# Tagged Questions

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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### 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 ...
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### How can particles travel in a straight line?

A particle can be set off in a certain direction by giving them momentum. Momentum is a vector, so the particle heads off in a specific direction. But the wave function of the particle allows it to ...
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### Can a balloon be used as an anchor point for a pulley?

For a physics/ engineering contest, I want to use a large balloon as an anchor point for a pulley. This would allow me to raise and drop masses. However, in testing, when I pull on the pulley the ...
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### Usefullness of an only qualitative understanding of momentum?

A few days ago I had a discussion with a friend who wants to become a physics teacher (in Germany). He told me that from a pedagogical/didactial point of view it seems to be a good idea to introduce ...
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### What causes more damage, a head-on car crash at 30km/h or one car at 60km/h crashing into a stationary one?

Which will cause a greater impact? Two identical cars colliding head on (in opposite directions), each going at $30\;\mathrm{km/h}$ OR One car travelling at $60\;\mathrm{km/h}$ colliding into a ...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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### How to derive the velocity in the double ball drop problem?

The double ball drop problem is as follows: A ball of mass $m$ is placed on top of a ball of mass $M$ (where $m < M$), and the balls are dropped simultaneously from some height $h$. When the ...
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### Conservation of linear and angular momentum

Suppose I have two rigid bodies A and B and they are connected by a spring which is attached off-center (thus possibly causing torques). Due to the spring a force $f$ acts on A and a force $-f$ acts ...
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### Why is momentum conserved in an inelastic collision and kinetic energy is not conserved? [duplicate]

We know that in an inelastic collision that total momentum of the system before collision equals the total momentum after collision. But total kinetic energy before collision is not equal to total ...
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### Does a reflection still transfer momentum to an mirror?

I have been recently wondering, if I take a powerful enough energy source (photon) and I have an perfect mirror exactly in front of it and assume an "emitter" shot the light towards the mirror. As ...
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### 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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### What is the result of a classical collision between THREE point particles at the same precise instant?

Classical Mechanics is said to be deterministic, a statement that nearly always is followed by that quote from Laplace, something like If at one time, one knew the positions and velocities of all ...
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### Water bottle rocket: Where does the energy go without water?

In Portland's OMSI there is a hands-on water bottle rocket station. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdtmVY76_PQ). The rockets are normal PET bottlers. The visitors fill their bottle with an amount of ...
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### Optimization of Bottle Rocket Water Level

My (entry-level) physics class is building bottle rockets, and we are competing to build the longest-flying bottle rocket. The rockets are filled partway (we get to decide how much to fill them) with ...
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### Applications of recoil principle in classical physics

Are there any interesting, important or (for the non physicist) astonishing examples where the recoil principle (as special case of conservation of linear momentum) is applied beside rockets and guns? ...
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### Quantum momentum (De Broglie)

The de broglie hypothesis suggests a particle can be associated with a wave of momentum $p = \hbar k$ my question is the following: how does one arrive at this concept of the momentum of a wave? I ...
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### Derivation of canonical position-momentum commutator relation

We know that the position-momentum commutator is fundamental in quantum mechanics, but would it be possible to derive it starting from a different set of first principles, more specifically starting (...
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### Is the Einstein Energy-Momentum equation $E^2 = p^2c^2 + m_0^2c^4$ valid only for Free Particles?

Is the energy -momentum relation $$E^2 = p^2c^2 + m_0^2c^4$$ satisfied only by free particles or even bound particles? Does the Energy refer to total Energy(including potential) or only (kinetic +...
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### Where does the partial derivative come from in Sakurai's derivation of the momentum operator?

How is the momentum operator derived in Dirac formalism? I am reading Quantum Mechanics by Sakurai and he gives the following derivation. But I don't understand how he goes from the third equation to ...
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### Conservation of Energy and Momentum Regarding Forces - clarification needed

The other day, my teacher stated something along the lines of, "Conservation of momentum is not violated by the actions of internal forces, but the conservation of energy is violated. Energy is ...
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### Uncertainly Principle in orthogonal directions

The Heisenberg Principle states that for each direction, $\Delta x\cdot \Delta p_x \ge \hbar , \Delta y\cdot \Delta p_y \ge \hbar$ and $\Delta z\cdot \Delta p_z \ge \hbar$. But, can anything be said ...
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### Do $x$ and $Q^2$ associate with particular directions in the infinite momentum frame?

