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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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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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?
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How do I figure out the momentum of a water balloon when it reaches the person I am throwing it at?

Recently an experiment was performed in which myself and a partner filled a water balloon and threw it back and forth at each other without breaking it. We gradually increased the distance at which it ...
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193 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 ...
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101 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 ...
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791 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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Walter Lewin Lecture 16 - Ball bouncing on wall?

I never did Physics in university and I consider that a mistake so I am correcting that now by teaching myself. To that extent I have been watching the MIT lecture videos by Walter Lewin and I am ...
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2answers
54 views

Does inelastic collision say the ball bounces back to you when thrown at an angle on ground?

I created a bounce simulation using exactly the formula from Wikipedia. The behavior I observe is not what I would expect in two cases: When two balls hit off-centre, they act the same as if the ...
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91 views

4 momentum in particle physics, collision of positron and electron

If I have a positron striking an electron at rest to create 2 pions( + and -) and I want to calculate the minimum kinnetic energy that the electrons can possess to create these pions, then the created ...
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Why Does Angular Velocity Increase as Radius Decrease?

Suppose a child were to ask you why a tetherball (picture below) seems to speed up as it wraps around the pole. How would you explain this to them? Certainly you wouldn't say something like, "Angular ...
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415 views

Interpretation of Conjugate Momentum in Field Theory

The conjugate momentum density, following as a conserved quantity with Noethers Theorem, from invariance under displacement of the field itself, i.e. $\Phi \rightarrow \Phi'=\Phi + \epsilon$, is given ...
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196 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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558 views

Simple 2D Vehicle collision physics

I'm trying to create a simplified GTA 2 clone to learn. I'm onto vehicle collisions physics. The basic idea I would say is, To apply force F determined by vehicle A's position and velocity onto point ...
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4answers
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Is it possible to lift yourself off from the ground?

Say for instance a person who was strong enough to lift double his body weight. If he placed his hands under his bottom and tried to lift$^1$ himself$^2$ off the ground, could he? -- $^1$In a ...
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2answers
140 views

“Dark” quantities

I don't know much about the so-called dark matter, apart from what has been described in popular descriptions of the reasons for it being postulated. My question is, is there dark momentum, dark ...
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The physics of an anvil [closed]

I am trying to understand how an anvil might best be made. An anvil requires two essential characteristics: enough hardness to not be deformed under the blows of the hammer, but as little rebound and ...
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1answer
72 views

Particle sliding down frictionless hemisphere on frictionless surface

http://web.physics.harvard.edu/uploads/files/undergrad/probweek/prob87.pdf http://web.physics.harvard.edu/uploads/files/undergrad/probweek/sol87.pdf The problem and the suggested solution are in the ...
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Why Use the Non-Relativistic Momentum Operator in Relativistic Quantum Mechanics?

In deriving the Klein Gordon equation one starts out with the relativistic energy relation E^2 = p^2 + m^2 and substitutes the quantum momentum operator that corresponds to non-relativistic QM, p = -i ...
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76 views

What is the effective electron mass in a plasma?

Is there a way to calculate the effective electron mass in plasmas? Effective electron mass is usually defined as varying from the vacuum electron mass in solid state physics. However, momentum ...
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367 views

Fourier Transforms of position and momentum space in Quantum Mechanics

Fourier transformations: $$\phi(\vec{k}) = \left( \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi}} \right)^3 \int_{r\text{ space}} \psi(\vec{r}) e^{-i \mathbf{k} \cdot \mathbf{r}} d^3r$$ for momentum space and ...
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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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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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169 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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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: ...
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208 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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General relativity and the conservation of momentum

I'm trying to understand the conservation of momentum in general relativity. Due to the curvature of space-time by matters and energy, the path of a linear motion appears to be distorted. Therefore ...
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Why does Energy-Momentum have a special case?

I was reading Energy-momentum, and I came across this simplified equation: $$E^2 = (mc^2)^2 + (pc)^2$$ where $m$ is the mass and $p$ is momentum of the object. That said, the equation is pretty ...
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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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704 views

Why the photon can't produce electron and positron in space or in vacuum?

$$\frac{hc}{\lambda} = K_e + K_p + 2m_e c^2$$ could be the energy conservation equation for a photon of wavelength $\lambda$ decaying into a electron and positron with kinetic energies $K_e$ and $K_p$ ...
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140 views

Energy definition in special relativity

I'm going through the early homework assignments for my special relativity course and I've got myself a little confused about energy. I've got a basic understanding of what the 4-momentum is, having ...
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Inelastic collision and conservation of linear and angular momentum

Is it possible for two spheres (a & b) to have an inelastic collision with BOTH the total linear and angular momentum preserved? I'm doing some physics simulation of some spheres attracting each ...
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2k views

Matter waves and de Broglie wave length

The wavelength of a particle of momentum p is calculated using De Broglie relation. The de Broglie relation was postulated for what is called a matter waves. Now according to the statistical ...
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127 views

Is it possible to jump by using only my arms?

We can see that basketball players use their arms to jump higher. Is it possible to lose contact with the ground by only moving my arms? I know that the calculations have something to do with ...
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556 views

In an elastic collision, can we choose between cons. of energy and cons. of momentum?

Suppose we have two solid spheres with masses $m$ and $M$, respectively, and that $m$ is significantly less than $M$. The lighter sphere is placed directly on top of the heavier one, and the two are ...
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Conservation of 4-momentum in special relativity

I understand that the inner product of two 4-vectors is conserved under the Lorentz transformations, so that the absolute value of the four momentum is the same in any reference frame. This is what I ...
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Why not shoot a marble sized spacecraft at the moon?

I was thinking about the Google XPrize for Space Travel the other day. In order to claim the prize of building a robot that goes to the moon, travels 500m, and relays data, I had the idea of building ...
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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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What is the reason behind the equation $p = mv$? [duplicate]

Now this is a very basic question, might look stupid too, but I am not able to understand it. I tried to imagine what momentum really is, and it is the impact of an object. I understood how momentum ...
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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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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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A thought on definition of momentum

Well, this is a simple, basic and I think even silly doubt. The first time I saw the definition of momentum as $p = mv$ I started to think why this is a good definition. So I've read the beginning of ...
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Pair production - mathematically?

Allover the web i am only seeing a statement similar to this: Pair production is not possible in vaccum, 3rd particle is needed so that conservation of momentum holds. Well noone out of many ...
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Simple elastic collision

If a particle with mass $m$ collides with a wall at right angles, and the collision is perfectly elastic. The particle hits the wall at $v\ ms^{-1}$. There is no friction or gravity. So the particle ...
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62 views

Nail clippers and conservation of momentum

As I clip my fingernails using nail clippers, pieces of nails sometimes fly off violently, reaching the other end of the room. What's happening in terms of conservation of momentum, how are the pieces ...
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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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135 views

Massless particle that have momentum not equal to 0

I saw some problems in special relativity that use conservation of total energy and momentum and the conclusions are spectacular. My problem is the following: how can a massless particle like neutrino ...
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315 views

Difference in “momentum” names in Lagrangian mechanics

In the context of Lagrangian formulation of classical mechanics, the following names keep occurring in most textbooks, which confuse me a lot, are they different in any way? Momentum Generalized ...
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Motivating the ansatz for the infinitesimal translation operator

I'm reading Sakurai's Modern QM right now and in the first chapter he states a number of conditions required for a translation operator: unitarity, ...
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128 views

Simultaneous conservation of linear and angular momentum

Suppose there is a ring in the space where there is no gravity. The width of the ring is $r$ which is negligible compared to its inner radius $R$. The ring is in horizontal position. Now imagine a ...
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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 ...