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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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 ...
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4answers
811 views

Is the momentum operator well-defined in the basis of standing waves?

Suppose I want to describe an arbitrary state of a quantum particle in a box of side $L$. The relevant eigenmodes are those of standing waves, namely $$ \left<x|n\right>=\sqrt{\frac{2}{L}}\cdot ...
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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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Momentum-Representations in Quantum Mechanics

Why do we get information about position and momentum when we go to different representations. Why is momentum, which was related to time derivative of position in classical physics, now in QM just a ...
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2k views

Momentum as Generator of Translations

I understand from some studies in mathematics, that the generator of translations is given by the operator $\frac{d}{dx}$. Similarly, I know from quantum mechanics that the momentum operator is ...
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1answer
146 views

Integration of constant: $\int dp = \Delta p$ in impulse formula

In University Physics, it has something like: $$\int \sum F dt = \int \frac{dp}{dt} dt = \int dp = \underbrace{p_2 - p_1}_{\Delta p?}$$ But I thought $\int dp = p$? Though my maths is really rusty ...
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38 views

Elastic Collision Between Two Objects [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Elastic Collision And Momentum I've already asked this question, Elastic Collision And Momentum, but I didn't find the answer particularly helpful--sorry, I don't mean ...
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872 views

Photon energy - momentum in matter

$E = h\nu$ and $P = h\nu/c$ in vacuum. If a photon enters water, it's frequency $\nu$ doesn't change. What are its energy and momentum : $h\nu$ ? and $h\nu/c$ ? Since part of it's energy and momentum ...
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1answer
199 views

Analysis of the impulse of 2 colliding carts under the effect of magnetic repulsion

Hi there! I have a question about an experiment that was conducted. It is related to momentum. 2 carts were put on a track on opposite sides. They were then propelled towards one another at ...
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81 views

Physics Impulse

This is the problem I am dealing with: "One of the functions of an automotive air bag is that it lengthens the collision time. Without an air bag, suppose the 100Ns impulse of a collision is taken up ...
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1answer
245 views

Momentum And A Car Collision

I am studying an example problem, concerning the very topic mentioned in the title. In this example problem, a car has a head-on collision with the wall; the initial and final velocity are known, as ...
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1answer
101 views

A Decrease In Momentum?

The specifics of a question I am working on are, "After a 0.280-kg rubber ball is dropped from a height of 1.80 m, it bounces off a concrete floor and rebounds to a height of 1.45 m." Why doesn't the ...
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1answer
515 views

Momentum And Energy Problem

The information to the question is, "A $59.0~kg$ boy and his $38.0~kg$ sister, both wearing roller blades, face each other at rest. The girl pushes the boy hard, sending him backward with a velocity ...
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1answer
939 views

Relative Velocity and Momentum

The question is, "A $45.5~kg$ girl is standing on a $140~kg$ plank. Both originally at rest on a frozen lake that constitutes a friction-less, flat surface. The girl begins to walk along the plank at ...
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4answers
2k views

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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1answer
718 views

What is the linear momentum of an inelastic and elastic collision?

The arrows in the figure represent the linear momentum of two balls before they collide. If the collision is perfectly inelastic, find the linear momentum after the collision. If the collision is ...
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1answer
213 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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1answer
125 views

Non-relativistic Kepler orbits

Consider the Newtonian gravitational potential at a distance of Sun: $$\varphi \left ( r \right )~=~-\frac{GM}{r}.$$ I write the classical Lagrangian in spherical coordinates for a planet with mass ...
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1answer
3k views

Violation of Newton's 3rd law and momentum conservation

Why and when does newtons 3rd law violate in relativistic mechanics? Check this link http://www.animations.physics.unsw.edu.au/jw/Newton.htm.
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258 views

Conservation of Linear Momentum with respect to a given direction

Is linear momentum conserved in any direction? More specifically, if you project all momentum vectors in a system onto another vector, will momentum be conserved? I know that momentum is conserved ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
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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1answer
471 views

Intuition of Impulse Formula $J = \sum F \Delta t$

I understand that $$\begin{align} J = \sum F \Delta t &= \Delta p \\ \sum F &= \frac{\Delta p}{\Delta t} \\ &= \frac{mv_2 - mv_1}{\Delta t} \\ &= m \cdot \frac{\Delta v}{\Delta t} \\ ...
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3answers
878 views

Same momentum, different mass

The question is: if A bowling ball and ping pong ball are moving at same momentum and you exert same force to stop each one which will take a longer time? or some? which will have a longer ...
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532 views

Center of mass of a car

This might be little of the track but my question is more on possibility of application of principle of center of mass. The probability of a vehicle overturning depends more on the level of center of ...
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3answers
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Newton's 3rd Law: How can I break things?

