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

1
vote
1answer
158 views

Path integral in quantum mechanics

I am confused by the derivation in Srednicki QFT's chapter 6 from (6.8) to (6.9). In (6.8), we have $$<q'',t''|q',t'>~=~\int DqDp \exp[i\int_{t'}^{t''}dt(p\dot{q}-H(p,q))],\tag{6.8}$$ and ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Newton's Third law of motion: A hammer hits a wall vs. hits a tire

When we hit the wall by a hammer, Newton’s third law says that hammer applies force on the wall (action) and wall applies force on hammer (reaction) equal in magnitude but opposite in direction ok ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Does conservation of moment hold in space expansion?

I recently watched a video describing that the expansion of space is a "stretch". Everywhere in the universe expanding together. My question is, does conservation of momentum hold true in this ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Newton's law for rigid bodies

Is newton's third law valid for rigid bodies? Say, if we have a bullet hit on a rod which is vertically placed on a rough floor. Friction is just sufficient sp that the rod rotates and does not ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Is angular momentum the conjugate momentum of an angle?

Lagrangian mechanics can be used to describe the double pendulum (see here, for example). In this development are the conjugate momenta $p_{\theta_i}$ exactly the angular momenta $m_i l_i \frac{d ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Massless particle that have momentum not equal to 0

I saw some problems in special relativity that use conservation of total energy and momentum and the conclusions are spectacular. My problem is the following: how can a massless particle like neutrino ...
1
vote
2answers
44 views

How to explain the momentum exchange of two solid particles collision at molecular scale?

Here is my question: assume two solid sphere collided to each other in vacuum, at macroscopic, it can be explain by Newton's law. But at molecular scale, does the surface atoms touch to each other or ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Why is the position space free particle wavefunction a function of momentum?

This is one of those little things that has always confused me. If someone said to you "in quantum mechanics, the eigenfunctions of a free particle are $\exp(ipx/\hbar)$" how would you know that ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

How would a plane hitting a ball move (opposite of Pong)?

When a moving ball hits a stationary plane at an angle of incidence to the normal, it bounces away at the same angle (the angle of reflection), which is commonly understood. My question is 1) What ...
3
votes
2answers
926 views

Can conservation of momentum be violated?

The law of the conservation of momentum has been established for hundred of years. Even in Quantum field theory every particle collision must be momentum-conserving if there is homogenity in space. ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Conservation of momentum in field theory

By studying electrodynamics a while now, I came to this question on the conservation of momentum. In Newtonian mechanics the Third Law allows us to prove the conservation of momentum, with the ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Relativistic Momentum in One Frame

(I) What is the momentum of a proton traveling at v = 0.75c? This problem requires a simple substitution. Using the equation $\ p_{rel} = m*u * (1/\sqrt(1 - v^2/c^2))$, where $v$ is the speed of a ...
1
vote
1answer
229 views

Shooting a bullet at a system of blocks [closed]

So, I made this question up myself.... and I'm curious about the answer. It requires only secondary-school-level knowledge of physics: You have a surface (ground) with a certain coefficient of ...
2
votes
3answers
213 views

Confusion regarding rotational motion!

Let us assume I have a rod of some mass m, moment of inertia I, length l and center C. If I apply a force F on C for a duration of time t, it will accelerate forward. If I apply it elsewhere, the ...
1
vote
0answers
112 views

Relativistic Momentum and Energy - Lorentz Transformations [closed]

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Lab is colliding fully ionized gold (Au) nuclei accelerated to an energy of 200 GeV per nucleon. Each Au Nucleus contains 197 ...
5
votes
1answer
387 views

Why can't Compton scattering happen in leading order of perturbation theory?

Why is the matrix element of Compton scattering in leading order of perturbation theory equal to zero? Why can this process only be described in second order of perturbation theory, i.e. with exchange ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Collisions between an object and a wall

Is momentum conserved when an object bounces back against a wall? The wall doesn’t move, but the object moves in the opposite direction. Assume this is an ideal, elastic collision. If, initially, the ...
2
votes
3answers
276 views

Expectation of momentum in the bound state

Is it logically correct to assert that the expectation of the momentum $$\langle \hat p \rangle=0$$ for any bound state because it is bound to some finite region? What is the physical interpretation ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

$p^4$ in radial coordinates not Hermitian

Griffiths' quantum textbook claims in question 6.15 that "$p^2$ is Hermitian, but $p^4$ is not, for hydrogen states with $l=0$." First off, I am puzzled at his use of terminology. An operator is ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Circular motion and momentum

I have to explain why there is a force pointing inwards in a circular trajectory (assume constant speed), but without relying on centripetal force argument. Coordinate system is Cartesian ...
22
votes
5answers
8k views

Is it possible to shoot bullets in space or would the recoil of the gun be too strong?

I've read a few articles that say that astronauts have already brought guns in space and that shooting bullets in space is possible. But won't the recoil of the gun be too strong? Law of ...
2
votes
3answers
63 views

Moving objects using light

Photon do not have mass but they have momentum, can we use laser to pick up golf ball and hurl it several yards away without burning it into crisp?
2
votes
1answer
36 views

How to pull out the momentum operator?

In the equation (1.7.17), how does operator $p$ get out of the bracket without any operation though $<a | $, $| x'>$ are function of $x'$? How to prove this?
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Elastic collision of point particle and rod

A 1 meter long rod on the ice with mass $m_2=1$ kg is perpendicularly hit on one end by a point particle with mass $m_1=0.1$ kg. The collision is elastic and the point particle is bounced back in ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Can we explain Newton's first law mathematically?