In deep inelastic scattering, you describe a collision using the variables $Q^2 = -q^2$ (probe virtuality) and $x = Q^2/2p\cdot q$ (Bjorken x, parton momentum fraction). Now, I seem to remember ...
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### Is the eigenvalue of Hamiltonian invariant under linear transformation of momentum operator?

It is given The dynamics of a particle moving one-dimensionally in a potential V(x) is governed by the Hamiltonian $H_0 = p^2 /2m + V(x)$, where $p = -i\hbar d/dx$ is the momentum operator. ...
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### Shifting momentum by a constant in the Schrodinger Equation

My book states that if we perturb a given Hamiltonian for the Schrödinger Equation $$H = \frac{p^2}{2m} +V(x)$$ to $$H' = \frac{p^2}{2m} + V(x) + \frac{\lambda p}{m}$$ then we can rewrite ...
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### Translational invariance implying diagonal representation in momentum space

I have just come across something in my reading of Peskin and Schroeder that claims that because a function, in this particular case a two-point correlation function, is translationally invariant, it ...
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### Is there any other momentum besides the Poynting momentum stored in an electromagnetic field?

I am having some conceptual difficulties with energy and momentum stored in the EM field. The force density at a point is $\rho E + j\times B$ Because of conservation of momentum, and because the ...
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### What is the most general expression for the coordinate representation of momentum operator?

I have a question about deriving the coordinate representation of momentum operator from the commutation relation, $[x,p]= i$. One derivation (ref W. Greiner's Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction, 4th ...
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### Conservation of Linear Momentum at the point of collision

This is a pretty basic conceptual question about the conservation of linear momentum. Consider an isolated system of 2 fixed-mass particles of masses $m_1$ and $m_2$ moving toward each other with ...
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### block slides on smooth triangular wedge kept on smooth floor.Find velocity of wedge when block reaches bottom

Find the velocity of the triangular block when the small block reaches the bottom: Here is what I did: The final velocity(at the bottom)of the small block of mass m is $\sqrt{2gh}$ along the plane ...
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### Confusion between the de Broglie wavelength of a particle and wave packets

So I learned that the de Broglie wavelength of a particle, $\lambda = \frac{h}{p}$, where h is Planck's constant and p is the momentum of the particle. I also learned that a quantum mechanics ...
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### Momentum-Representations in Quantum Mechanics

Why do we get information about position and momentum when we go to different representations. Why is momentum, which was related to time derivative of position in classical physics, now in QM just a ...
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### Heisenberg EOM for $\langle x \rangle$ in momentum eigenstate - where is my error?

Equation of motion for expectation value of a quantum particle in a momentum eigenstate: $$\frac{d}{dt} \langle x \rangle = \frac{1}{i h} \langle [x,H] \rangle$$ and since it's in a momentum ...
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### Different results to a basic question ( Newton's law and perservation of momentum)

Trolley with mass of $m_0=1 \ kg$ is moving without friction on the railway track. It is raining so there is a constant mass flow of water $\Phi_m=0.1\ kg/s$. Constant force $F=0.1 \ N$ is ...
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### When I move my arm forward in vacuum, will my body move backward?

Let's say I stay at point $x=0$ in vacuum. When I move my arm forward such that it will have a positive $x$ position (say $x=5$) will the rest of my body move backward such that it will have a ...
According to impulse principle the impulse is the same as the change in the object's momentum: $\bar I = \delta p$ Because the momentum can be calculated like this: $\bar p = m\bar v$. If we solve ...
Suppose we have a firing machine on a frictionless surface at point $x=0$. It fires a bullet of mass $m$ every $T$ seconds. Each bullet has the same constant velocity $v_0$. There's a body of mass $pm$...