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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How to show that $\partial S/\partial q=p$ without variation of $S$?

I'm trying to get some understanding in treating action $S$ as a function of coordinates. Landau and Lifshitz consider $\delta S$, getting $\delta S=p\delta q$, thus concluding that $$\frac{\partial ...
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1answer
117 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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235 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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4answers
216 views

Since everything with mass exerts a gravity force on everything else, why do objects float in outer space?

For example, if you were to go out into deep space, and just slow down and stop your rocket. Everything inside the rocket that's not strapped in, starts floating. Why is that if every object has mass ...
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108 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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63 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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1answer
112 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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2answers
144 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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190 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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1answer
174 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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1answer
352 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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126 views

How would one compute the angle of deflection, in a relativistic collision - underspecified system?

Consider the simplistic case of two identical mass particles colliding elastically with the second particle initially stationary and the first particle travelling with energy $E$. By conservation of ...
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1answer
84 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
124 views

In the Dirac equation, do $\alpha$ and $p$ commute?

The Dirac Hamiltonian is given as $H = \vec \alpha·\vec pc + \beta mc^2$ , Do the alpha and beta operators commute with the momentum operator? If yes then how?
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1answer
280 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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1answer
1k 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
64 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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2answers
158 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
172 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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3answers
463 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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1answer
5k 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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1answer
1k views

Calculating a 2D collision between two perfectly circular disks [duplicate]

Assume I have two disks, $p_1$ and $p_2$, of radius $r$, with their own velocities (preferably in $(x,y)$ form, but $(m, \theta)$ works too) and masses (unit-less, but same unit) collide in two ...
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1answer
169 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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181 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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1answer
281 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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336 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
187 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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1answer
148 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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1answer
38 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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26 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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38 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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32 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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12 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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37 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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100 views

Relativistic Momentum and Energy - Lorentz Transformations [closed]

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Lab is colliding fully ionized gold (Au) nuclei accelerated to an energy of 200 GeV per nucleon. Each Au Nucleus contains 197 ...
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1answer
47 views

Relating to Inelastic Collisions

There is a very simple equation for an inelastic collision but it really only applies to 2d scenarios: $$v = \frac{(m_1 u_1 + m_2 u_2)}{(m_1+m_2)}$$ What would be the equation for an inelastic ...
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26 views

In momentum theory, what happens if atmospheric velocity is larger than outflow velocity?

I am currently reading up on aerodynamics, essentially the actuator disk concept and momentum theory as it is described in e.g. Basic Helicopter Aerodynamics by Seddon and Newman. There they assume ...
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116 views

Colliding objects due to gravitational attraction [closed]

If two objects initially at rest, are released and move toward one another due to gravitational attraction, they collide and exchange during collision some amount of impulse, i.e. the object 1 ...
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1answer
58 views

Obtaining momentum operator $P^\mu$ from Lagrangian and energy-momentum tensor $T^{\mu\nu}$

I am pretty new to quantum field theory. Given the Lagrangian density, $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2} ( \partial_\mu \phi ) ( \partial^\mu \phi ) - \frac{1}{2} m^2 \phi^2 $$ and its energy-momentum ...
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66 views

What does the relation between mass and energy of a free particle mean?

What does the Hamiltonian for a free particle mean? Does it mean that the kinetic energy of the particle is in reverse relation with mass? $H$ or $E=\hbar^{2}k^{2}/2m$. Or better to ask: what's the ...
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1answer
58 views

Relationship between momentum and energy for rocket-powered aircraft

I'm trying to write a problem for my students in an algebra-based physics class. We have a flight simulator and I've got a glider in the simulator that has a couple rocket boosters attached. Students ...
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0answers
71 views

Throwing a baseball against the back of a car [closed]

We, some fellow students and I, are trying to figure out what to. But we simply do not know which formula to use at question a. We found the following: $\Delta P=(2mv_{ball,i}M)/(m+M)$ Could someone ...
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1answer
222 views

Negative Change in Momentum

Does negative change in momentum always signify decrease in momentum, or could it also represent a change in direction while conserving magnitude of momentum?
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3answers
103 views

Work done after explosion of chemical bomb

Question: Suppose, a chemical bomb is stationary. Then it explodes into n parts in all direction. What is work done? My Efforts The bomb is stationary, so momentum and and kinetic energy is 0. ...
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33 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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1answer
158 views

Why isn't jumping against a wall an elastic collision?

According to this calculator http://www.abecedarical.com/javascript/script_collision1d.html when low mass object hits high mass object it is reflected gaining opposite velocity almost the same as ...
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87 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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73 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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1answer
71 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 ...