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

2
votes
1answer
77 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?
2
votes
2answers
302 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
460 views

Two dimensional elastic collisions with varying angle of incident

If in an elastic collision I know all initial values and that mass for each object remains constant throughout the collision (but different from one another) how can I determine their final velocity ...
2
votes
2answers
560 views

Movement of man and ladder and their center of mass

Suppose there is a massless frictionless pulley. A rope over it carries a mass $M$ and on other side carries a ladder of mass $(M-m)$ and a man on that ladder, of mass $m$. Now the man starts ...
2
votes
1answer
344 views

Relativistic kinematics of particle decay

Suppose a particle decays to three other particles. The masses of all particles are assumed to be known and we work in the rest frame of the parent particle. So there are 12 parameters for this ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Finding force exerted in an Inelastic Collision

I did a lab today in Physics in which we launched ball from a spring loaded cannon directly into a pendulum that captured the ball, held it, and swung upwards with it (representing a totally inelastic ...
2
votes
1answer
542 views

momentum conservation question involving a rocket and a spaceship [closed]

With the engines off a space ship is cruising at a velocity of 230m.s It fires a rocket straight ahead at the enememy vessel. The mass of the rocket is 1300kg and the mas of the ship (not including ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Converting angular velocity to linear velocity through friction

A very basic question here; it's related to this one, but not quite the same. If a rotating rigid body (a sphere for the sake of discussion) with mass $m$, radius $r$ and inertial tensor $I$ has ...
2
votes
1answer
806 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Fourier Transforms of position and momentum space in Quantum Mechanics

Fourier transformations: for momentum space and for position space. How do we know that Ψ is not the Fourier transform of Φ but we suppose that its the other way around(Ψ would be ...
2
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
122 views

What exactly is NASA's proposed mechanism for “propellantless” “EM Drive” propulsion? [duplicate]

Of course, this question runs perilously close to this site's prohibition against discussing non-mainstream physics. However, the accepted answer in meta about what is acceptable and what is not ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Is my proof of the thought experiment that Walter Lewin proposed in lecture 16 valid?

A tennis ball bounces off a wall elastically. The momentum of the wall changes, but the kinetic energy of the wall remains zero. How is that possible? Walter Lewin Lecture 16 - Ball bouncing on ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Can an electron borrow momentum from its field?

Let us consider a charged particle moving with uniform velocity $v$. We know that the EM field due to it has some momentum too. If the mass of the particle is $M$, then the momentum of the particle is ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Does the spatial momentum of the ground state of a Poincare symmetric QFT vanish?

Consider a flat space QFT, the Lagrangian (in general interacting) has Poincare symmetry, and $\lvert\Omega\rangle$ is the ground state (or just merely no insertion at the far boundaries, from ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

The Egg Smashing Tournament

My cousins and I have a annual egg breaking tournament. First, each of us gets a hard boiled egg. Then, in a bracket tournament style, a pair of us face off in an egg breaking round: one person holds ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Is there a general formula to translate from *canonical* to *physical* momentum?

In Peskin and Schroeder, after having derived a conserved tensor $T^{\mu \nu}$ associated with translations in space-time (the stress-energy tensor), it is said that the charges $\int d^3 x T^{0i}$: ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Making An Energy Momentum Plot For A Rashba Model (Using Discretization)

I want to make a plot of the Energy versus the Momentum of the Rashba model, using discrete matrices. First Ill show how I did this for the free particle. Subsequently I will show what goes wrong for ...
2
votes
0answers
86 views

Momentum of capacitor in a uniform magnetic field

We are observing ideal, charged, parallel plate capacitor placed in uniform magnetic field parallel to plates. Whole system is at rest and isolated (we have forces that hold plates separated, but net ...
2
votes
0answers
159 views

The relationship between angular and linear momentum

Why is orbital angular momentum not 0 when spin and linear momentum are not collinear? Why can it be 0 when spin and linear momentum are parallel? Like in the example of a scalar field at rest ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Sub-light speeds and momentum conservation law

Let's imagine a boat on a lake. Observer A is sitting on the shore. Observer B is sitting in the boat on the bow. Observer B has a ball attached to the end of a string which he holds in his hand. ...
2
votes
0answers
260 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
108 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
510 views

kinetic energy in collisions [closed]

We were hoping you could help us understand collision energy. Vehicle $ A $ is driving West at $35\space mph$ and weighs $ 1437 \space kg$. Vehicle $ B $ is driving North at $35\space mph$ and weighs ...
2
votes
2answers
177 views

Is momentum conserved in the collision of a ball with a hanging rod?

