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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568 views

Friction on an object moving with momentum over a surface

I'm familiar with the equations for friction for a static object and an object moving at steady speed over a surface from high school physics. But we never learned how an object moving only due to ...
1
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2answers
129 views

Does turning sharply on a bicycle conserve more energy than a wide turn?

I use a bike to commute, so I spend a lot of time thinking about how to get the most bang out of my momentum. Aside from the extra distance traveled in a wide turn, does making a sharp turn save you ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Is the giant Newton's cradle in the Kit-Kat ad feasible?

Apologies in advance if this is too basic a question for Phys.SE. I don't want to dumb down this venerable institution. :) My wife and I just watched this TV ad for Kit-Kat where a crew of crane ...
8
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2answers
226 views

How multiple objects in contact are resolved in an inelastic collision, when edge normals don't “line up”

In a case I understand, let's say I have an object A moving at velocity V toward 3 objects in contact B, C, and D: The momentum of A is the mass of A times its velocity. To figure out how the ...
2
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2answers
232 views

How to calculate velocities after collision?

I'm currently writing a program for a particle simulator. One of the requirements is that the particles collide in a realistic way. However, I don't know how to calculate the final velocities. For ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Examples where momentum is not equal to $mv$?

I am aware that momentum is the thing which is conserved due to symmetries in space (rotational symmetry, translaitonal symmetry, etc). I am aware that in some systems, the generalized momentum, ...
-1
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1answer
86 views

Perceived sway difference between double-decked vs. single-decked buses?

Why is that when I'm standing in a moving double deck bus, my body doesn't move a lot; whereas, in a moving single deck bus, my body moves quite a bit? It seems like I swing a lot in single deck ...
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2answers
56 views

A block in motion explodes [closed]

A 9.5 kg block (A) is traveling in the positive x-direction with a speed of 3.0 m/s. At some point, it explodes and breaks into two pieces. After the explosion, block C, which is 6.0 kg, moves off ...
4
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3answers
505 views

Does the canonical commutation relation fix the form of the momentum operator?

For one dimensional quantum mechanics $$[\hat{x},\hat{p}]=i\hbar $$ Does this fix univocally the form of the $\hat{p}$ operator? My bet is no because $\hat{p}$ actually depends if we are on ...
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1answer
149 views

Energy conversion and momentum conservation law

Bullet ($m=0.02\ kg\ ;v_1=400 \ m/s$ ) hits pendulum ball ($M=3.98\ kg$) and system with stacket bullet and ball bends to one side. Need to find max. delta height ($h$) (position change in vertical ...
1
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2answers
200 views

Explain Momentum

It's a shame for me to be in Year 12 and still haven't understood the concept of Momentum. This is what I think, and I know I'm wrong. But, it is a good place to start for you to explain: "Since the ...
6
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1answer
96 views

In calculations with uncertainty principle why could you equate the uncertainty in momentum with the actual momentum of the system

This website is trying to calculate the confinement energy of a electron starting from the uncertainty principle, but it does this: $\Delta p=p$. Why is this valid?
3
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1answer
127 views

Hamilton-Jacobi formalism and on-shell actions

My question is essentially how to extract the canonical momentum out of an on-shell action. The Hamilton-Jacobi formalism tells us that Hamilton's principal function is the on-shell action, which ...
2
votes
3answers
500 views

Steady isothermal flow of an ideal gas

So I have a steady isothermal flow of an ideal gas through a smooth duct (no frictional losses) and need to compute the mass flow rate (per unit area) as a function of pressures at any two different ...
1
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2answers
419 views

Conservation of linear momentum magnitude along a trajectory

I was once criticized for "taking angular momentum as momentum going in a circle". I was loosely trying to state, in classical mechanics, that in using conservation of momentum, one can switch between ...
5
votes
3answers
343 views

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 ...
0
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0answers
67 views

Deduction of relativistic mass formula in 1+1 dimensions

I have read the explanation/calculation of relativistic momentum and relativistic mass in the Feynman lectures, see chapter 16.4 here: http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_16.html. (I guess this ...
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1answer
198 views

Deriving $p = mv$ from translational symmetry (momentum conservation law)?

"In classical mechanics, momentum is defined as the quantity which is conserved under global spatial translations or, alternatively, as the generator of spatial translations." (G.Parisi, ...
8
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5answers
1k views

How to get the position operator in the momentum representation from knowing the momentum operator in the position representation?

