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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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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149 views

Is the reaction force for a stone hitting a wall infinite?

Let us assume a rigid stone which moves in empty space with a constant speed of $v$. (Or in the air with no friction and drag or you can imagine a free fall with friction). This stone hits a rigid ...
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103 views

A question regarding collisions

Let us consider a system of 2 identical spherical bodies connected by a massless string that is taut. If one body is placed at the origin then the other is placed at some coordinate $(x,y)$. The ...
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130 views

Does the average momentum vanish for an eigenstate of the simple harmonic oscillator?

Suppose we have a simple harmonic oscillator, let's consider the ground state, $|0\rangle$ and the first excited state $|1\rangle$. $\langle 0|\hat p|0 \rangle$ is zero right? Since the particle can ...
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Equilibrium that is not stable

Consider a system which is in an equilibrium state. Now, a small perturbation causes it to start oscillating about the equilibrium state, but over time, the momentum with which it overshoots the ...
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5answers
962 views

Is the canonical momentum conserved when a particle moves in magnetic field?

Here is a question about the canonical momentum that I had asked some days ago, but I still have one point that I am not understand. Considering a particle moves in a magnetic field with charge $q$ ...
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232 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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2answers
486 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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1answer
138 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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2answers
216 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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Bat hitting a ball

When a bat hits a ball, consider two cases: 1) The batsman goes for a defense, and stonewalls it, to reduce its speed. 2) the batsman goes for a shot, e.g. a home-run, etc. in which case will the ...
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2answers
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Do photons actually generate a slight kinetic force?

My question is even though photons have no (rest) mass, do they emit a external force due to EM radiation causing electrons to be excited and jump to higher energy shells which electrons have mass ...
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51 views

When are energy, mechanical energy, momentum, and angular momentum conserved?

I am in AP Physics and my only real hangup is knowing when the said quantities are conserved. Please define what is the SYSTEM in your answer. I kind of have the basic idea. For example, if there ...
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51 views

Does third law of motion apply to light or EM waves? [duplicate]

Third law of motion - "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" I was considering the situation, where I may be motionless in space with only a flashlight and no forces acting on me. ...
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1answer
141 views

Why does the rule that elastic collisions are at 90 degrees in 2 dimensions not apply?

When one object collides with another object of the same mass in a 2D plane, we know that we can derive that the angles that the objects leave the collision at add up to 90 degrees in a perfectly ...
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86 views

Justification of $P_{\text{photon}}=E/c$ in derivation of $E=mc^2$

I recently was reading up on the derivation of $E=mc^2$. Now, I came across this derivation at this link. I noticed that several lines into the derivation they throw in the equation ...
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1answer
109 views

What am I REALLY doing when I take the Fourier transform of the momentum operator

I was playing around with some equations and found a surprising relationship when I took the fourier transform of the momentum operator Define $\hat P = \frac{\hbar}{i} \partial_x$, then $F(\hat P) = ...
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57 views

How can solar sails be maneuvered?

Photons from the Sun are always radial to it and hence solar sails can only travel radially. Any techniques related to maneuvering?
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324 views

Dumbbell rotation

What if apply impulse to dumbbell consisting of two masses and massless rod? It is clear for me that left dumbbell will move straight line. But it is not clear for me what kind of motion will have ...
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68 views

How are momentum and position operators dependent on the chosen inertial frame?

How are momentum and position operators in quantum mechanics dependent on the chosen inertial frame of reference?
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508 views

Elastic collisions and conservation of momentum

If you have an elastic collision between objects 1 and 2 and where 'kinetic energy is conserved', does this mean object 1 will always have the same velocity it had before the collision? Or will ...
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2answers
637 views

Will I be able to push a small object in front of me in the outer space?

Imagine I am standing on Earth, and pushing a tennis ball away from me. The ball moves. If it is very heavy, I will move back instead of the ball. Now consider the same scenario in outer space, where ...
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101 views

Where did the universe get its initial momentum?

If, according to Newton's third law, forces come in pairs then what about the big bang? where did the universe get that initial push/momentum?
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What are the general solutions to a hard sphere collision?

Surely someone has found the solutions to the hard sphere collisions (in $n$ dimensions) of two bodies of mass $m_1$ and $m_2$, respectively--that is the resultant velocities (or momenta) of the two ...
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438 views

What happens with a tunneling particle when its momentum is imaginary in QM?