At constant speed there is no acceleration. $(f'(x)=v'=0=a)$ .If $a=0$ then $F=ma=0$ and therefore no force acts on the object so the object will continue in the same direction, if any. This is only ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Finding final velocity in inelastic collision [closed]

Information: In a shipping company distribution center, an open cart of mass 49.0-kg is rolling to the left at a speed of 5.40-m/s (see the figure). You can ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

What is the function type of the generalized momentum?

Let $$L:{\mathbb R}^n\times {\mathbb R}^n\times {\mathbb R}\to {\mathbb R}$$ denote the Lagrangian (it should be differentiable) of a classical system with $n$ spatial coordinates. In the action ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Can an electron borrow momentum from its field?

Let us consider a charged particle moving with uniform velocity $v$. We know that the EM field due to it has some momentum too. If the mass of the particle is $M$, then the momentum of the particle is ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Does the velocity vector always point in the same direction as the momentum vector?

I was told that the angular velocity vector does not always have to point in the same direction as the angular momentum vector. This is due to the fact that they are related by the equation $L=I ...
0
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Does the spatial momentum of the ground state of a Poincare symmetric QFT vanish?

Consider a flat space QFT, the Lagrangian (in general interacting) has Poincare symmetry, and $\lvert\Omega\rangle$ is the ground state (or just merely no insertion at the far boundaries, from ...
1
vote
3answers
154 views

Calculating $\langle x | \hat{x} | p \rangle$ in $p$ basis

I am trying to calculate $\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ p\rangle$. I can work in the $x$-basis like so: $$\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ p\rangle=\int dx'\langle x\ |\ \hat{x}\ |\ x'\rangle\langle x'\ |\ ...
4
votes
4answers
885 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
451 views

The momentum of a swinging sword

Suppose you are faced with a zombie, and the only way to kill it and save yourself is to chop its head off with your sword. However, you are very weak from illness, and can only afford to strike once. ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

The Egg Smashing Tournament

My cousins and I have a annual egg breaking tournament. First, each of us gets a hard boiled egg. Then, in a bracket tournament style, a pair of us face off in an egg breaking round: one person holds ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Calculation of velocity via kinetic energy and momentum yielding different answer

I am attacking the given problem (as a preface I'm not asking to be spoon fed any answers, just looking for clarity from people much smarter than myself) A 15.0kg block is attached to a very light ...
5
votes
4answers
355 views

Is any energy required to deflect an asteroid, with force always perpendicular to its trajectory?

Let's assume there is an asteroid traveling on a straight line (far from any gravitational source), and we need to deflect it from its actual trajectory, so we build a rocket motor on the surface and ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Particle disintegration (Landau & Lifshitz)

In the particle disintegration problem in the book by Landau and Lifshit(z), it is considered a particle with velocity $\vec{V}$ in the lab frame, which disintegrates into two particles with masses ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

When momentum coincides with impulse

If an object is pushed for some time by some force from a resting state, can I say that at the exact moment the force is removed, impulse equals momentum?
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Why is momentum conserved in inelastic collisions? How is it related to momentum-impulse theory?

First of all I want to mention, that I've found many questions around this site and in other websites dealing with my question; however, I don't think they answer my question fully. So I am here to ...
1
vote
2answers
184 views

“Rocket in a box” thought experiment

Here's a thought experiment that I came up with a while ago. It might be hard to visualize, so I'll describe it as best I can. Take a rocket in a vacuum, in outer space. Attach a large "box" to the ...
1
vote
2answers
237 views

Case of the mysterious bullets (taken from Mad About Physics)

"Two ideal bullets, identical in shape, size and mass, strike the same target with the same speed just before the collision. Force meters at the target register two times the force value for bullet A ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Linear Momentum Based Problem [closed]

A ball moving along a straight line collides elastically with another stationary ball of the same mass. At the moment of collision the angle between the straight line passing through the centres of ...
1
vote
4answers
149 views

What does “spread of momentum” actually mean?

I was reading Feynman's lecture in which Feynman invoked his own way of explaining the uncertainty principle using single-slit experiment. There I found: To get a rough idea of the spread of ...
2
votes
2answers
52 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?
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Problem with momentum operator

Why is there no problem with the eigenfunction of the momentum operator being non-normalisable? How can it be a valid quantum state?
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Relating to Inelastic Collisions

There is a very simple equation for an inelastic collision but it really only applies to 2d scenarios: $$v = \frac{(m_1 u_1 + m_2 u_2)}{(m_1+m_2)}$$ What would be the equation for an inelastic ...
0
votes
2answers
262 views

Conservation of Momentum: Perfectly Elastic Collision, Example Problem

I am a middle school science teacher. I'm a little rusty on my physics knowledge, and I came across a question that I feel like I should be able to solve, but it also feels like there is a piece of ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

How do we prove that the initial velocity is equal to final velocity relative to centre of mass?

In elastic collision it is stated that the initial velocity relative to centre of mass is equivalent to final velocity of centre of mass of the same object. How do we prove that?
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Can individual forces be regarded as momentum flows? [closed]

Net force on an object can be defined in two ways equivalently (from a classical point of view): $$\vec{F} = m\frac{d\vec{v}}{dt}=\frac{d\vec{p}}{dt}$$ Looking at the last expression (definition in ...