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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An Electron Chasing Another

An electron is held in place in deep space. Another electron approaches with speed $v_0$. When the approaching electron is a distance $r_0$ away from the first electron, the first is set free. The ...
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124 views

How did physicists arrive at conclusion that the product of mass and velocity is equal to momentum?

How did physicists arrive at conclusion that the product of mass and velocity is equal to momentum? What is the intuition behind $p=mv$? I had trouble finding any sources that state the actually ...
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3answers
84 views

Why can you turn on your bike without adding energy and still be moving?

There's a physical effect that I can't seem to figure out. When you are biking (on a bicycle), you have some speed. Then let's say you stop petaling and make a 90º turn to the right. You slow down, ...
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1answer
74 views

Rocket velocity during fuel burn [closed]

I know the formula for the velocity of a rocket after the on board fuel has been used up: $$ \Delta v = v_{ex} \ln\left( \frac{m_i}{m_e} \right) - gt $$ where: $v_{ex}$ is the exhaust velocity ...
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2answers
352 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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457 views

Does conservation of momentum mean a gyroscopic inertial thruster cannot work?

There is a device called the gyroscopic inertial thruster. Here is a Wikipedia article on it. I believe that this device cannot possibly work and that conservation of momentum proves that it cannot ...
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0answers
62 views

How to solve this energy problem using trends related to impulse and momentum? [closed]

The question runs a 1kg block moves with a speed of 10 m/s. It strikes a spring that has a spring constant of 25 N/m. Determine the maximum compression of spring. The energy way of solving ...
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1answer
64 views

How is the kinetic energy of an object in collision converted to work done in deforming itself?

Usually, in a perfectly inelastic collision, maximum amount of KE is lost. I guess it depends on the rigidity of that object collision if any KE at all will be converted to work done to deform. ...
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2answers
545 views

How does a rocket's exhaust gas' momentum propel a rocket?

During the launch of a rocket into space, the exhaust gases from the engine possess momentum. Outline, with the help of an equation, how this causes the rocket to be propelled upwards. Can ...
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4answers
15k views

Conservation of momentum but not kinetic energy in inelastic collisions

In inelastic collisions, the kinetic energy of the system is not conserved but the momentum is. Kinetic energy is: $0.5 \times \text{mass} \times \text{velocity}^2$. Momentum is: ...
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1answer
62 views

How is the final velocity in 2 body collision distributed between the 2 bodies?

Suppose 2 sphere of mass 1Kg move with velocity 5m/s and 10m/s in same direction. Let us call the ball moving with 5m/s blue and other one red with blue ahead of red from origin. Initial KE of Blue = ...
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10answers
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How to explain independence of momentum and energy conservation in elementary terms?

I'm trying to explain to someone learning elementary physics (16 year old) that linear momentum and energy are conserved independently. I'm not a professional physicist and haven't tried to explain ...
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4answers
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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2answers
641 views

Why are force, momentum, and kinetic energy derivatives of each other [closed]

Force $ma$ is the rate of change of momentum, or the derivative of momentum with respect to time $$\frac{d}{dt} mv = ma = F$$. Kinetic energy is the integral of momentum with respect to velocity: ...
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3answers
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In general, why do smaller guns have more felt recoil?

Why is recoil easier to control on a more massive gun compared to a smaller gun with the same bullet. Presumably the bullet leaves both guns with the same momentum, but the larger gun seems easier to ...
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4answers
237 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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1answer
60 views

When will a ball running between two downwards slopes stop going back and forth?

Two angles $a$ and $b$ meet at a point, making an angle $c$ between them. $a$ and $b$ are all $0 < \theta < π/2$. $c$ is $π/2 < \theta < π$ $a$ is to the left and opens to the left, $b$ ...
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2answers
117 views

Where does the equation $p=\frac{1}{c}\sqrt{T^2 +2mTc^2}$ come from?

Where does the relativistic formula $$p~=~\frac{1}{c}\sqrt{T^2 +2mTc^2}$$ come from? What is the derivation from Einstein's formula? $T$ is the kinetic energy $m$ is the mass $p$ is the momentum.
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1answer
310 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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9answers
12k views

Can we theoretically balance a perfectly symmetrical pencil on its one-atom tip?

I was asked by an undergrad student about this question. I think if we were to take away air molecules around the pencil and cool it to absolute zero, that pencil would theoretically balance. Am I ...
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3answers
212 views

Force to deflect ball colliding with wall

Suppose I have a ball with a certain coefficient of restitution. The wall can be considered indeformable and with infinite mass. Everything's in 3 dimensions, and the ball can hit the wall at any ...
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1answer
50 views

What does the second solution in an elastic collision represent?

A ball of mass 2 collides with a stationary ball of mass 1 elastically! In finding the velocities i end up with two solutions and am not sure how to understand the second solution Simplified ...
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2answers
152 views

Why does linear momentum change in this problem?

