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Chapter 6

Linear Momentum

Momentum and Force

Linear momentum of a particle is defined to be the product of
the mass and velocity:
p = momentum
m = mass

v = velocity

The rate of change of momentum is equal to the net force:

This can be shown using Newtons second law: useful for

describing objects in motion
If a particle is moving in an arbitrary direction, has three
px = m vx
py = m vy
pz = m vz

Momentum Facts
Momentum is a vector quantity!
Velocity and momentum vectors point in the same direction

SI unit for momentum: kg m /s (no special name)

Momentum is a conserved quantity
A net force is required to change a bodys momentum
Something big and slow could have the same momentum as
something small and fast.
The concept of momentum provides a quantitative distinction
between heavy and light particles moving at the same velocity.
For example, the momentum of a bowling ball is much greater
than that of a tennis ball moving at the same speed.

Momentum Examples
10 kg

3 m /s

10 kg

30 kg m /s

Note: The momentum vector does not have to be drawn 10

times longer than the velocity vector, since only vectors of the
same quantity can be compared in this way.


p = 45 kg m /s
at 26 N of E

Equivalent Momentum

Car: m = 1800 kg; v = 80 m /s

p = 1.44 105 kg m /s
Bus: m = 9000 kg; v = 16 m /s
p = 1.44 105 kg m /s

Train: m = 3.6 104 kg; v = 4 m /s

p = 1.44 105 kg m /s

Equivalent Momentum (cont.)

The train, bus, and car all have different masses and speeds,
but their momenta are the same in magnitude. The massive
train has a slow speed; the low-mass car has a great speed;
and the bus has moderate mass and speed. Note: We can
only say that the magnitudes of their momenta are equal
since theyre arent moving in the same direction.
The difficulty in bringing each vehicle to rest-in terms of a
combination of the force and time required-would be the
same, since they each have the same momentum.

Momentum and Its Relation to Force

Force of a tennis serve.
For a top player, a tennis ball may
leave the racket on the serve with a
speed of 55 m/s (about 120 mi/h). If
the ball has a mass of 0.060 kg and
is in contact with the racket for about
4 ms (4 x 10-3 s), estimate the
average force on the ball. Would this
force be large enough to lift a 60-kg

Momentum and Its Relation to Force

Washing a car: momentum change and force.

Water leaves a hose at a rate of 1.5 kg/s with a speed of

20 m/s and is aimed at the side of a car, which stops it.
(That is, we ignore any splashing back.) What is the
force exerted by the water on the car?

Momentum and Kinetic Energy

Momentum and kinetic energy both involve mass and
There are major differences between them:
Kinetic energy is a scalar and momentum is a vector.
Kinetic energy can be transformed to other types of
There is only one type of linear momentum, so there
are no similar transformations.
Analysis models based on momentum are separate from
those based on energy.
This difference allows an independent tool to use in solving

A 60-kg archer stands at rest on frictionless ice and fires
a 0.50-kg arrow horizontally at 50 m/s. With what velocity
does the archer move across the ice after firing the

Angular Momentum
Angular momentum depends on linear
momentum and the distance from a particular
point. It is a vector quantity with symbol L. If r
and v are then the magnitude of angular
momentum w/ resp. to point Q is given by L = r
p = m v r. In this case L points out of the page.
If the mass were moving in the opposite
direction, L would point into the page.


Angular momentum is a conserved

quantity. A torque is needed to change
L, just a force is needed to change p.
Anything spinning has angular has
angular momentum. The more it has,
the harder it is to stop it from spinning.

Angular Momentum
This formula works regardless of the angle. As you know
from our study of cross products, the magnitude of the
angular momentum of m relative to point Q is: L = r p sin =
m v r. In this case, by the right-hand rule, L points out of
the page. If the mass were moving in the opposite direction,
L would point into the page.

Moment of Inertia
Any moving body has inertia. (It wants to keep moving at constant v.). The
more inertia a body has, the harder it is to change its linear motion. Rotating
bodies possess a rotational inertial called the moment of inertial, I. The more
rotational inertia a body has, the harder it is change its rotation. For a single
point-like mass w/ respect to a given point Q, I = m r 2.
For a system, I = the sum of each mass
times its respective distance from the point
of interest.




