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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Two cars colliding with different speeds

If I have one car travelling at 30 m/s and another travelling at 10 m/s both weighing the same amount, why is it that the car travelling 10 m/s would have more damage? According to Newton's third law ...
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1answer
67 views

Where does energy goes if I jump down from a balloon?

Suppose you are in a hot air balloon of mass $M$ which is floating in the air, and you get out and start climbing down a rope at constant velocity $v$. By conservation of momentum we can show that the ...
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1answer
31 views

When is it appropriate to drop pressure terms when applying conservation of momentum to a fluid?

I'm trying to wrap my head around pressure forces in incompressible, irrotational, invicid flow. Applying conservation of momentum to a control volume gives me \begin{equation} ...
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1answer
89 views

newton's cradle with 2 balls dropped from same height at same time

I'm creating a logo and want it to be as exact as possible. The logo idea is a "Newtonian cradle", but with only 2 balls and on straight steel wire (can't be bend). What would happen if I dropped ...
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1answer
109 views

Sum over momentum states

In our lecture we used quite a couple of times that the sum over momentum states can be approximated by an integral over them. But instead of substituting $\sum_p \rightarrow \int d^3p$, we replaced ...
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1answer
110 views

Conservation of relativistic momentum

I'm trying to prove that momentum, $\rho = m \, v \, \gamma(v)$, is conserved in all frames of reference. I'm having problems with the following situation that I made; momentum is not conserved to ...
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2answers
263 views

Is it possible to determine the outcome of any impact knowing only the ratio of masses? [duplicate]

In elastic collisions in 2-D if two balls $A$, $B$ ($m_A = m_B$, $R = 1$) have equal mass we can determine in advance the outcome of the collision. If cue-ball $A$ impacts object-ball $B$ (at rest) ...
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120 views

Colliding objects due to gravitational attraction [closed]

If two objects initially at rest, are released and move toward one another due to gravitational attraction, they collide and exchange during collision some amount of impulse, i.e. the object 1 ...
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1answer
214 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 ...
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1answer
156 views

How does the space shuttle move in a vacuum? [duplicate]

If there is no friction in space, then how does the space shuttle boost? According to Newton's law we move by pushing something; in space, there is vacuum, so how the space shuttle moves without ...
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1answer
55 views

a mistake related to variable mass system

I'm having a problem with finding my mistake when trying to find the derivative of the momentum when mass is being ejected in a constant rate. The problem is this - a body in space is burning fuel ...
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1answer
191 views

Find angular velocity of motor

I'm quite bad at this, but I'm trying to change that and I need some assistance. Please bare with me while I attempt to explain what I'm trying to figure out and correct me where I'm wrong. Basically ...
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4answers
162 views

Which is the right explanation for rocket motion? [duplicate]

What actually causes a rocket to move? Is it the pressure in the rocket engine or the amount and velocity of mass that is being ejected out. The reason I am asking is, I found these two explanations ...
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1answer
303 views

What is reduced momentum in “A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field” by James Clerk Maxwell?

I was reading Maxwell's paper titled [A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field][1]. In part 2, section 3 ("Dynamical Illustration of Reduced Momentum"), Maxwell discusses a mechanical ...
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2answers
144 views

Dumbbell rotation

What if apply impulse to dumbbell consisting of two masses and massless rod? It is clear for me that left dumbbell will move straight line. But it is not clear for me what kind of motion will have ...
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2answers
60 views

Can momentum be distributed to multiple objects which travel in different vectors?

This is a question about the conservation of momentum: If there were a cluster of billiard balls floating in space and the cluster was struck by one moving ball, the cluster balls would scatter in ...
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1answer
48 views

Why we can omit some forces while applying linear momentum principle

While applying linear momentum principle, namely that if force is zero linear momentum of the system is constant, in textbook they don't count for $N$ force from $M \to m.$ This force have component ...
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2answers
228 views

Question about impulse and momentum

Check this question first please My question is: Why can't I use equations of motion to get the final speed after rebounding?Acceleration not equal to $9.8 \text{m/s}^2$ or the intial after ...
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2answers
76 views

Hydrodynamics: Conservation of momentum violated by a fan in a cylinder?

