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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How do waves have momentum?

A question on a practice test I'm taking is as follows: By shaking one end of a stretched string, a single pulse is generated. The traveling pulse carries: A. mass B. energy C. momentum D. ...
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1answer
160 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 ...
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117 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 ...
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1answer
74 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 ...
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1answer
393 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
217 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 ...
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3answers
104 views

How can I find the angular and linear velocity of a 2D body that breaks into two bodies?

Afternoon. This is my first question, so do let me know if I'm doing anything wrong. Looking for help on building a 2D physics game engine with bodies that split in half: I have a two dimensional ...
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3answers
65 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?
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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2answers
65 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 ...
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1answer
79 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
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1answer
181 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 ...
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2answers
98 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 ...
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1answer
54 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 ...
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3answers
155 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'\ |\ ...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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1answer
83 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 ...
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3answers
102 views

How is the conservation of momentum satisfied in long-range attraction such as electromagnetism and gravity?

I'm not a physicist, but my understanding is that electromagnetism (including attraction between opposite charges) is mediated by the photon, and gravity is probably (hypothetized to be?) mediated by ...
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1answer
60 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 ...
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2answers
74 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?
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116 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 ...
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1answer
99 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 ...
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3answers
530 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. ...
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1answer
68 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?
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4answers
151 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 ...
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1answer
64 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 ...
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2answers
289 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 ...
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1answer
124 views

Equations for a collision between two particles

Say I have two particles on a 2D plane, they have a x and y coordinate, a x and y velocity, a mass, a coefficient of restitution and a coefficient of friction. What formulae would I need to determine ...
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2answers
92 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?
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1answer
60 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 ...
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2answers
165 views

What does the force mean in $dp/dt$ form?

One was to write Newton's laws is: $$F=\frac{dp}{dt}.$$ I don't understand what is the force there. I believe that $F$ is the net external force on the system. So supposedly I have a mass which is ...
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2answers
959 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. ...
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0answers
29 views

In momentum theory, what happens if atmospheric velocity is larger than outflow velocity?

I am currently reading up on aerodynamics, essentially the actuator disk concept and momentum theory as it is described in e.g. Basic Helicopter Aerodynamics by Seddon and Newman. There they assume ...
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1answer
55 views

What will happen to the center of mass of the human body when a person carries a weight with one hand?

What will happen to the center of mass of the human body when a person carries a weight with one hand a briefcase for example. Wouldn't the center of mass move horizontally towards the side carrying ...
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3answers
119 views

Object falls and hits ground - which forces are involved to change its momentum?

When an object falls and hits the ground - which forces are involved to change its momentum? Should $m\vec{g}$ be taken into account of the forces that were involved in the change of momentum?
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1answer
40 views

Why would a photon striking an electron “make both recoil”? [duplicate]

Why would a photon striking an electron "make both recoil" as I read in an answer to another question. If the photon is massless, how can it make an electron change momentum?
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1answer
54 views

Pressure, Momentum and Energy: A 'Peculiar' Relation

Is the following possible? $$ P = \frac{p^2}{3E} $$ where $P$ is pressure, $p$ is momentum and $E$ is energy. In what convention is the above relation acceptable? EDIT: The source paper can be found ...
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1answer
88 views

What is the relation between a basis transformation and an induced transformation $\psi(\Lambda^{-1} p)$ on the wave function? [closed]

I'm having trouble understanding why is $\psi(\Lambda^{-1}p')$ the correct wave function in the Lorentz transformed frame $p' = \Lambda p$. Suppose the state in frame $O$ is given by $$ ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Doubt regarding stress-energy tensor definition

I'm having some trouble understanding the following definition of the stress energy tensor: $T^{\mu\nu}$ is the flux of four-momentum $p^{\mu}$ across a surface of constant $x^{\nu}$. Here's an ...
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1answer
285 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
94 views

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) = ...
2
votes
2answers
177 views

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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1answer
144 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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1answer
111 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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0answers
47 views

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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1answer
48 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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1answer
48 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 ...