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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Why is the angular average of the direction of the momentum squared a third instead of one?

In the article http://www.nano.northwestern.edu/intranet/pubdocs/quasiclassical.pdf (in going from eq. (6.13) to eq. (6.14)) it is stated that ...
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1answer
75 views

Why can we model a body to have a center of mass?

I accept that bodies have a center of mass. I also accept that if I were to suspend a body by only supporting it at its center of mass, then the body wouldn't rotate. In the scenario that we suspend a ...
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1answer
80 views

4-Momentum conservation for particle annihilation

Disclaimer: this is a homework question, so I am happy with just a hint or the expressions needed to proceed with my understanding. I am working on the momentum conservation of a ...
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1answer
227 views

QED: basic process which violates energy-momentum conservation

Why is the following process not possible? My book says it's because it violate energy and momentum conservation. Can someone explain me explicitly why? Why couldn't an energetic electron not ...
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1answer
138 views

Why does the rule that elastic collisions are at 90 degrees in 2 dimensions not apply?

When one object collides with another object of the same mass in a 2D plane, we know that we can derive that the angles that the objects leave the collision at add up to 90 degrees in a perfectly ...
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3answers
2k views

Newton's 3rd Law: How can I break things?

If I punch a wooden board hard enough and it breaks in two, has the board still exerted a force of equal magnitude on my fist? When the board breaks in two due to my force, the halves have a ...
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2answers
54 views

Invariance and conservation

Why in a collision between particles is the four-momentum conserved within a frame of reference but not invariant between frames of reference?
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1answer
150 views

Is momentum truly conserved? [closed]

Suppose I have a system of a person holding a rock on a frictionless sheet of ice. He throws the rock at an angle above the horizontal to propel himself off the ice. Is the momentum of that system ...
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1answer
766 views

Neutrino Oscillations and Conservation of Momentum

I would like to better understand how neutrino oscillations are consistent with conservation of momentum because I'm encountering some conceptual difficulties when thinking about it. I do have a ...
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3answers
80 views

Path followed by centre of mass of a ball when ball breaks up in two parts due to internal stresses

A ball was moving along a parabola and it breaks up into two parts. How can I say that the centre of mass will follow the same parabola ? I know that ( for simplicity I am assuming that the ball is ...
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4answers
351 views

Inertia and momentum

Question #1: Why does speed have nothing to do with inertia? Question #2: If a car hits a steel wall and stops, where did the momentum go?
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1answer
47 views

Trouble Understanding the Concept of Invariance

I am reading the book by Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw: "Why does E=MC^2". It is getting to the point of explaining what invariance is. According to Cox & Forshaw, invariance states that the laws ...
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1answer
44 views

Does energy flowing from one place to another in an object cause displacement of that object?

Let's consider two situations: a) A solid metal box (not hollow) where some heat is put on its left side. After some time, the heat will have moved to the right and also have spread out throughout ...
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69 views

Derivative of the action integral [closed]

I need to find the partial derivative of the action $S$ with respect to the generalized coordinate $q(t_f)$ and according to my textbook, it should equal the generalized momentum $p(t_f)$. I ...
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2answers
41 views

Why time of flight remains same for a projectile even though collision takes place?

Why time of flight remains same for a projectile even though collision takes place ? Suppose a ball is projected with some velocity V with some angle θ the the time of flight is T. Now if another ...
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4answers
267 views

Conservation of momentum in a baseball

Conservation of momentum: A thought experiment. A baseball is placed on top of a baseball holder, the kind used to train young batters. A batter hits the stationary ball perfectly horizontal, sending ...
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2answers
64 views

Why is it easier to drop on to a downslope?

On a bicycle, why is it easier to land from a drop or jump on a slope going downwards than landing on a flat surface or on an upslope? I've already heard answers such as "because that's how a bike ...
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2answers
56 views

How can make myself sure that I can apply Conservation of Momentum in a system?

How do I know I can apply Conservation of Momentum in the System ? And What happens if there is a Impulse in the system?
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4answers
14k views

How does the 'water jet pack' work?

So I was cruising around at YouTube and saw this sweet video, and as I was watching started to wonder: "How is this possible?". For a little bit of background, in case you decide to not watch the ...
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2answers
39 views

Stored Energy in My Badge Reel Finds Equilibrium With Centrifugal Force?

Probably a most horrible question title, please respond with suggestions for a better one. In the example of my badge reel, I grab hold of my badge itself and pull on the reel until the string is ...
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7answers
965 views

Why is momentum conserved (or rather what makes an object carry on moving infinitely)?

I know this is an incredibly simple question, but I am trying to find a very simple explanation to this other than the simple logic that energy is conserved when two items impact and bounce off each ...
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1answer
102 views

Area of phase space of Harmonic oscillator

We all know that the phase trajectory of an undamped linear harmonic oscillator is an ellipse. But when we calculate the area of the ellipse we find it does not depend of mass of the particle. Why is ...
2
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0answers
51 views

Finding the momentum of a muon in $\pi\to\mu\nu_\mu$ [closed]

The $\pi$-meson's mass is 139.57 MeV, and it decays into a muon and a neutrino. The muon has a mass of 105.4 5MeV, and a proper lifetime of $2.197 \times 10^{-6}$. The neutrino can be treated as ...
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4answers
143 views

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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6answers
325 views

Why isn't momentum conserved in this pulley problem?

