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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
3answers
98 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
467 views

Conservation of Mathematical Constraints when deriving Energy and Momentum from $F=ma$

Background: Starting from $F = ma$, integrating with respect to time, and using basic calc, one can derive $\int Fdt = m (v_f - v_i)$ Starting from $F = ma$, integrating with respect to distance, ...
1
vote
1answer
126 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
21 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 $B$ ...
1
vote
3answers
252 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
82 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
52 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
62 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
76 views

Elastic collision of point particle and rod

A 1 meter long rod on the ice with mass $m_2=1$ kg is perpendicularly hit on one end by a point particle with mass $m_1=0.1$ kg. The collision is elastic and the point particle is bounced back in ...
-1
votes
4answers
56 views

Inertia and momentum

Question #1: Why does speed have nothing to do with inertia? Question #2: If a car hits a steel wall and stops, where did the momentum go?
2
votes
8answers
4k views

How can momentum but not energy be conserved in an inelastic collision?

In inelastic collisions, kinetic energy changes, so the velocities of the objects also change. So how is momentum conserved in inelastic collisions?
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Why do safety helmets have a softer inner layer nearer the head?

I know that when an object collides onto the helmet, it causes an inelastic collision so that energy is absorbed by the structure of the helmet, so what exactly does the softer inner layer do? Does it ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Sub-light speeds and momentum conservation law

Let's imagine a boat on a lake. Observer A is sitting on the shore. Observer B is sitting in the boat on the bow. Observer B has a ball attached to the end of a string which he holds in his hand. ...
1
vote
1answer
98 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

When I move my arm forward in vacuum, will my body move backward?

Let's say I stay at point $x=0$ in vacuum. When I move my arm forward such that it will have a positive $x$ position (say $x=5$) will the rest of my body move backward such that it will have a ...
0
votes
2answers
6k views

Perfect elastic collision and velocity transfer

So my teacher told me that when you have two identical balls in a perfectly elastic collision, the first ball A will collide with B and afterwards A will stop and B continue. Why is this? Doesn't ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Redshift of a reflected photon from a solar sail

Can someone help me understand my mistake here? I'm thinking of a photon travelling with momentum $p=h/\lambda$ which reflects off a solar sail of mass $m$ travelling with momentum $p_0$ in the same ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Flywheels and work

I'll start with a scenario for some control in the concepts I'm asking about today. Forgive me in advance, I never had the chance to explore physics in school, but I'd be happy to learn something new ...
1
vote
1answer
21 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

I need to know how many pounds of force a 3 million pound object has moving at 1 mph [closed]

How many pounds of force does a 3 million pound object have moving at 0.1, 0.5, and 1 mph?
3
votes
4answers
144 views

Definition of force, kinetic energy and momentum

I've edited the post. Q1 and Q4 are the important ones but I didn't delete Q2 and Q3 since some older answers would not make sense anymore. To begin with, the formula of the kinetic energy $T$ is ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Differentiation operator with respect to observable acting as a function of the observable?

In his Principles of Quantum Mechanics Dirac writes: $$\int \langle \phi \frac{d}{dq}|q'\rangle dq' \psi(q')=\int \phi(q') dq' \frac{d\psi(q')}{dq'}.$$ To me it is rather strange, and it seems as if ...
1
vote
1answer
44 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
71 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
201 views

How do I figure out the momentum of a water balloon when it reaches the person I am throwing it at?

Recently an experiment was performed in which myself and a partner filled a water balloon and threw it back and forth at each other without breaking it. We gradually increased the distance at which it ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Force as change in momentum vs. change in velocity

Is there ever a situation where the distinction between $F = m \frac{dv}{dt}$ and $F = \frac{dp}{dt}$ is important? I can't think of a situation where one is true and not the other (assuming only ...
0
votes
2answers
8k views

Calculating force of impact

Since $\text{force = mass}\times\text{acceleration}$, is it right to say that an object traveling at a high constant velocity (zero acceleration), exerts zero force upon impact with a stationary ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

What force counteracts friction when a block is pulled?

Firstly, I understand and apologize that this is more of a physics question than a math question. I noticed that when I pulled a book out from under a pack of gum, the gum stayed largely in place (it ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Ziolkowsky Rocket Equation

I've looked at multiple sources on the internet and just can't wrap my mind around it. If I reference the wikipedia page on it; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsiolkovsky_rocket_equation I am getting ...
2
votes
4answers
158 views

How to calculate a collision which is partly elastic and partly inelastic?

