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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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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225 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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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 $$P_{\text{photon}}...
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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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414 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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76 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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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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857 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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106 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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377 views

Particle In a box, momentum, and velocity

On a homework assignment, we are give the width of a well $a$, the mass of the particle $m$, and we want to find the average velocity of the particle at the $n=1$ state. Here is my attempt at the ...
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526 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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105 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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1k 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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1k 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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797 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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666 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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337 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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247 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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242 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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66 views

Three connected balls

I'm stuck solving this problem with three small balls of masses $m$, $2 m$ and $3 m$ on a smooth table, connected by two equal, light inextensible strings as shown, and initially at the vertices of an ...
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53 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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169 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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The norm of the vector sum of two 4-momentum vectors before and after pair production

Two photons traveling along the x-axis (in a lab frame of reference) of different frequencies are about to collide. Their 4-momentum vectors are (h$\nu_1$/c , h$\nu_1$/c , 0, 0) and (h$\nu_2$/c , -h$\...
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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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143 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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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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184 views

Problem on electromagnetic induction and Newtonian physics

Please imagine a solenoidal toroid (i.e. a donut shaped inductor) powered by an AC voltage source. It creates a changing magnetic field which is confined to the interior of the toroid (i.e. within the ...
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149 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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229 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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112 views

Calculating speed of spheres in an asymmetric Newton's cradle?

If we assume there is an asymmetric Newton's cradle with 3 spheres of different masses and the first one is initialized with some certain speed can we calculate the outcome speed of the all the three ...
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197 views

What would happen if Newton's Cradle was made of other geometrical objects rather than spheres?

What would happen if Newton's Cradle was made of other geometrical objects rather than spheres? For example, what would happen if it was made of cubes and the contact area was larger?
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365 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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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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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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89 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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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570 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 ...
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1answer
667 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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774 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 climbing ...
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424 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 ...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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624 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...