I = mi ri 2
= m1 r12 + m2 r22



Moment of Inertia Example

Two merry-go-rounds have the same mass and are spinning with the same
angular velocity. One is solid wood (a disc), and the other is a metal ring.
Which has a bigger moment of inertia relative to its center of mass?

answer: I is independent of the angular speed. Since their masses and radii
are the same, the ring has a greater moment of inertia. This is because more
of its mass is farther from the axis of rotation. Since I is bigger for the ring, it
would more difficult to increase or decrease its angular speed.

Angular Acceleration
As you know, acceleration is when an object speeds up, slows down, or
changes directions. Angular acceleration occurs when a spinning object
spins faster or slower. Its symbol is , and its defined as:
Note how this is very similar to a = v / t for linear acceleration.
Ex: If a wind turbine spinning at 21 rpm speeds up to 30 rpm over 10 s due
to a gust of wind, its average angular acceleration is
9 rpm / 10 s. This means every second its spinning 9 revolutions per
minute faster than the second before. Lets convert the units:
Since a radian is really dimensionless (a length divided by a length), the SI
unit for angular acceleration is the per second squared (s-2).

9 rpm 9 rev / min

9 rev 9 (2 rad)= 0.094 rad / s2
min 10 s = (60 s) 10 s
10 s
10 s

Torque & Angular Acceleration

Newtons 2nd Law, as you know, is Fnet = m a
The 2nd Law has a rotational analog: net = I
A force is required for a body to undergo acceleration. A
turning force (a torque) is required for a body to undergo
angular acceleration.
The bigger a bodys mass, the more force is required to
accelerate it. Similarly, the bigger a bodys rotational inertia,
the more torque is required to accelerate it angularly.
Both m and I are measures of a bodys inertia
(resistance to change in motion).

Linear Momentum & Angular Momentum

If a net force acts on an object, it must accelerate, which means its
momentum must change. Similarly, if a net torque acts on a body, it
undergoes angular acceleration, which means its angular momentum
changes. Recall, angular momentums magnitude is given by
(if v and r are perpendicular)


So, if a net torque is applied, angular

velocity must change, which changes
angular momentum.
proof: net = r Fnet = r m a

So net torque is the rate of change of angular momentum, just as

net force is the rate of change of linear momentum.

Linear Momentum, p
Tendency for a mass to
continue moving in a straight

Parallel to v.
A conserved, vector quantity.
Magnitude is inertia (mass)
times speed.
Net force required to change
The greater the mass, the
the force needed to change

Angular Momentum, L
Tendency for a mass to
continue rotating.
Perpendicular to both v & r.
A conserved, vector quantity.
Magnitude is rotational inertia
times angular speed.
Net torque required to change
The greater the moment of
inertia, the greater the torque
needed to change angular

Linear & Angular Momentum (cont.)

Here is yet another pair of similar equations, one linear,
one rotational. From the formula v = r , we get

L = m v r = m r (r ) = m r 2 = I
This is very much like p = m v, and this is one reason I is
defined the way it is.
In terms of magnitudes, linear momentum is inertia times
speed, and angular momentum is rotational inertia times
angular speed.

Conservation of Linear Momentum

Whenever two or more particles in an isolated system
interact, the total momentum of the system remains constant.
The momentum of the system is conserved, not
necessarily the momentum of an individual particle.
In component form, the total momenta in each direction are
independently conserved.
p1ix + p2ix = p1fx + p2fx
p1iy + p2iy = p1fy+ p2fy
p1iz + p2iz = p1fz + p2fz

This also tells us that the total momentum of an isolated

system equals its initial momentum.

Conservation of Momentum
Conservation of momentum
can also be derived from
Newtons laws. A collision
takes a short enough time that
we can ignore external forces.
Since the internal forces are
equal and opposite, the total
momentum is constant.
For more than two objects

Or, since the internal forces cancel

Proof of Conservation of Momentum

The proof is based on Newtons 3rd Law. Whenever two objects collide (or
exert forces on each other from a distance), the forces involved are an
action-reaction pair, equal in strength, opposite in direction. This means
the net force on the system (the two objects together) is zero, since these
forces cancel out.

force on M due to m

force on m due to M

For each object, F = (mass) (a) = (mass) (v / t ) = (mass v) / t = p / t.