If I punch a wooden board hard enough and it breaks in two, has the board still exerted a force of equal magnitude on my fist? When the board breaks in two due to my force, the halves have a ...
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1answer
161 views

Would synchronized dancing be a good way to describe entangled atoms to a laymen?

I was talking my professor about entanglement swapping between light and matter and it is briefly described here: You start out with a crystal capable of doing parametric down conversion of incoming ...
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3answers
511 views

Conservation of Energy in Different Frames of Reference

Say I have a bucket of fuel that can produce 150J of energy by combustion. No matter what frame of reference an observer or the bucket of fuel is in, since the configuration of molecules stay the ...
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1answer
276 views

Total momentum of the Universe

What is the total momentum of the whole Universe in reference to the point in space where the Big Bang took place? According to my reasoning (and a bit elementary knowledge) it should be exactly ...
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3answers
453 views

Explanation for classic mechanics puzzle

I'm trying to figure out a nice way to describe to a kid the physics behind these experiments: Assuming ideal conditions, we have a small boat with a sale, close to a lake's shore and a fan fixed on ...
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4answers
946 views

Energy is actually the momentum in the direction of time?

By comparatively examining the operators a student concludes that `Energy is actually the momentum in the direction of time.' Is this student right? Could he be wrong?
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2answers
212 views

Having Trouble With The Principle Of Conservation Of Momentum For a Multiparticle System

I'am reading John Taylor's Classical Mechanics chapter 1 page 20 where he proves the principle of conservation of momentum which states "If the net external force $F^{ext}$ on an $N$-particle system ...
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2answers
393 views

Derivative of a Position Eigenket

I was flicking through Zettili's book on quantum mechanics and came across a 'derivation' of the momentum operator in the position representation on page 126. The author derived that ...
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1answer
226 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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485 views

Momentum in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics, we can have some superposition of matter waves that have different wavelengths. If then, can't momentum of a particle change every time measurement takes place? Or should I ...
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1answer
292 views

Can a fly pierce itself onto a cactus needle?

Somebody on reddit posted a ridiculous picture today of a fly pierced onto a needle of a cactus: http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/xarue/what_are_the_odds_of_this_accident/ Whilst the OP claims ...
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3answers
232 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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63 views

Can you launch an item farther by slamming into it or accelerating it along a length

I am trying to desgin a little penny balista toy (built with a 3d printer). The short description is that there is a track with a mass ("hammer") that slides along it. There is a stack of pennies in ...
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2answers
129 views

Really basic mechanics and Galilean Relativity question

Consider two solid objects: A and B. System 1: A <----- B 10m/s System 2: A -----> B 10m/s ...
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0answers
568 views

Error Analysis, Change in momentum, Kinetic Energy

If momentum of an object is increased by 10%,then its kinetic energy will be increased by? Well, I don't need the solution logically by calculating the change in Kinetic Energy etc, but my question ...
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3answers
931 views

Why do we need the quantity momentum?

Why do we need the quantity Momentum in physics when we have the quantities like Force and Energy? Isn't it possible to substitute the usage of Momentum with equivalent of Force and Energy?
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Will a stone thrown in space move forever?

If I throw a stone on space, in a place where gravity is equal zero, will the stone move forward forever, because no air, so no friction?
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3answers
1k views

what is physical meaning of this partial derivative?

what is physical meaning of this partial derivative: $$\frac {\partial p_x}{\partial x}$$ i know how do i solve it when the case is just derivative but partial derivative is a bit Hectic!.
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1answer
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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2answers
627 views

Conservation of momentum equation, how do I factor out v0Final and v1Final?

I am trying to figure out an equation for conservation of momentum. So, If combined momentum before and after the collision is the same, and momentum is velocity times mass, then for 2 objects (A,B), ...
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2answers
426 views

Would a sneeze by a cosmonaut in a spacesuit affect his movement?

Naive question; feel free to shoot me down It is a truism that any motion in space would continue indefinitely unless it is opposed by an external force. If a cosmonaut were to sneeze within his/her ...
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1answer
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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1answer
238 views

Momentum question?

The problem: In a car crash, a passenger with a mass of 82kg is not wearing a seatbelt. The car is travelling at 45km per hour. What impulse must the car's airbag provide in order to stop the ...
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691 views

Question on Impulse-Momentum theory

A 5kg stone kicked by a student undergoes a velocity change from 6m/s to 10m/s in 4 seconds; ---- What is the momentum change of the stone within the time interval? ---- What impulse ...
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1answer
135 views

Could a people do all sort of gymnastics movement in vacuum space? [closed]

Could a people do all sort of gymnastics movement in vacuum space? I asked this because I am worry about that the astronaut leave the space shuttle during emergency could not go back to earth by ...