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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In the Dirac equation, do $\alpha$ and $p$ commute?

The Dirac Hamiltonian is given as $H = \vec \alpha·\vec pc + \beta mc^2$ , Do the alpha and beta operators commute with the momentum operator? If yes then how?
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Why $-i\hbar\vec\nabla$ for momentum in quantum mechanics, while $m\vec{v}$ in classical mechanics?

I am a little bit confused when thinking of the momentum representation in QM and CM. In QM, momentum is represented as $-i\hbar\vec\nabla$, while in classical, momentum is represented as $m\vec{v}$. ...
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90 views

Momentum Operator in Quantum Mechanics

1) What is the difference between these two momentum operators: $\frac{\hbar}{i}\frac{\partial}{\partial x}$ and $-i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial x}$? How are these two operators the same? My ...
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1answer
197 views

Spring Damper System : Recoil Reduction

I am designing a man-"portable" 30mm sniper rifle. Although it may be classified as a anti-materiel cannon. I have the mass of the round in total, and the mass of the projectile leaving the barrel, ...
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89 views

Conservation of Mass, Momentum and Energy - Airburst Rounds

I have a airburst round with set amount of fragments with a certain shape inside my bullet. After a certain distance has travelled, a charge explodes in the back of the round disintegrating the shell ...
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82 views

Including special relativistic effects in momentum in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

I've been told that an electron is somewhere within the space of $10^{-10}m$ and am supposed to find the uncertainty in its velocity. Simply applying $m\Delta x \Delta v \geq \frac{h}{4\pi}$ results ...
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1answer
85 views

Energy/Momentum required to deflect earth from its orbit

This question occurred to me when thinking about the firepower people have on earth. How hard is it to change the characteristics of the orbit of the earth when an explosion happens on its surface, ...
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426 views

Origin of motion and relative speed of bodies in the universe

Charged particles can hit the earth at relativistic speeds. But it seems that all large bodies have fairly low relative speed. Of course, speed can increase considerably when a body orbits close to a ...
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1answer
122 views

How do I calculate stopping power?

Malcolm Gladwell made a claim in a recent talk that a sling with a stone going at 30m/s has the same stopping power as a .45 calibre handgun. How would I verify whether or not this claim is true - ...
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94 views

Equal and opposite reaction - forces coming in pairs - or just common sense?

I've never understood why the conservation of momentum law is taught in schools as "every force has an equal opposite reaction". To me a gun's recoil is self explanatory; the explosion sits ...
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50 views

The question about MTW 4-momentum integral expression and lorentz nature

In section 5.8 of Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler's "Gravitation" there is a proof that 4-momentum determined as $$ \tag 1 p^{\mu} = \int T^{\mu 0}\,\mathrm{d}^{3}\mathbf r , \quad \partial^{\mu}T_{\mu ...
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60 views

The exact definition of conjugate momentum density

After checking various websites, I've seen the conjugate momentum density defined as either: \begin{align*} P_r ~=~ \frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial \dot{A}_r} \end{align*} or \begin{align*} P_r ...
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72 views

Confused about Impulse

Encountered a problem that involves impulse while studying for my exam and I'm not sure how to even approach it. I know that momentum is conserved, but I'm not sure how to relate that to avg force. ...
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64 views

Homework Question involving Momentum [closed]

I'm trying to solve a homework problem as review for an exam I have tomorrow and I was wondering if someone could help explain it to me. It is as follows: You are at Lowe’s shopping for bricks ...
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192 views

Practice AP Physics B Exam Question regarding Momentum

I am trying to review momentum for the AP exam coming up. I will be taking the AP Physics C exam for Mechanics, but I was just practicing on any free response questions I could find and I came across ...
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1answer
70 views

Relativistic fomulae for energy and momentum?

I know that the relativistic formulae for energy and momentum are: $E = \gamma mc^2$ and $\textbf{p} = \gamma m\textbf{v}$; Can we derive these formulae? If yes, where from?
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1answer
48 views

Help with momentum question involving vectors/trig [closed]

The problem: A car with a mass of 1200 kg and speed 10 m/s runs into a traffic barrier at an angle of 45 degrees, and is thrown outwards at an angle of 45 degrees relative to the barrier with a speed ...
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1answer
204 views

Why isn't $F = \frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial q}$?

If momentum is, $$p = \frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial \dot{q}}$$ and force is, $$ F = \frac{dp}{dt}$$ and by Euler-Langrange equations, $$ \frac{d}{dt}\frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial ...
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50 views

Final position of an object after aplying several horizontal forces [closed]

I'm given an object with a starting position. Several horizontal forces are applied to this object one after the other for different amounts of time. How can I determine the final position $x$?
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1answer
101 views

Classical disintegration of particles, Landau-Lifshitz series on Physics

i read Landau's book recently. In this book p.43 Landau says from (16.1) (16.2) can be write down $T_10$= $p_0^2$/2$m_1$=($M-m_1$)($E_i-E_1i-E_i'$)/$M$ For me, it is hard to understand the factor ...
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1answer
258 views

Why does a car bonnet (hood) rise when you connect the clutch with a brake on?

