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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“Rocket in a box” thought experiment

Here's a thought experiment that I came up with a while ago. It might be hard to visualize, so I'll describe it as best I can. Take a rocket in a vacuum, in outer space. Attach a large "box" to the ...
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104 views

Integral ambiguity

I'm a bit confused with some notation I encounter in physics calculus. Consider this: Taken from here. Integration operates on functions, correct? What does it mean to integrate $\frac{d{\bf ...
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57 views

$\dot \omega $ when momentum is conserved

If momentum is conserved when there is no externel force, why is there an acceleration when a momentum parameter is changed (inertia)? How does it accelerate with no external force? For example ...
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83 views

Simple expression for transitional pressure force

Consider a simple, circular orifice with an upstream, high gas pressure and downstream, normal atmospheric pressure. Consider also a flat circular plate that can be positioned anywhere along the ...
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106 views

Conservation of energy and momentum via the continuity equation in asymmetric time and space translation

I am confused about energy and momentum conservation, time and space translation symmetry, and the continuity equation. Suppose we have a mass $m$ in inertial space far from any gravitational ...
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61 views

What factors indicates inelastic collision?

I am watching this example from Wikipedia: I am wondering what factors would indicate that the collision of 2 objects will be inelastic (I know macroscopic scale impacts are never perfectly ...
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104 views

Inner product of position and momentum eigenkets

Let's define $\hat{q},\ \hat{p}$ the positon and momentum quantum operators, $\hat{a}$ the annihilation operator and $\hat{a}_1,\ \hat{a}_2$ with its real and imaginary part, such that $$ \hat{a} = ...
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58 views

Momentum of Light Question [duplicate]

Since light beams carry momentum, why would a person holding a flashlight not feel a recoil similar to that of a rifle being fired?
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1answer
92 views

Why won't this reactionless drive idea work (motor with a moving weight in space)

I know people will say it violates many laws of motion and conservation but could anyone explain why it is so? It's NOT a question about free energy. Imagine a motor in space. It has an arm (rod) ...
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229 views

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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181 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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484 views

How do I show the fractional change in Kinetic Energy in a completely inelastic collision?

Given the formula $$\frac{{\Delta}(KE)}{KE_i}=\frac{(KE_f-KE_i)}{KE_i}=\frac{-M}{(m+M)}$$ Now I know these that the conservation of momentum is always applicable. Also I understand that ...
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2answers
49 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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127 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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2answers
129 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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1answer
121 views

Confused about elasticity and collisions

I was solving the following problem and the explanation to it confused me. There are two objects with mass $m$ and $M$, respectively. The object with mass $m$ has a velocity of $\sqrt{2gl}$ and ...
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3answers
263 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 ?
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3k 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 ...
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419 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 ...
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1answer
157 views

4-momentum and an $y$ component of momentum

I have 2 coordinate systems which move along $x,x'$ axis. I have derived a Lorentz transformation for an $x$ component of momentum, which is one part of an 4-momentum vector $p_\mu$. This is my ...
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154 views

Spring coupled platforms & conservation of momentum - can it be solved with freshman physics?

This question came up as an exercise in a first year undergraduate course I was a TA for. It turned out to be a lot more difficult (impossible?) than anticipated... Two platforms of mass $M_1$ and ...
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271 views

Controlling the outcome of a quantum measurement through translational entanglement

According to the paper: A. S. Parkins and H. J. Kimble, Phys. Rev. A 61, 52104 (2000). http://pra.aps.org/abstract/PRA/v61/i5/e052104 You can entangle position and momenta of two atoms by using ...
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3k views

Spring compression and Momentum

I am asked to rate a series of elastic collisions in order of greatest time of max compression to least time of max compression for several vehicles with varying masses and velocities, which strike a ...
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294 views

How to determine n equidistant vectors from point P in three dimensions

As an assignment for uni I need to figure out an algorithm that explodes a particle of mass $m$, velocity $v$, into $n$ pieces. For the first part of the assignment, the particle has mass $m$, ...
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160 views

How to explain relativistic mass with 2 moving systems, but not 3?