In classical mechanics the motion of a particle is bounded if it is trapped in a potential well. In quantum mechanics this is no longer the case and there is a non zero probability of the particle to ...
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104 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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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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991 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 ...
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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 ...
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716 views

Quantum mechanical analogue of conjugate momentum

In classical mechanics, we define the concept of canonical momentum conjugate to a given generalised position coordinate. This quantity is the partial derivative of the Lagrangian of the system, with ...
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1answer
592 views

Single photon's effect on conservation of momentum?

When your looking at basic Compton theory you find that if you shoot a stream of photons at a particle (usually atoms or electrons), then you have the basic laws of conservation of momentum. The ...
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606 views

Fundamental properties of motion

The first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on the angular momentum operator states that In both classical and quantum mechanical systems, angular momentum (together with linear momentum and ...
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385 views

Displacement with zero velocity

I know that we can rotate a deformable object using internal forces only in space. Thus we can cause an angular displacement without the use of any external forces. The following youtube video shows ...
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1answer
319 views

Conservation of momentum with MOND

Assuming as true the phenomenological MOND law for low accelerations ($< 10^{-10} m s^{-2} = a_0$), and considering a small mass $m$ attached to a larger mass $M$ by a faint spring (let's think of ...
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242 views

Mass Shell in Light Cone Coordinates

I'm reading Zweibach's introduction to string theory, and don't understand one of his claims. He defined the mass shell to be the set of points in momentum space s.t. $p^2+m^2 = 0$. Then the physical ...
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240 views

Should any theory of physics respect the principle of conservation of angular momentum or linear momentum?

Is it possible that a theory that can describe the universe at the planck scale can violate things that we now consider fundamental in nature?For example can it violate rotational and translational ...
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41 views

Simple frame of reference problem (conservation of momentum?)

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around a particular concept. Suppose we have a machine that fires balls of speed $u$ at some mass rate $\sigma$ (of units $\frac{kg}{s}$) directly at a car of mass ...
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138 views

Derivation of $E=pc$ for a massless particle?

In classical mechanics, massless particles don't exist because for $m=0$, $p=0$. The relativistic relation between energy, mass and spatial momentum is: $E^2= (pc)^2 + (mc^2)^2$ . So it is said that ...
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Area of phase space of Harmonic oscillator

We all know that the phase trajectory of an undamped linear harmonic oscillator is an ellipse. But when we calculate the area of the ellipse we find it does not depend of mass of the particle. Why is ...
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1answer
130 views

Relativistic Lorentz Force with constant, perpendiuclar, and uniform E and B fields

I am trying to solve the following problem from the Fundamentals of Plasma Physics by Bittencourt (Problem 2.7): Analyze the motion of a relativistic charged particle in the presence of crossed ...
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1answer
104 views

What's the physical meaning of change in momentum vector?

If I there is a initial momentum of 10Ns upwards, and final momentum of 10Ns to the right, I can find the difference in momentum by drawing a triangle and finding the resultant vector. But, how is ...
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40 views

How to pull out the momentum operator?

In the equation (1.7.17), how does operator $p$ get out of the bracket without any operation though $<a | $, $| x'>$ are function of $x'$? How to prove this?
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Finding final velocity in inelastic collision [closed]

Information: In a shipping company distribution center, an open cart of mass 49.0-kg is rolling to the left at a speed of 5.40-m/s (see the figure). You can ...
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1answer
143 views

Doubt regarding stress-energy tensor definition

I'm having some trouble understanding the following definition of the stress energy tensor: $T^{\mu\nu}$ is the flux of four-momentum $p^{\mu}$ across a surface of constant $x^{\nu}$. Here's an ...
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2answers
172 views

Does constant velocity of center of mass imply linear momentum is conserved?

I know that if momentum is conserved for a system, you can derive that the velocity of the center of mass of that system is constant. I was wondering if the second condition also implies the first: if ...
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1answer
333 views

Total Momentum From a Standing Electromagnetic Wave

How does one show the momentum imparted to a perfect conducting resonance cavity (boundary) of any shape by a classical standing electromagnetic wave inside is zero? It should be by conservation of ...
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1answer
53 views

Swinging onto a Hill

I was just watching the movie "Frozen" (not the Disney one), and they were trapped in a ski lift 50 feet off the ground. They had to jump. My question is, when they jump, should they swing on the ...
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178 views

Losing mass in space

So I came across a question while studying laws of motion. Roughly, this is how it goes: There are two astronauts in a space shuttle, who together have mass 200 kg. If by doing exercise, they manage ...
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1answer
82 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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Symmetries of a Uniform Magnetic Field

Simple question. A system with a uniform electric field everywhere in space has translational invariance in the directions perpendicular to the electric field but no translational invariance parallel ...