Since the force applied and the contact time is the same for each mass, they
each undergo the same change in momentum, but in opposite directions. The
result is that even though the momenta of the individual objects changes, p
for the system is zero. The momentum that one mass gains, the other loses.
Hence, the momentum of the system before equals the momentum of the
system after.

Conservation of Momentum in 2-D

To handle a collision in 2-D, we conserve momentum in each dimension
Choosing down & right as positive:



2 v




px = m1 v1 cos1 - m2 v2 cos2
py = m1 v1 sin1 + m2 v2 sin2
px = -m1 va cosa + m2 vb cos b
py = m1 va sina + m2 vb sin b

Conservation of momentum equations:

m1 v1 cos1 - m2 v2 cos2 = -m1 va cosa + m2 vb cos b
m1 v1 sin1 + m2 v2 sin 2 = m1 va sina + m2 vb sin b

Conservation of Momentum applies only

in the absence of external forces!
In the first two sample problems, we dealt with a frictionless
surface. We couldnt simply conserve momentum if friction
had been present because, as the proof on the last slide
shows, there would be another force (friction) in addition to the
contact forces. Friction wouldnt cancel out, and it would be a
net force on the system.

The only way to conserve momentum with an external force like

friction is to make it internal by including the tabletop, floor, or
the entire Earth as part of the system. For example, if a rubber
ball hits a brick wall, p for the ball is not conserved, neither is p
for the ball-wall system, since the wall is connected to the
ground and subject to force by it. However, p for the ball-Earth
system is conserved!

Conservation of Momentum
Railroad cars collide: momentum conserved.

A 10,000-kg railroad car, A, traveling at a speed of 24.0

m/s strikes an identical car, B, at rest. If the cars lock
together as a result of the collision, what is their common
speed immediately after the collision?

Conservation of Momentum
Momentum conservation works for a rocket as long as we
consider the rocket and its fuel to be one system, and
account for the mass loss of the rocket.
Rifle recoil: calculate the recoil velocity of a 5.0-kg rifle that
shoots a 0.020-kg bullet at a speed of 620 m/s.

Forces and Conservation of Momentum

In conservation of momentum, there is no statement
concerning the types of forces acting on the particles of the
The forces are not specified as conservative or nonconservative.
There is no indication if the forces are constant or not.
The only requirement is that the forces must be internal to
the system.
This gives a hint about the power of this new model.

Impulse and Momentum

The momentum of a system changes if a net force from
the environment acts on the system.
For momentum considerations, a system is non-isolated
if a net force acts on the system for a time interval.
From Newtons Second Law,
Integrating to find the change in momentum over some
time interval.

dp Fdt

p pf pi Fdt I


The integral is called the impulse of the force acting on

an object over t.

Impulse-Momentum Theorem
This equation expresses the impulse-momentum theorem:
The change in the momentum of a particle is equal to the
impulse of the new force acting on the particle.
p I
This is equivalent to Newtons Second Law.
This is identical in form to the conservation of energy
This is the most general statement of the principle of
conservation of momentum and is called the
conservation of momentum equation.
This form applies to non-isolated systems.
This is the mathematical statement of the nonisolated system (momentum) model.

Impulse - Momentum Theorem

The impulse due to all forces acting on an object (the net
force) is equal to the change in momentum of the object:

Fnet t = p
We know the units on both sides of the equation are the
same (last slide), but lets prove the theorem formally:

Fnet t = m a t = m ( v / t) t = m v = p

More About Impulse

Impulse is a vector quantity.
The magnitude of the
impulse is equal to the area
under the force-time curve.
The force may vary with
Dimensions of impulse are
Impulse is not a property of
the particle, but a measure of
the change in momentum of
the particle.

The impulse can also be found
by using the time averaged force.
I Ft
This would give the same
impulse as the time-varying force
In many cases, one force acting
on a particle acts for a short time,
but is much greater than any
other force present.
The particle is assumed to move
very little during the collision
represent the momenta
immediately before and after the

Stopping Time
Ft =Ft

Imagine a car hitting a wall and coming to rest. The force on the car
due to the wall is large (big F ), but that force only acts for a small
amount of time (little t ). Now imagine the same car moving at the
same speed but this time hitting a giant haystack and coming to rest.
The force on the car is much smaller now (little F ), but it acts for a
much longer time (big t ). In each case the impulse involved is the
same since the change in momentum of the car is the same. Any
net force, no matter how small, can bring an object to rest if it has
enough time. A pole vaulter can fall from a great height without
getting hurt because the mat applies a smaller force over a longer
period of time than the ground alone would.