All the visual explanations I know work in some kind of "If you are moving relative to something A, while inside A something is moving, the stuff in A has to move slower due time dilation and ...
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127 views

Where can I find the equations for “quasi” elastic collisions?

Yes, you all talk about neutrinos and spins, but I came out with this basic s**t :D All of us learnt the basic equations of collisions, elastic (everything bounces and energy remains the same), or ...
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90 views

Case of the mysterious bullets (taken from Mad About Physics)

"Two ideal bullets, identical in shape, size and mass, strike the same target with the same speed just before the collision. Force meters at the target register two times the force value for bullet A ...
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Isolated and non-isolated systems: Momentum?

I'm having a difficult time understanding why two billiard balls colliding is an isolated system, yet a car crashing into a wall is a non-isolated system. Does it really only have to deal with the ...
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68 views

Change of kinetic energy in a two particle collision

A problem I am working on proceeds as follows: A billiard ball of mass $M$ is initially at rest on a horizontal frictionless table. Another ball of mass $m < M$ and velocity $\mathbf{v}$ in ...
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41 views

Four-momentum, four-velocity, energy

If given the four-momentum of any particle monitored by an observer as: p = $p^\hat{α}e_\hat{α}$ using unit vectors in observer’s reference frame and u = $e_\hat{0}$ then I get I'm just ...
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32 views

Momentum of electron problem [duplicate]

Recently, my friend bemused me with a question related to the momentum of an electron. The confusing logic is stated below: Since an electron is a particle and according to classical physics, we know ...
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26 views

The relation between angle of impact and scattering angle. The general formula [closed]

When two balls A and B collide (elastically) in 2-D and B is at rest, if their masses are equal ($m_a = m_b$), knowing the angle of impact $\gamma$ (for example 60°), we know that the scattering angle ...
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87 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 ...
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58 views

Poynting Vector Volume Integral Inside a Cavity

Given an electromagnetic wave in resonance mode in a vacuum cavity inside a perfect conductor, on the boundary, the parallel component of $E$ field vanishes, and the perpendicular of component of $B$ ...
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156 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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96 views

Add weight in front or behind the moving wheel?

Consider a wheel with bearing and axle bar rolling on level ground. If I want to help the wheel continue moving longer(or faster speed), should I add weight by moving the rider body in front or ...
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41 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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34 views

Calculating a spacecraft's deflection angle [closed]

There is a spacecraft with mass $M_1$ moving in a certain trajectory with a constant speed $V_r$. To modify its trajectory, a engine is turned on and starts ejecting gas at a speed $V_g$, which is ...
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51 views

calculating electrodynamic momentum of a dumbbell (consisting of two point charges) in longitudinal motion

I'm working through a paper on momentum in electrodynamics that requires the integration below and would greatly appreciate any help. I'm pretty sure it evaluates to $2/d$ but I can't quite figure ...
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87 views

Particle In a Box and momentum, velocity

So on a homework assignment, we are give the width of a well, $a$, and the mass of the particle $m$ and we want to find the average velocity of the particle at the n=1 state. So here is my attempt at ...
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1answer
65 views

Colliding particles at speeds aproaching c [closed]

(In natural units where $\hbar=c=1$.) Two particles are to be collided. Each of these particles has a rest mass of 0.9 GeV and they will be collided at equal but opposite speeds. What is the minimum ...
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22 views

Calculating rate of change of momentum for a package [closed]

A helicopter is flying to the right (in the $+x$ direction) with a constant speed $v$, carrying a package of mass $M$ suspended below it using a cable as shown in the figure. (You can assume that $H$ ...
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66 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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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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78 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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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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149 views

Energy conversion and momentum conservation law

Bullet ($m=0.02\ kg\ ;v_1=400 \ m/s$ ) hits pendulum ball ($M=3.98\ kg$) and system with stacket bullet and ball bends to one side. Need to find max. delta height ($h$) (position change in vertical ...
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130 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 ...
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410 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 ...
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204 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, ...