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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A question abou $E=pc$ for massless particles

Since photon has no (rest)mass and $$E^2=(pc)^2+(mc^2)^2$$ we derive that $E=pc$ for particle with no (rest)mass. However, if we transform the non-relativistic formula for kinetic energy ...
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2answers
770 views

Conservation of momentum when friction is present

Conservation of momentum applies when net force is zero. Suppose that there is a system of a canon and a canonball. Total momentum of the system is zero before canonball is fired. Now canonball is ...
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1answer
503 views

Punching - Force or Momentum?

If I want to punch a person inflicting maximum damage, what do I need to care about? My force of punching, i.e, do I need more acceleration? Or do I need momentum, i.e my velocity for punching?
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1answer
48 views

Is there a heuristic argument for the expression $ \textbf{g} = \frac {\mathbf{S}}{c^2}$?

Electromagnetic momentum density and the Poynting vector are related by the simple expression: $$ \textbf{g} = \frac {\mathbf{S}}{c^2}$$ It can be rigorously derived from Maxwell's equations, but is ...
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2answers
613 views

Why does the amount of energy transferred depend on distance rather than time?

The change in energy of an object can be determined by the work equation, where work is the change in energy: $$ W = F \cdot d $$ I conceptualize the transfer of energy as simply a series of small ...
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84 views

Rocket hovers- and then what?

If we have a rocket, using conservation of momentum we derived in my classical mechanics course $$m\dot{v}=-\dot{m}v_{ex}+F^{EXT}$$ $m$ is the total mass of the rocket and fuel still on the rocket ...
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0answers
356 views

projectile that splits into two fragments of equal mass

I am studying for an exam, and this is part of a problem in my book. A projectile is launch from level ground and is intended to hit a target 100m away. Instead, it explodes into two fragments of ...
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195 views

Angular Momentum Conservation in Gravitational Interaction

thanks for any help. I'm trying to show that in a 2body problem, angular momentum is conserved given that $\dfrac{dp}{dt}=\dfrac{-GMm(rv)}{r³}$, where p is momentum, t time, G gravitational constant, ...
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1answer
94 views

How does a “hammer thrower” that we see in the Olympics, impart so much momentum

How does a "hammer thrower" that we see in the Olympics, build so much momentum into the club? It's sort of like the golf swing, the more momentum, primarily in the club head, the further the ball ...
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1answer
588 views

Best current bounds on nonconservation of momentum?

It's not straightforward to test conservation of momentum experimentally, and many experiments that seem like tests really aren't. For example, in a Newtonian system of identical particles that ...
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31 views

Trouble evaluating an integral arising from particle collision

Assume we have two charged particles colliding. He have particle 1 with mass $m_1$, charge $Z_1 \cdot e$ which travels in $x$-Direction passing by a STATIONARY particle 2 (mass $m_2$, charge $Z_2 ...
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4answers
16k views

Which is easier, pushing or pulling?

It is generally assumed, from a person's perspective, that pushing a cart is more easier than pulling one. But why? Is there any difference in terms of force required to achieve the same amount of ...
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3answers
441 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 ...
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1answer
3k views

Proof that the momentum operator is Hermitian

I am trying to prove that the momentum $p_x$ operator is Hermitian, my approach is the following $$<p_x>~=~\int \Psi^*(\vec{r},t)[-ih\frac{\partial}{\partial x}]\Psi(\vec{r},t)\, d^3r.$$ I try ...
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4answers
526 views

Classical mechanics and the speed of a train-mosquito collision, when perfectly rigid bodies

This is all under the assumption that they are perfectly rigid bodies: A train is moving at 300m/s. A mosquito is moving directly towards it, head-on, at 4m/s. When the mosquito and the train ...
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2answers
191 views

Why does a stationary force affect the conservation of momentum, but not the conservation of energy?

Let's say I have two positive charges approaching one another at the same speed with only their mutual forces acting on one another. Total momentum (= 0) and energy is conserved and the charges ...
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1answer
466 views

Relation between between linear momentum and translational kinetic energy

The momentum $m v$ of a particle is formally the same as the derivative its translational kinetic energy $\frac{1}{2} m v^2$ with respect to $v$. Similarly the angular momentum $I \omega$ is the ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is momentum conserved when a ball hits a vertical wall?

Almost in every book on physics, there's an example of conservation of momentum when the ball that is moving horizontally in the air, hits some massive wall. They claim that the return speed of the ...
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1answer
827 views

Heavy vs Light Particle Ideal Gases

Assume there are two ideal gases. The first is made of a light particle, and the second is made of a heavy particle. The two are of the same amount, in the same volume container, and at the same ...
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1answer
739 views

Are principle of Conservation of energy and principle of conservation of momentum consequences of Newton's laws?

It is known that principle of Conservation of momentum and principle of conservation of energy are two fundamental principles of physics.But in RP Feynman's Lectures of physics, in the chapter of ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the Momentum Operator?

I know the equation for the momentum operator, but what exactly is the momentum operator? It's bizarre to me that taking the derivative of the wave function, which is an operator, should return ...
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1answer
147 views

Cyclic co-ordinates implying the constant velocity motion of center of mass of a system of particles

I'm reading the section on Central Force in my textbook (Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has a similar argument in the chapter titled "The Central Force Problem", first section), where we have the ...
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2answers
330 views

Momentum of a particle? [closed]

I really need help to understand what is momentum of a particle (of a photon, proton, an electron...) I see so many definitions! My main questions are: •What exactly is momentum •What are the ...
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3answers
730 views

Intuitively Understanding Work and Energy

It is easy to understand the concepts of momentum and impulse. The formula $mv$ is simple, and easy to reason about. It has an obvious symmetry to it. The same cannot be said for kinetic energy, ...
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1answer
102 views

How is momentum conserved when a magnet attracts a metal?

