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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
2answers
211 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
102 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
votes
1answer
129 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
529 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
vote
2answers
450 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
362 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
votes
0answers
77 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
220 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
votes
5answers
2k 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
votes
0answers
92 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: ...
5
votes
1answer
153 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
605 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
165 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
votes
1answer
55 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
votes
1answer
457 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
404 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
votes
2answers
265 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
995 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
vote
3answers
307 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
votes
2answers
112 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
119 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
votes
1answer
1k 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
90 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
votes
1answer
273 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
273 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
1k 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
vote
1answer
49 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
785 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
vote
0answers
485 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
vote
0answers
210 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
votes
1answer
633 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
vote
0answers
32 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
votes
4answers
19k 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
550 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
vote
1answer
4k 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
630 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
210 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
522 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
929 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
149 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
538 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
835 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
104 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
106 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 ...