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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Collsion in 2D, find angle and final momentum

Suppose that the collision is completely inelastic. Disregard friction as the surface is smooth. Suppose that one is in the direction of $(1,0)$ and the other $(0,1)$. Is the final momentum the ...
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1answer
113 views

Greater momentum than initial?

The question is : Heavier object A, initially at rest, is struck by lighter object B. Is it possible for object A to have a larger final momentum than the initial momentum of object B? The ...
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1answer
339 views

difference between magnetic dipole moment and torque on a magnetic dipole?

I am a bit confused. What is the difference between magnetic dipole moment and torque on a magnetic dipole ?
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154 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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3answers
233 views

Solar sail, estimate force

I'm trying to get an estimative for how much force is applied on a solar sail by solar radiation. So the first question is elastic or inelastic collision? Elastic colision provides a change in ...
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0answers
107 views

Why Does Moving a Cup of Coffee Up and Down whilst carrying it Make it less Likely to Spill?

Sometimes I have a Very Full Mug of Coffee and I am trying to carry it without it spilling. I noticed that if I moved the Mug up and down when carrying it, it seemed to settle the coffee and make it ...
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1answer
96 views

The proof of a discrete Fourier identity in quantum field theory

On page 25, in the book Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur by Tom Lancaster and Stephen. J Blundell, it states the following: We impose periodic boundary conditions forcing ...
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1answer
53 views

momentum and Kinetic Energy [closed]

Make some general statements about momentum and kinetic energy conservation. So, I is this correct? Two objects of varying mass have the same momentum. The least massive of the two objects will have ...
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1answer
200 views

Optimization of Bottle Rocket Water Level

My (entry-level) physics class is building bottle rockets, and we are competing to build the longest-flying bottle rocket. The rockets are filled partway (we get to decide how much to fill them) with ...
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2answers
646 views

Momentum and spacetime

My apologies up-front for the naive question and my rudimentary understanding, but I should be delighted if someone would enlighten me :) The question has to do with the application of the ...
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1answer
78 views

When can I swap around the order of operators?

I was doing this question: Using $\left< x \middle| p\right> = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi \hbar}}e^{ipx/\hbar}$ show that: $$ \left<x \middle| \hat{p} \middle| \psi \right> = -i\hbar ...
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2answers
139 views

Mathematical Proof of Force

I remembered reading an paper a while ago which tried to prove whether force actually exists, or if it a man made construct to aid our understanding of the world. However, I can't seem to find the ...
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0answers
31 views

What does it mean to perturb the electromagnetic energy with respect to a change in a Lorentz frame?

I am perturbing the energy of an electromagnetic field using \begin{align} \dfrac{\partial U}{\partial \zeta} = \dfrac{1}{\mu} \boldsymbol{H}\cdot \dfrac{\partial \boldsymbol{H}}{\partial \zeta} + ...
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1answer
48 views

Collision and momentum conservation principle

Consider the following problem: A ball is dropped with an angle a between its direction and the normal of the floor and bounces up with an angle b between its direction and the normal of the floor. ...
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1answer
253 views

After a glancing collision, why do air hockey pucks spins around in circle?

For a lab testing the conservation of momentum, I had to hit an air hockey puck so that it would hit another stationary puck in a glancing collision. After the pucks collided, they travel their ...
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1answer
67 views

Where would be the source of thrust for a rocket thruster in space?

I am making a game that involves spaceships and I was building an engine block. That engine block spawns a "thruster fire" under it that represents the...thruster fire. My question revolves around ...
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3answers
374 views

Why does it hurt more to fall from 10 stories, than 1?

$F=ma$. Falling from any distance, mass stays the same, and acceleration due to gravity stays the same. So, why does it hurt more, the longer you fall?
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0answers
89 views

How to calculate linear momentum in this elastic collision? [closed]

A small mass m = 5.0 kg approaches from the left with velocity v and a greater mass M = 40.0 kg approaches from the right with the same velocity. If the collision is elastic and the value of v is v = ...
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2answers
61 views

Inelastic Collision and Energy

How is is possible for momentum to be conserved and for KE to not be conserved? Momentum is related to velocity and velocity is related to KE, therefore if KE was lost, how can the system have the ...
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1answer
130 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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1answer
162 views

Question on Projectiles and momentum conservation [closed]

Firstly I apologize for bringing forth a high-school physics problem here, as some of you'll find this problem highly childish. But there are certain things i need to clarify about this. Q: An ...
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1answer
74 views

Why two colliding bodies exert varying forces on each other during the course of their collison?

Suppose a bat hits a ball .What is the explanation of why the force is not constant during the course of the collison. At certain instants both ball and bat exert varying degrees of force on each ...
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0answers
134 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 ...
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0answers
40 views

Does the force of releasing the latch of a spring-latch contraption affects the force generated by the spring?