Suppose we have a situation like A ball of some mass $m$ with some velocity collides with rod hinged at point $A$. Is momentum conserved in this situation? I know that hinge will give impulsive ...
2
votes
2answers
189 views

How do waves have momentum?

A question on a practice test I'm taking is as follows: By shaking one end of a stretched string, a single pulse is generated. The traveling pulse carries: A. mass B. energy C. momentum D. ...
1
vote
10answers
838 views

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 ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Why is there no relation between kinetic energy and momentum in collision of two bodies? [duplicate]

The statement that baffles me: During most of the collisions, part of the kinetic energy evolve as heat, nevertheless momentum is still conserved. Ok, the statement may be true. But what ...
1
vote
3answers
224 views

Why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E = pc$?

See, the energy of a photon is given out by $E = pc = hv$ why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E ^2= p^2 c^2 + m^2 c^4$ by putting $p = \gamma mv$ and then get a value for $m$ (which will be $0$ for a ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Can momentum be conserved in a perfectly elastic collision?

I am taking for granted that when we say that something is conserved it is understood 'in its full integrity'. Energy is represented by a scalar J, and is conserved in elastic collision. momentum ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
899 views

Why is scattering vector $\vec{q}$ called vector of 'momentum transfer'?

In the world of scattering the angle at which you detect the scattered radiation is known as $q$, where $$ \vec{q} = \frac{4\pi\eta}{\lambda}\sin(\theta/2) $$ I read in a lot of books that this is ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

A spinning bullet

I know the rifling in a gun or rifle puts a spin on the bullet along the axis of trajectory. Now I don’t understand exactly what does it make the trajectory more stable and the travel grater?
1
vote
4answers
227 views

Why is the momentum of a particle $\gamma mv$?

I am very new to relativity, and as I was going through Resnick & Halliday, I saw that momentum was no longer $mv$, rather $\gamma mv$. This was the proof: $$p = mv = m \frac{\delta x}{\delta ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

When is momentum not conserved?

What are some common examples where momentum is not conserved? This question arose in my mind when I read that a ball dropped from a height penetrates into a bed of sand and that momentum is ...
1
vote
2answers
489 views

Momentum, Impulse and Newton's Second Law of Motion

Newton formulated his Second Law as such: $$\sum{\vec{F}} = \frac{\delta \vec{p}}{\delta t}$$ and of course, $\vec{p} = m \vec{v}$. Why is it that if the net force $\sum \vec{F}$ is constant (which ...
1
vote
5answers
134 views

Why isn't momentum conserved in this pulley problem?

I have some conceptual doubt about method of solving this problem. 24. A block of mass $m$ and a pan of equal mass are connected by a string going over a smooth light pulley as shown in figure ...
1
vote
2answers
276 views

Photons have no mass. So, why does $E = pc$ hold? [duplicate]

It's a somewhat theoretical question. In special relativity, The energy of a photon is given by $E = pc$. But, my argument is that, since photons have no mass, how can they have a momentum $p$? The ...
1
vote
2answers
262 views

Directionality of angular momentum

I was told that the sum of linear and angular momentum is conserved. Given that angular momentum's direction as a vector is completely arbitrary (I believe there is no physical reason for choosing ...
1
vote
2answers
166 views

What does the force mean in $dp/dt$ form?

One was to write Newton's laws is: $$F=\frac{dp}{dt}.$$ I don't understand what is the force there. I believe that $F$ is the net external force on the system. So supposedly I have a mass which is ...
1
vote
4answers
112 views

Question about dot product of four vectors?

I am looking back over some old notes and see that I have written $\bar{p}=\left(\overset{E}{\vec p}\right)$ and $\bar{x}=\left(\overset{t}{\vec x}\right)$ (using Plank units) And then $\bar{p} ...
1
vote
3answers
232 views

Is linear momentum conserved in an isolated system always?

Consider a isolated system of particles. If no external force acts on this system, the momentum of the system should remain constant. If the isolated system of particles represents living ...
1
vote
2answers
277 views

Question relating to energy transfer in between two particles

How would I go about calculating the maximum kinetic energy transferred from one particle when it forms an elastic collision with another particle. For example, if I had two billiards one with mass m ...
1
vote
2answers
179 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
3k 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
2answers
3k views

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 ...