's laws?

It is known that principle of Conservation of momentum and principle of conservation of energy are two fundamental principles of physics.But in RP Feynman's Lectures of physics, in the chapter of ...
0
votes
2answers
987 views

What is the Momentum Operator?

I know the equation for the momentum operator, but what exactly is the momentum operator? It's bizarre to me that taking the derivative of the wave function, which is an operator, should return ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Cyclic co-ordinates implying the constant velocity motion of center of mass of a system of particles

I'm reading the section on Central Force in my textbook (Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has a similar argument in the chapter titled "The Central Force Problem", first section), where we have the ...
34
votes
8answers
25k views

If photons have no mass, how can they have momentum?

As an explanation of why a large gravitational field (such as a black hole) can bend light, I have heard that light has momentum. This is given as a solution to the problem of only massive objects ...
-3
votes
2answers
178 views

Momentum of a particle? [closed]

I really need help to understand what is momentum of a particle (of a photon, proton, an electron...) I see so many definitions! My main questions are: •What exactly is momentum •What are the ...
7
votes
3answers
616 views

Intuitively Understanding Work and Energy

It is easy to understand the concepts of momentum and impulse. The formula $mv$ is simple, and easy to reason about. It has an obvious symmetry to it. The same cannot be said for kinetic energy, ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

How is momentum conserved when a magnet attracts a metal?

Suppose your have any magnetic object and no external force acts upon it, and the object comes near a metal which causes an impulse (think that will happen). However, the magnetic force is internal to ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Storing kinetic energy in bonds

Let's assume a setup with a static linear molecule with three identical atoms connected by bonds and a single atom, identical to the other three, being shot at the molecule. Let's also assume that ...
0
votes
1answer
740 views

Expectation value of momentum

I'm having a problem with an expectation value that doesn't seem to add up for me. What I know is, that $\psi(\vec{r})$ is a wavefunction for a particle in three dimensions. The Hamiltonian is given ...
1
vote
3answers
368 views

The Momentum Operator in QM

I've seen the 'derivation' as to why momentum is an operator, but I still don't buy it. Momentum has always been just a product $m{\bf v}$. Why should it now be an operator. Why can't we just multiply ...
0
votes
2answers
140 views

How to work out momentum when there are velocity and mass changes

I have a pretty simple homework question, but I can't rap my head around it. In the question a swimmer of $55 \mbox{ } \mathrm{kg}$, jumps off a stationary raft of $210\mbox{ }\mathrm{kg} $. The ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Question about Cars: Momentum

Car B rests at the bottom of a frictionless inclined plane. In order to travel a height of 0.6m and maintain a speed of 2 m/s at the end of the track it needs to start with 4 m/s. a) If ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

How is the Principle of Conservation of Momentum proven using the Momentum-Impulse Principle?

Consider two particles moving in the same direction on the same line, $A$ and $B$, with mass $m_A$ and $m_B$, respectively. They also have velocies $u_A$ and $u_B$. They collide. After the collision A ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is canonical momentum?

What does the canonical momentum $\textbf{p}=m\textbf{v}+e\textbf{A}$ mean? Is it just momentum accounting for electromagnetic effects?
0
votes
3answers
177 views

Which parameter determines how much the 'recoil' or force applied by an object hurts?

Another question from my textbook, directly following after this question: 2 identical bullets are fired, on from a lighter rifle and one from a heavier one, with the same amount of force. Which ...
2
votes
1answer
283 views

What if exactly half the Earth's population jumped at one instant? + Secondary Question

I read somewhere that when you jump, the sole effect caused by your jump on the earth moves it about $10^{-18}m$ (I don't remember the figure exactly, but I think it was that). However - obviously ...
0
votes
1answer
161 views

Theoretical considerations on the conservation of energy and the conservation of linear momentum

I report to you an interesting excerpt from my Physics book. It is an Italian version, so I apologize in advance, as I'm sure I won't give proper justice to its beauty in the translation as the ...