Suppose your have any magnetic object and no external force acts upon it, and the object comes near a metal which causes an impulse (think that will happen). However, the magnetic force is internal to ...
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1answer
99 views

Storing kinetic energy in bonds

Let's assume a setup with a static linear molecule with three identical atoms connected by bonds and a single atom, identical to the other three, being shot at the molecule. Let's also assume that ...
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1answer
794 views

Expectation value of momentum

I'm having a problem with an expectation value that doesn't seem to add up for me. What I know is, that $\psi(\vec{r})$ is a wavefunction for a particle in three dimensions. The Hamiltonian is given ...
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3answers
441 views

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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2answers
163 views

How to work out momentum when there are velocity and mass changes

I have a pretty simple homework question, but I can't rap my head around it. In the question a swimmer of $55 \mbox{ } \mathrm{kg}$, jumps off a stationary raft of $210\mbox{ }\mathrm{kg} $. The ...
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1answer
92 views

Question about Cars: Momentum

Car B rests at the bottom of a frictionless inclined plane. In order to travel a height of 0.6m and maintain a speed of 2 m/s at the end of the track it needs to start with 4 m/s. a) If ...
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2answers
130 views

How is the Principle of Conservation of Momentum proven using the Momentum-Impulse Principle?

Consider two particles moving in the same direction on the same line, $A$ and $B$, with mass $m_A$ and $m_B$, respectively. They also have velocies $u_A$ and $u_B$. They collide. After the collision A ...
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3answers
255 views

Which parameter determines how much the 'recoil' or force applied by an object hurts?

Another question from my textbook, directly following after this question: 2 identical bullets are fired, on from a lighter rifle and one from a heavier one, with the same amount of force. Which ...
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1answer
350 views

What if exactly half the Earth's population jumped at one instant? + Secondary Question

I read somewhere that when you jump, the sole effect caused by your jump on the earth moves it about $10^{-18}m$ (I don't remember the figure exactly, but I think it was that). However - obviously ...
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1answer
175 views

Theoretical considerations on the conservation of energy and the conservation of linear momentum

I report to you an interesting excerpt from my Physics book. It is an Italian version, so I apologize in advance, as I'm sure I won't give proper justice to its beauty in the translation as the ...
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1answer
173 views

Calculate force of impact on running dog

I'm going to hold a dog protection tournament. I'd like to give the audience information about the force of the impact of the running dog when it hit(attacks) the decoy on a huge screen. I'm a ...
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1answer
104 views

Momentum paradox [duplicate]

A cistern rail car is standing on infinitely slippery ice. The cistern is filled with water and it has an outlet in the form of a thin vertical pipe (spout) at the left end, so when the valve is open ...
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2answers
293 views

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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2answers
375 views

Does trade affect Earth's rotation? [duplicate]

Every country is trading with other countries around the world, some more than others. I was wondering if there would be any change to the Earth's rotation because of the imbalance of trade between ...
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1answer
116 views

When a moving body collides with a stationary body, far from its centre, how do you calculate the resulting spin

Imagine you had a long heavy rod in space with no significant gravity acting upon it. And a projectile is flying towards it, perpendicular to the orientation of the rod, with the impact some between ...
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1answer
191 views

Deceleration of Vehicle off pavement

How would I calculate the deceleration of a vehicle (ATV), wheels locked, on dirt? How long would it take to halt? How fast is it decelerating? I used this calculator, but it seems incorrect for a ...
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0answers
131 views

Calculating rotor torque out of mass center

Suppose I have an engine with propeller. I know there is aerodynamic force pushing the propeller opposite direction the engine is turning it. One component of this force is creating lift, but second ...
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0answers
59 views

Two impulses on body

Say I have a physics simulation with a single body with three degrees of freedom (two axis and rotation). I have two impulses of equal magnitude in opposite directions. When applying these impulses in ...
5
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1answer
769 views

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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3answers
785 views

What does it mean if a body has kinetic energy?

What does it mean if a body has kinetic energy? Does it mean that the momentum vectors of each particle of that body has the same direction? What about angular momentum?
4
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1answer
246 views

Firing machine question

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 ...
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5answers
2k views

How can there be net linear momentum in a static electromagnetic field (not propagating)?

I understand from basic conservation of energy and momentum considerations, it is clear in classical electrodynamics that the fields should be able to have energy and momentum. This leads to the usual ...
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3answers
9k 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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1answer
957 views

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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1answer
125 views

Kinetic energy when $F(t)$ graph is given

The very basic problem here is that the point where this graph ends is ambiguous. I mean, what is the corresponding $y$-value for the point whose $x$-valu is $4.5s$? Then I think we should find the ...
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2answers
311 views

Momentum, Impulse and Newton's Second Law of Motion

Newton formulated his Second Law as such: $$\sum{\vec{F}} = \frac{\delta \vec{p}}{\delta t}$$ and of course, $\vec{p} = m \vec{v}$. Why is it that if the net force $\sum \vec{F}$ is constant (which ...