Consider the following situation: there is a hollow cylinder with both caps removed. The cylinder is submerged into water. Inside the cylinder, we place a fan (or pump) that pumps the water through ...
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3answers
8k views

Can kicking a falling phone save it from shattering?

So I saw this tip but I don't think this is true, it would be that your leg or shoe is more flexible than a hard floor so the momentum change would be slower right?
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1answer
26 views

Selection of system in Conservation of momentum

I came across a question in which a cart is moving and having sand. Suddenly the sand valve malfunctioned and the sand starts falling from the cart. So momentum of which system will remain conserved. ...
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1answer
73 views

Diffracted electron - where does it gain additional momentum?

When an electron is diffracted, the momentum after the diffraction has different direction than before. Where does the electron gain this momentum? This is related to this question, but it's ...
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0answers
62 views

Is there a general formula to translate from *canonical* to *physical* momentum?

In Peskin and Schroeder, after having derived a conserved tensor $T^{\mu \nu}$ associated with translations in space-time (the stress-energy tensor), it is said that the charges $\int d^3 x T^{0i}$: ...
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1answer
70 views

Obtaining momentum operator $P^\mu$ from Lagrangian and energy-momentum tensor $T^{\mu\nu}$

I am pretty new to quantum field theory. Given the Lagrangian density, $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} ( \partial_\mu \phi ) ( \partial^\mu \phi ) - \frac{1}{2} m^2 \phi^2 $$ and its energy-momentum ...
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5answers
482 views

The elusive difference between force and impulse

Impulse is defined as the product of a force $F$ acting for a (short) time $t$, $J = F*t$, and that is very clear. What I find difficult to understand is how a force can exist that doesn't act for a ...
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67 views

What does the relation between mass and energy of a free particle mean?

What does the Hamiltonian for a free particle mean? Does it mean that the kinetic energy of the particle is in reverse relation with mass? $H$ or $E=\hbar^{2}k^{2}/2m$. Or better to ask: what's the ...
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50 views

Mass of photon, is it possible? [duplicate]

$P=E/C$ In relativistic mechanics a Photon is defined as. $P=hf/C$ Replacing "P" $ mc=hf/C$ $M=h/CT$ What does it mean, did they have mass?
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1answer
29 views

Conservation of generalized energies in Newtonian and Relativistic Systems

I was considering the following problem: In a closed system, it is assumed that mass, momentum and energy is conserved. If we label the total mass of the System $M(i)$ at a time i, the total Momentum ...
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2answers
210 views

Ball flying towards me - Newton's third law is violated?

I was trying to answer the question of the flying ball here on the basis of Newtons third law and Momentum conservation. Here is what I have tried. Lets take $m_1$ (the ball) hits $m_2$ (the man). ...
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2answers
212 views

Force of a Train

Imagine that there are two trains and the first train is twice as long as the second train. They have the same mass per unit length and they are traveling at exactly the same speed. If the first ...
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1answer
146 views

Total divergence term and corresponding Feynman Diagram

A total divergence term added to the Lagrangian doesn’t affect the action because the integral of a total divergence vanishes. But if one attempts to derive the Feynman rules from the Lagrangian with ...
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3answers
77 views

Why doesn't an object that collides with one that is at rest just do a 180?

Newton's third law says "for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction." So why is it, say, that when a pool/billiards ball hits the wall of the table, the ball doesn't just turn around?
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Conservation of momentum when rain pours into a wagon

Suppose a wagon is moving at constant velocity on a friction-less surface, and rain begins to fill the wagon. The net force on the wagon is zero, so momentum is conserved; as the mass of the wagon ...
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1answer
94 views

What is the motion of a balloon with a person climbing on a ladder?

Suppose you had a balloon of mass $M$ in the atmosphere at rest relative to the ground, with a ladder attached reaching towards the ground. A person (of mass less than $M$) begins climbing up the ...
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1answer
53 views

How are momentum and position operators dependent on the chosen inertial frame?