Is the rotational force to overcome the brakes moved to the opposite effect of moving the car chassis, until the brake is released?
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315 views

How does the solar sailing concept work?

Wikipedia describes solar sailing as a form of spacecraft propulsion using a combination of light and high speed ejected gasses from a star to push large ultra-thin mirrors to high speeds. I ...
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145 views

If photons don't have mass, how can they accelerate objects? [duplicate]

As far as I know photons don't have mass but they do have momentum ($p=mv$). Scientists say that if we put a shiny (reflective) shield of large radius in the vacuum of space, then light from sun will ...
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2answers
609 views

Impulse and Change In Momentum — Are they really different?

My entire time learning physics, I have simply assumed that Impulse and Change in momentum are the same thing. It makes sense -- Force changes momentum, and impulse finds the total of force. ...
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148 views

Movement in outer space via Newton's law of every action has an equal and opposite reaction

What is more effective for travel in outer space ignoring all other factors like air radiation etc. I have a 10 kg bag of rice would I travel faster throwing the whole bag at once or throwing a grain ...
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30 views

electron spin separation

I am having doubt whether the electron's up spin moment and down spin moment can be isolated from one another. If it got separated, will each moment acts as magnetic monopole (stable or unstable). ...
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1answer
118 views

Is there such a thing as instantly stopping?

I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but I've never taken a physics class and I was curious about something. But anyway, my question is, is there such a thing as instantly stopping? For example, if ...
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133 views

A question about canonical momentum and arbitrariness for potential in magnetism

The following question confuses me: There exists magnetic field $B_z =- \beta x$ where $x > 0$, and a particle is incident from origin point $(0,0)$ with pisitive charge $q$, mass $m$, and ...
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79 views

Force needed to change momentum, from fixed position

I have a situation where I want to change the velocity of a mass, by applying a force from a fixed position. For example in the diagram below, the mass starts with the initial velocity in the upper ...
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2answers
352 views

Energy transfer in elastic collision [duplicate]

In a given reference frame where object 1 (with known mass and velocity) collides elastically with object 2 (with known mass and velocity), can we identify which object loses kinetic energy? Is it ...
2
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1answer
171 views

Why positronium can annihilate in vacuum?

I thought that the annihilation process of positronium cannot take place without a third-party particle. This can be directly derived from energy & momentum conservation: energy conservation: ...
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1k views

Can conservation of momentum related to Newton's first law?

I know this is a scrap of thought, but the first law states that (from Wikipedia): If an object experiences no net force, then its velocity is constant Is it describing the conservation of ...
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How to construct the radial component of the momentum operator?

I'm having trouble doing it. I know so far that if we have two Hermitian operators $A$ and $B$ that do not commute, and suppose we wish to find the quantum mechanical Hermitian operator for the ...
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98 views

Change of QM Momentum operator under coordinate transformation

Can any one please let me know what is the general procedure to construct the momentum operator under some coordinate transformation? For example, I understand that if ...
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3answers
2k views

When is energy conserved in a collision and not momentum?

Consider the following example: A bullet of mass 45g is fired at a speed of 220 m/s into a 5.0 kg sandbag hanging from a string from the ceiling. The sandbag absorbs the bullet and begins to ...
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3answers
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Conservation of Momentum/Energy collision Problem

I'm working on a physics problem in preparation for the MCAT and there's this particular problem that's troubling me. I don't know if it's a bad question or if I'm not understanding some sort of ...
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178 views

photon momentum

assume 2 space ships "at rest" in the vacuum, at about 300.000KM apart one from another, one having a laser source, the second having a receptor. Also assume both ships have synchronous clocks (they ...
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2answers
1k views

Calculating angular velocity after collision

Suppose I have a disc which doesn't move, just rotate around the axis going through its centre of mass perpendicular to its surface. The disk has a stick perpendicular to its surface at the edge. I ...
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2answers
832 views

When should we use the concept of Impulse/Momentum instead of Force?

In my notes it says "The ideas of impulse and momentum is useful in solving problems where:- a) the force F is not easily calculable (e.g. sudden impact or blow) b) the impulse force is ...
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72 views

Hidden momentum

I'm trying to learn about hidden momentum. After reading what I could find with a google search, I understand that it is equal to the momentum carried by radiation, calculated with the Poynting ...
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2answers
237 views

Canonical momentum density vs. energy-momentum tensor

Suppose we have a scalar field $\varphi$ with Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} \kappa \left( \frac{\partial \varphi}{\partial x} \right)^2 + \frac{1}{2} \rho \left( \frac{\partial ...
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Can it require different amounts of energy to generate the same impulse?

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 ...
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61 views

Collision Between Two Particles: Writing the Mass As A Function of The Angle [duplicate]

Suppose we have two masses, $m_1$ and $m_2$, where $m_2$ is at rest, and $m_1$ is headed directly towards $m_2$. I would like to write the ratio of the masses as a function of the angle. Using ...
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706 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 ...
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2answers
137 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 ...
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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 ...
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237 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 ...
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254 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 ...
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4answers
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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, ...
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1answer
89 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 ...