(For the purpose of this question, "calculating a collision" means: given the velocities and masses of two objects in a collision, figuring out the new velocities of both objects after the collision). ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Question: The uncertainty in position is equal to the uncertainty in momentum. What is the uncertainty in velocity? What I did: I know that the uncertainty in position multiplied by uncertainty in ...
5
votes
7answers
6k views

How does gravity affect bullets?

I read recently that if you hold a bullet in one hand and a pistol in the other, both hands at the same height, and subsequently fired the pistol at the same time as dropping the bullet, both bullets ...
0
votes
3answers
44 views

Kinetic energy relationships with momentum and mass [closed]

If I have some arbitrary particle, we will call particle 1 and another particle 2 that have the same momentum, yet particle 1 has half the mass of particle 2, how does the kinetic energy compare ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Why is scattering vector $\vec{q}$ called vector of 'momentum transfer'?

In the world of scattering the angle at which you detect the scattered radiation is known as $q$, where $$ \vec{q} = \frac{4\pi\eta}{\lambda}\sin(\theta/2) $$ I read in a lot of books that this is ...
3
votes
3answers
185 views

Why is momentum quantized in a 1D box even though the operator doesn't give eigenstates?

We don't get eigenstates of momentum when we operate momentum operator in the wave function of particle in a 1D box problem yet we say momentum is quantized in this situation. Why is it so?
1
vote
3answers
71 views

Conservation of 4-momentum in special relativity

I understand that the inner product of two 4-vectors is conserved under the Lorentz transformations, so that the absolute value of the four momentum is the same in any reference frame. This is what I ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

Energy definition in special relativity

I'm going through the early homework assignments for my special relativity course and I've got myself a little confused about energy. I've got a basic understanding of what the 4-momentum is, having ...
1
vote
1answer
43 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Velocity change of objects

Is it possible for small object (small mass, let's say bullet) to hit large object (big mass, let's say rock) and still move forward (or stop) instead of being reflected (let's say objects don't crush ...
0
votes
3answers
23 views

How to cancel momentum without causing damage?

This is a fictional scenario I've designed and I'm trying to obtain a plausible logic for it to be somehow possible: I have a moving object, like a car or a person running, how can I stop it ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

Calculating velocity change after impact?

Let's say there is no gravity here and objects won't crush. We have 2 rocks with $m=10\text{ kg}$. First rock has velocity $v_1=0\text{ m/s}$ and second $v_2=10\text{ m/s}$ (flying in leftward ...
5
votes
4answers
365 views

How to tell if the collision is elastic or inelastic?

I'm a programmer and a game developer, not a mathematician or a physicist. So please go easy on the math :) I know two things: How to find the new velocities of two objects after an elastic ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

Why doesn't a wall move when you push it if there's space behind it?

In the first screen you can see that if a person were to push a wall within a typical household the wall would not move while keeping themselves tractioned to the floor. If you push hard and do not ...
0
votes
2answers
84 views

Ballistic Pendulum Demo Problem

I have a question about the following problem: I got the solution $v=\frac{M+m}{m} \sqrt{2gh}$. But my real question is in the following picture: In the above slide, how can you derive ...
2
votes
2answers
83 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?
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Determine $p_x$ from $[x,p_x]=i\hbar $ [closed]

With $[x,p_x]=i\hbar $, how to determine the form of the operator $p_x$?
0
votes
3answers
138 views

Why does my gravity simulation do this? [closed]

For a school project i created a simple 2D gravity sim in Matlab using the simplest possible method. There are 2 nested loops so that the total force and acceleration of every object can be ...
3
votes
1answer
34 views

Probability of measuring momentum [closed]

Suppose we have this wavefunction: $$ \psi = A \left( cos(kx) + cos (2kx) \right) $$ I have to find the possible results of measurement of momentum and their probabilities. Attempt For a momentum ...
15
votes
6answers
666 views

Is there a momentum for charge?

Since mass and charge behave similarly, so, just like center of mass, I define a point center of charge, that is defined by $$\vec r_{qm} = \frac {\sum{q_i \vec r_i}} {\sum{q_i}}$$ where $\vec r_i$ ...