There is this contraption in my class, where a rod is attached to a latch and a spring. By pulling the latch back behind a piece of metal, the latch is secured, the rod if pulled back and the spring ...
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3answers
12k views

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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1answer
228 views

Newton's Third law of motion: A hammer hits a wall vs. hits a tire

When we hit the wall by a hammer, Newton’s third law says that hammer applies force on the wall (action) and wall applies force on hammer (reaction) equal in magnitude but opposite in direction ok ...
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0answers
62 views

Does conservation of moment hold in space expansion?

I recently watched a video describing that the expansion of space is a "stretch". Everywhere in the universe expanding together. My question is, does conservation of momentum hold true in this ...
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1answer
66 views

Newton's law for rigid bodies

Is newton's third law valid for rigid bodies? Say, if we have a bullet hit on a rod which is vertically placed on a rough floor. Friction is just sufficient sp that the rod rotates and does not ...
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1answer
109 views

Is angular momentum the conjugate momentum of an angle?

Lagrangian mechanics can be used to describe the double pendulum (see here, for example). In this development are the conjugate momenta $p_{\theta_i}$ exactly the angular momenta $m_i l_i \frac{d ...
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1answer
135 views

Massless particle that have momentum not equal to 0

I saw some problems in special relativity that use conservation of total energy and momentum and the conclusions are spectacular. My problem is the following: how can a massless particle like neutrino ...
2
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1answer
166 views

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

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 ...
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2answers
104 views

How to explain the momentum exchange of two solid particles collision at molecular scale?

Here is my question: assume two solid sphere collided to each other in vacuum, at macroscopic, it can be explain by Newton's law. But at molecular scale, does the surface atoms touch to each other or ...
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1answer
252 views

Why is the position space free particle wavefunction a function of momentum?

This is one of those little things that has always confused me. If someone said to you "in quantum mechanics, the eigenfunctions of a free particle are $\exp(ipx/\hbar)$" how would you know that ...
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4answers
559 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
74 views

How would a plane hitting a ball move (opposite of Pong)?

When a moving ball hits a stationary plane at an angle of incidence to the normal, it bounces away at the same angle (the angle of reflection), which is commonly understood. My question is 1) What ...
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0answers
71 views

Conservation of momentum in field theory

By studying electrodynamics a while now, I came to this question on the conservation of momentum. In Newtonian mechanics the Third Law allows us to prove the conservation of momentum, with the ...
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2answers
232 views

Why do particles of equal mass (with one at rest) undergoing elastic collisions scatter at only right angles?

This is from the Section 9.6, page 351 of "Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems" by Thornton and Marion. By setting a up a system where mass 1 has initial momentum $m_1 u_1$ and mass 2 is at ...
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1answer
113 views

Relativistic Momentum in One Frame

(I) What is the momentum of a proton traveling at v = 0.75c? This problem requires a simple substitution. Using the equation $\ p_{rel} = m*u * (1/\sqrt(1 - v^2/c^2))$, where $v$ is the speed of a ...
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9answers
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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
585 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. ...
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1answer
169 views

Path integral in quantum mechanics

I am confused by the derivation in Srednicki QFT's chapter 6 from (6.8) to (6.9). In (6.8), we have $$<q'',t''|q',t'>~=~\int DqDp \exp[i\int_{t'}^{t''}dt(p\dot{q}-H(p,q))],\tag{6.8}$$ and ...
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1answer
298 views

Collisions between an object and a wall

Is momentum conserved when an object bounces back against a wall? The wall doesn’t move, but the object moves in the opposite direction. Assume this is an ideal, elastic collision. If, initially, the ...
5
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1answer
431 views

Why can't Compton scattering happen in leading order of perturbation theory?

Why is the matrix element of Compton scattering in leading order of perturbation theory equal to zero? Why can this process only be described in second order of perturbation theory, i.e. with exchange ...
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2answers
158 views

$p^4$ in radial coordinates not Hermitian

Griffiths' quantum textbook claims in question 6.15 that "$p^2$ is Hermitian, but $p^4$ is not, for hydrogen states with $l=0$." First off, I am puzzled at his use of terminology. An operator is ...
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3answers
285 views

Confusion regarding rotational motion!

Let us assume I have a rod of some mass m, moment of inertia I, length l and center C. If I apply a force F on C for a duration of time t, it will accelerate forward. If I apply it elsewhere, the ...
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3answers
146 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 ...
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3answers
77 views

Moving objects using light

Photon do not have mass but they have momentum, can we use laser to pick up golf ball and hurl it several yards away without burning it into crisp?
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Is it possible to shoot bullets in space or would the recoil of the gun be too strong?

I've read a few articles that say that astronauts have already brought guns in space and that shooting bullets in space is possible. But won't the recoil of the gun be too strong? Law of ...
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1answer
42 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?