I know that $$\tag{1}\hat{p}~=~-i\hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial x}~.$$ How can I get $$\tag{2}\hat{x}~=~i\hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial p}~?$$ I think this simple and I'm just over thinking it, ...
3
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0answers
89 views

Lagrangian with vanishing conjugate momentum, independent variables

Given a Lagrangian density $\mathcal L(\phi_r,\partial_\mu\phi_r,\phi_n,\partial_\mu\phi_n)$, for which we find out that for some $\phi_n$ its conjugate momentum vanishes: ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

Lorentz covariance of the Noether charge

The invariance under translation leads to the conserved energy-momentum tensor $\Theta_{\mu\nu}$ satisfying $\partial^\mu\Theta_{\mu\nu}=0$, from which we get the conserved quantity$$P^\nu=\int ...
2
votes
1answer
583 views

What is the linear momentum of an EM wave in a medium?

In free space, the linear momentum density of an EM wave is given by the Poynting vector $\vec S$ over the speed of light squared, $\vec g=\frac{\vec S}{c^2}$. In a medium, $S$ is generally not ...
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2answers
164 views

Not so simple problem using momentum, energy and angular velocity…?

I have an object in free space (no gravity) with angular momentum $ = \omega_i $, and some velocity vector $=\vec{V_i}$. To simplify we will say it has a mass-less rigid rod length $ = \ell $, ...
-2
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1answer
54 views

momentum conservation related to varying mass . please help? [closed]

a heap of chain is lying on a horizontal table a small part of the chain is released through the hole in the table . Calculate the velocity of the chain as a function of length of the vertically ...
0
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1answer
414 views

How to derive or justify the expressions of momentum operator and energy operator?

It has been noted here$\! { \, }^{\text(1, 2)}$, for instance, that $$\mathbf{F} = \frac{d}{dt}\!\!\biggl[ \, \mathbf{p} \, \biggr]$$ is true in all contexts. Likewise, in notable contexts it is ...
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4answers
8k views

Why is force described as rate of change of momentum? [closed]

momentum = mass * velocity Differentiating both sides leads to force = mass * acceleration since the mass doesn't participate in the differentiation as it is constant. Is this a sound ...
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1answer
342 views

Harmonic Oscillator Energy to Momentum Expectation Value

If we are given a wave function written in terms of harmonic oscillator energy eigenfunctions how can we determine the maximum possible momentum expectation value? It's a combination of the first two ...
-2
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2answers
236 views

Determine whether the ground state is an eigenfunction of [p] and of [p^2] [closed]

Consider a particle confined in an infinite square well potential of width L, $$V(x)=\left\{ \begin{array}{ll}\infty, &{\rm for}\ (x \le 0)\vee (x \ge L) \\0, &{\rm for} \ 0 < x < L ...
3
votes
1answer
792 views

Can the velocity of the center of mass of two spheres change after a collision?

I'm curious as to whether or not the velocity of the center of mass of a system comprised of two spheres can change after the two spheres collide. Looking at the equation for the velocity of the ...
1
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3answers
263 views

conservation of momentum when a bullet hits a block

why momentum is conserved when a bullet hit a block horizontally even when force of bullet is acting on it and net external force is not zero ?
3
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2answers
110 views

Impulse, relative velocties

Why is (m)(v)=Impulse or as they put it here, Vs = I/Ms? Shouldn't (m)(v) be equal to momentum, not I? I don't understand why that is the solution. I was trying to solve for relative velocities, ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Why does rubber ball bounce back while iron ball doesn't?

Suppose there are two balls, one of rubber and the other metallic. There are of the same mass and are thrown on a wall with the same velocity. Why does a rubber ball bounce back while a metallic ball ...
1
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1answer
113 views

Changing Momentum

Okay, so I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this. Before looking at the answer, I worked the example and got the answer only because I used dimensional analysis to get me to the right ...
0
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1answer
929 views

Calculating a 2D collision between two perfectly circular disks [duplicate]

Assume I have two disks, $p_1$ and $p_2$, of radius $r$, with their own velocities (preferably in $(x,y)$ form, but $(m, \theta)$ works too) and masses (unit-less, but same unit) collide in two ...
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Identity in quantum operator tutorial

I'm reading this tutorial by Ben Simons entitled Operator methods in quantum mechanics in connection with his course in advanced QM, and I'm a bit puzzled by an identity in page 25, a bit above ...
0
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1answer
234 views

Muon 3 Body Decay

I'm trying to calculate the maximum energy of the electron in the decay muon >electron + electronantineutrino +muonneutrino in the reference frame of the muon having no kinetic energy. $m_m$=mass of ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

How to find the compression of a spring attached to an object [closed]

I am having some trouble figuring out the equation needed to solve this problem. A 3.0-kg block slides along a frictionless tabletop at 8.0 m/s toward a second block (at rest) of mass 4.5 kg. A ...
5
votes
4answers
263 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
972 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 ...
1
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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 ...
0
votes
2answers
703 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 ...
1
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0answers
410 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 ...
1
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0answers
204 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
25
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1answer
615 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 ...
1
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0answers
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 ...
9
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4answers
18k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
495 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 ...
1
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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 ...
-1
votes
4answers
588 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 ...