I have some conceptual doubt about method of solving this problem. 24. A block of mass $m$ and a pan of equal mass are connected by a string going over a smooth light pulley as shown in figure ...
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0answers
75 views

Four-momentum and Dirac equation in curved spacetime

Norm of four momentum in Minkowski spacetime is proportional to the square of rest mass as \begin{equation}|P|^2= P^\alpha \eta_{\alpha\beta}P^\beta= (E/c)^2 - p^2 = (mc)^2 \end{equation} While in ...
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100 views

Isolated system and conservation of momentum

I have a problem to understand isolated systems..If I have a ball and throw it upwards..then the momentum is not constant because the system is not isolated...and the reason is the external force from ...
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2answers
582 views

Isolated and non-isolated systems: Momentum?

I'm having a difficult time understanding why two billiard balls colliding is an isolated system, yet a car crashing into a wall is a non-isolated system. Does it really only have to deal with the ...
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2answers
260 views

Estimate for energy dissipated by a damper/dashpot

I have a system with a mass $m$ attached to the end of a cable. The cable mass is assumed negligible. The cable is attached to the ground at the one end while the other, with the attached mass $m$, ...
2
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0answers
80 views

Equating $\frac{dp}{dt}$ and $F$ at a hydraulic jump?

A journal I am reading about circular hydraulic jumps provides the equation and I quote: $H$= Depth after hydraulic jump, $h$= depth before hydraulic jump, $V$= velocity after hydraulic jump, $v$= ...
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3answers
85 views

Justification of $P_{\text{photon}}=E/c$ in derivation of $E=mc^2$

I recently was reading up on the derivation of $E=mc^2$. Now, I came across this derivation at this link. I noticed that several lines into the derivation they throw in the equation ...
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1answer
135 views

Wavefunction interpretations in QM

From two-slit electron-interference experiment we can infer that there is a wave $\psi(x,t)$ that can be associated with electron. The amplitude at some point is the sum of amplitudes reaching that ...
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1answer
51 views

Is this treatment of the momentum operator in the Dirac formalism allowed?

I have a problem understanding a specific bit of Dirac notation. Take, as an example this derivation: I'm dubious about the step from line 3 to 4. When momentum operator acts on the momentum ...
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1answer
96 views

Do photons have no mass? [duplicate]

My Quantum Mechanics' teacher said today on the class that photons don't have mass. I was puzzled because I knew that photons have momentum. If a particle hasn't mass then its momentum sould be $0$ ...
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4answers
131 views

Why is force called the rate of change of momentum? [closed]

Why is force called the rate of change of momentum? If I push a wall I do exert a force but there is no movement; so is there force acting on the wall?
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2answers
93 views

How force is transferred from one body to another

If there are 3 coins , namely 1 , 2 and 3 as in figure. When coin $1$ strike coin $2$ ,the coin $2$ passes the force to coin $3$ and the coin $3$ moves away. Case :1 How does this happen? What ...
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1answer
101 views

Momentum and collisions [closed]

Two blocks of masses $m_1$ and $m_2$ connected by a spring of force constant $k$.The block $m_1$ is suddenly given a velocity $v_1$. Find the work done by the spring on both the blocks when it has ...
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1answer
48 views

Physics Problem: Falling Rocket [closed]

A rocket, of mass $M = 40kg$, falls vertically with a speed of $60 m/s = v_0$ and explodes in two fragments of the same mass when it's at $H=2km$ from the ground. Immediately after the explosion one ...
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1answer
66 views

Momentum conservation in a small time interval

I recently solved a problem in which I used the "fact" that the momentum is conserved just before and just after a collision between two (or maybe more) objects but I am not sure whether this is true ...
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3answers
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Why doesn't a wall move when you push it if there's space behind it?

In the first screen you can see that if a person were to push a wall within a typical household the wall would not move while keeping themselves tractioned to the floor. If you push hard and do not ...
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2answers
75 views

Conservation of momentum - finding the angle between broken parts

Let a stationary block explodes into 3 equal pieces .The speeds are also equal which is $v$. If I am asked to determine the angle between the broken pieces that are moving then how to deal with this ...
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1answer
78 views

If a photon doesn't necessarily travel in a straight line, doesn't it defy the law of cons. of momentum?

I just finished reading Richard Feynman's lectures on Quantum Electrodynamics (QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter) and it fascinated me. However, there's an unanswered question I have from ...
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2answers
184 views

Light and momentum question? [duplicate]

Each photon of light bulb carries momentum. Why does the light bulb not recoil from conservation of momentum?
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2answers
536 views

Why does a Ball bounce back if Forces are Equal and Opposite?

When a ball is thrown onto a wall, the ball exerts a force onto the wall. According to Newton's Third Law, the wall will exert an equal and opposite force to the ball. Thus, how would the ball be able ...
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1answer
233 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
210 views

What canonical momenta are the “right” ones?

I'm doing some classical field theory exercises with the Lagrangian $$\mathscr{L} = -\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu \nu}F^{\mu \nu}$$ where $F_{\mu \nu} = \partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu A_\mu$. To find the ...
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1answer
131 views

Dot Product Force

Konopinski's "What the electromagnetic vector potential describes" (Gaussian dimension) equation (3): $$\frac{d}{dt}[M\vec{v}+(q/c)\vec{A}]=-\nabla q[\phi-(\vec{v}/c)\cdot\vec{A}].\tag{3}$$ contains ...
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2answers
95 views

Doppler shift from a transversely moving plane mirror

Below is the diagram of the question I have on the Doppler shift of a light emitted from a stationary light source $S$ at an angle $\theta_1$ toward a transversely moving plane mirror $O$ having ...
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3answers
885 views

Why is momentum quantized in a 1D box even though the operator doesn't give eigenstates?

We don't get eigenstates of momentum when we operate momentum operator in the wave function of particle in a 1D box problem yet we say momentum is quantized in this situation. Why is it so?