I found this problem in a Irodov's book. It's asked to find the momentum increment of the bullet-rod system. I wonder why the system momentum changes. They argue this: The bullet-rod system is ...
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5answers
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Relativistic momentum

I have been trying to derive why relativistic momentum is defined as $p=\gamma mv$. I set up a collision between 2 same balls ($m_1 = m_2 = m$). Before the collision these two balls travel one ...
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Inertia Vs Momentum

At my recent lesson on kinematics, my teacher taught about inertia and momentum. This is what she said. Inertia: a characteristic of an object that resists changes to its state of motion. Momentum: ...
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84 views

Shooting a bullet in space [closed]

Imagine I was in space holding a gun and I shot a bullet from it. Do I go back? Or does the bullet move forward? Or both of us go in the same speed at different directions? Or what? Please Explain. ...
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63 views

Force vs. Momentum [closed]

Obviously, if no external non-preservative force acts upon an object, if we apply a force to the object than the object will continue to hold that force within them. My question is, the object would ...
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3answers
114 views

What is the algebraic form of the momentum eigenstate?

I'm asking this in the context of trying to verify the equation $a^{\dagger}_{p} \vert 0 \rangle = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega_p}} \vert p \rangle$. So far I have calculated $\vert 0 \rangle = ...
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2answers
586 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 ...
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Do neutrinos refract?

The most benign of interactions is refraction. While neutrinos rarely interact with matter in a sense like the photoelectric effect, does that mean that they don't refract either?
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71 views

Momentum distribution function for a particle in a 1D box

In these notes on statistical thermodynamics (pp. 62), I encountered this [topic: particle in a 1D box]: We shall adopt the initial condition that the probability distribution function has the ...
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0answers
61 views

Does a graviton impart negative momentum?

Picture a massive system on an axis. If a graviton is generated and emitted by a system in the positive direction, will that system also be accelerated in the positive direction? Another system ...
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1answer
171 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 ...
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270 views

Equations for a collision between two particles

Say I have two particles on a 2D plane, they have a x and y coordinate, a x and y velocity, a mass, a coefficient of restitution and a coefficient of friction. What formulae would I need to determine ...
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68 views

Energy and momentum of a relativistic electron

The question is to find the magnitude, $p$ of the electron's momentum in the unit of MeV/$c$, given that the kinetic energy of the electron is 2.53 MeV. The answer provided by the book says, ...
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430 views

Velocity of Rocket Exhaust

i recently learned a bit of rocket propulsion.It wasn't much complex but was explained in simple terms.The only problem i had understanding it was that in calculating the thrust of rocket the velocity ...
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0answers
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Probability flux

I was reading a text on Quantum Mechanics in which it said that $$\int{d^3 x \, j(x,t)} = \frac{\langle p\rangle}{m},$$ where $\langle p\rangle$ is the expectation value of the momentum operator at ...
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34 views

Comparison of the effects of collisions from an NFL Nose Tackle and a Car with roughly the same momenta

If you get hit an NFL Defensive Tackle who runs at roughly 17mph (7.6m/s) it'd hurt a lot, but if you got hit by a normal car at 1.3mph (about 0.6m/s) it hardly hurts at all, and a collision from an ...
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82 views

Uncertainty principle

I am reading about uncertainity principle. My textbook says, if $λ$ is the wavelength of the radiation used to observe the particle then the position of the particle cannot be determined with ...
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4answers
382 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 ...
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2answers
61 views

Human max speed in open space

Suppose you are an astronaut forgotten in the middle of nowhere, between our solar system and proxima centauri's. Now, you are out of fuel. I heard that with some kind of movements, someone in free ...
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2answers
283 views

Linear momentum experiment

trying to design an experiment for linear momentum. Could someone tell me whether this would work. Get a wooden toy car and attach it to some string which is hung over a pulley on the end of the ...
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2answers
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block slides on smooth triangular wedge kept on smooth floor.Find velocity of wedge when block reaches bottom

Find the velocity of the triangular block when the small block reaches the bottom: Here is what I did: The final velocity(at the bottom)of the small block of mass m is $\sqrt{2gh}$ along the plane ...
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3answers
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How do the electric or magnetic fields contain momentum?

I have recently come to know that the electric and magnetic field contain both linear and angular momenta, which are known functions of the electric and magnetic fields at any given point in space and ...
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6answers
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What is canonical momentum?

What does the canonical momentum $\textbf{p}=m\textbf{v}+e\textbf{A}$ mean? Is it just momentum accounting for electromagnetic effects?
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1answer
72 views

As the magnetic field propagates does it have a momentum that can be felt by another magnetic field of the same charge?

If I have a solenoid and a permanent magnet, and I placed the magnet an inch away from the solenoid, oriented in a position where the magnet would be repelled as the solenoid is turned on. Is it a ...
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2answers
207 views

Electromagnetic field or direct interactions between charged particles?

Consider a small distribution of charged particles enclosed by an arbitrary volume $V$ with boundary $S$. It can be shown that the total mechanical momentum of the particles, $\mathbf{P_{mech}}$, ...
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Momentum which is transfered to the wall of container by a molecule

now I study thremodynamics course, and I cant understand why for ideal gas in equilibrium state when a molecule collides with the wall of container it transfers to it the momentum which is equals to ...
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Is the Einstein Energy-Momentum equation $E^2 = p^2c^2 + m_0^2c^4$ valid only for Free Particles?

Is the energy -momentum relation $$E^2 = p^2c^2 + m_0^2c^4$$ satisfied only by free particles or even bound particles? Does the Energy refer to total Energy(including potential) or only (kinetic ...
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3answers
145 views

How can I find the angular and linear velocity of a 2D body that breaks into two bodies?

Afternoon. This is my first question, so do let me know if I'm doing anything wrong. Looking for help on building a 2D physics game engine with bodies that split in half: I have a two dimensional ...