How are momentum and position operators in quantum mechanics dependent on the chosen inertial frame of reference?
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1answer
68 views

Relationship between momentum and energy for rocket-powered aircraft

I'm trying to write a problem for my students in an algebra-based physics class. We have a flight simulator and I've got a glider in the simulator that has a couple rocket boosters attached. Students ...
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2answers
107 views

Playing catch in space?

I was thinking about this on the bus (exam this week :P). What would happen if two people played catch in outer space? Lets say person A and B are in space at rest, A throws a mass m at B, what ...
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3answers
200 views

Is the kinetic energy of an electron always $1.6 \cdot 10^{-19}~\text{J}$?

I was doing the following problem. For $d$. They bizarrely added an extra step. They calculated the momentum of the electron to find the De Broglie wavelength using the kinetic energy relationship. ...
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2answers
85 views

Does constant velocity of center of mass imply linear momentum is conserved?

I know that if momentum is conserved for a system, you can derive that the velocity of the center of mass of that system is constant. I was wondering if the second condition also implies the first: if ...
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7answers
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Ball flying towards me or me flying towards ball

Suppose a ball is flying towards me at a speed of 10m/s and that, on impact, I feel "x" amount of pain. If, instead, it was me flying towards the ball at the same speed, with all other conditions ...
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1answer
96 views

Origin of momentum. Noether's theorem

My professor talked about Noether's theorem and how translation is the origin of momentum conservation. But why is it not velocity that is conserved but mass times velocity. And on the same note why ...
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2answers
81 views

Interpretation of the four-vector $k$ in scalar QFT

I'm studying the canonical quantization of the Klein-Gordon real scalar quantum field theory, given by the classical Lagrangian density $$\mathscr L = {1\over ...
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2answers
99 views

Why do these two derivations of the formula for impulse contradict?

I was trying to derive $I = F\Delta T$ from $p = mv$. First I converted $v = at$: $$\begin{align} p &= mv \\ p &= m \times at \\ p &= ma \times t \\ p &= Ft \\ \Delta p &= F ...
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14 views

Low-momentum behaviour of a short-range potential

I've read the follow sentence in a journal article (arXiv preprint) which constitutes part of my coursework. As discussed in the previous section, the low-momentum behavior of any short-range ...
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4answers
180 views

Why is $M\frac{dv}{dt} = v_{rel} .\frac{dm}{dt}$ correct and $(M - dm)\frac{dv}{dt} = v_{rel} .\frac{dm}{dt}$ wrong?

Newton's 2nd law of motion can't be applied for mass-varying systems. Another force, known as Thrust must come to play. It can be measured using law of conservation of linear momentum. ...
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24 views

How does momentum effect velocity? [duplicate]

I'm in AP physics and we haven't even covered this yet so sorry if my question seems strange... I know $p = m v$, However right now I am writing a 2D physics engine and I am having some trouble with ...
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2answers
335 views

Does conservation of momentum mean a gyroscopic inertial thruster cannot work?

There is a device called the gyroscopic inertial thruster. Here is a Wikipedia article on it. I believe that this device cannot possibly work and that conservation of momentum proves that it cannot ...
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86 views

Throwing a baseball against the back of a car [closed]

We, some fellow students and I, are trying to figure out what to. But we simply do not know which formula to use at question a. We found the following: $\Delta P=(2mv_{ball,i}M)/(m+M)$ Could someone ...
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2answers
84 views

Mathematical subtlety in a physics problem

A wagon of initial mass $M$ is moving with an initial velocity $V_o$. Now sand starts accumulating on this wagon, increasing the total mass from $M$ to $M+s$. We have to find the final velocity of ...
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3answers
636 views

Impulse and force in a karate chop, can we maximize force minimizing the time of impact?

I have heard that we can maximize the force by minimizing the time of impact in a punch. If that is true, the paradox is if we increase the time of contact with the same amount of force still we ...