Impulse - Momentum Example

A 1.3 kg ball is coming straight at a 75 kg soccer player at 13 m/s
who kicks it in the exact opposite direction at 22 m/s with an
average force of 1200 N. How long are his foot and the ball in
answer: Well use Fnet t = p. Since the ball
changes direction, p = m v = m (vf - v0)
= 1.3 [22 - (-13)] = (1.3 kg) (35 m/s)
= 45.5 kg m /s. Thus, t = 45.5 / 1200
= 0.0379 s, which is just under 40 ms.
During this contact time the ball compresses substantially and
then decompresses. This happens too quickly for us to see,
though. This compression occurs in many cases, such as
hitting a baseball or golf ball.

Fnet (N)

Fnet vs. t graph

Net area = p

t (s)

A variable strength net force acts on an object in the positive

direction for 6 s, thereafter in the opposite direction. Since
impulse is Fnet t, the area under the curve is equal to the
impulse, which is the change in momentum. The net change in
momentum is the area above the curve minus the area below
the curve. This is just like a v vs. t graph, in which net
displacement is given area under the curve.

Impulse Units
J = F t shows why the SI unit for impulse is the Newton
second. There is no special name for this unit, but it
is equivalent to a kg m /s.

Fnet = m a shows this is

equivalent to a newton.
proof: 1 N s = 1 (kg m /s2) (s) = 1 kg m /s

Therefore, impulse and momentum have the same

units, which leads to a useful theorem.

Computing Impulse
Constant Force

Impulse = Average
Force x time
NonConstant Force

Impulse = area under

force-time curve

A soccer player imparts the force shown below on a soccer ball with a
mass of 0.43 kg and an initial velocity (Vi) of 0.0 m/s. After the force was
applied the ball had a final velocity (Vf) of 23.02 m/s. The average force
F of 90.8 N was applied for 0.109 s. Compute the impulse using both
average force and the change in momentum.

In a particular crash test, a car of
mass 1 500 kg collides with a wall
as shown in Figure 9.4. The initial
and final velocities of the car are
and, respectively. If the collision
lasts 0.150 s, find the impulse
caused by the collision and the
average force exerted on the car.

The term collision represents an event during which two particles
come close to each other and interact by means of forces.
May involve physical contact, but must be generalized to
include cases with interaction without physical contact
The interaction forces are assumed to be much greater than any
external forces present.
This means the impulse approximation can be used.
Collisions are classified according to whether the kinetic energy
changes during the collision.
The two classifications are elastic and inelastic.
In an elastic collision the total kinetic energy of the system is the
same before and after the collision.
In an a perfectly inelastic collision the total kinetic energy is still
conserved but the two objects stick together and move with the
same velocity.

Collisions Example
Collisions may be the result of
direct contact.
The impulsive forces may vary in
time in complicated ways.
This force is internal to the
Observe the variations in the
active figure.
Momentum is conserved.
The collision need not include
physical contact between the
There are still forces between the
This type of collision can be
analyzed in the same way as those
that include physical contact.

Types of Collisions
In an elastic collision, momentum and kinetic energy are
Perfectly elastic collisions occur on a microscopic level.
In macroscopic collisions, only approximately elastic
collisions actually occur.
Generally some energy is lost to deformation, sound, etc.
These collisions are described by the isolated system model
for both energy and momentum.
There must be no transformation of kinetic energy into
other types of energy within the system.
In an inelastic collision, kinetic energy is not conserved, although
momentum is still conserved.
If the objects stick together after the collision, it is a
perfectly inelastic collision.

Collisions, cont.
In an inelastic collision, some kinetic
energy is lost, but the objects do not stick
Elastic and perfectly inelastic collisions
are limiting cases, most actual collisions
fall in between these two types .
Momentum is conserved in all collisions
Momentum of an isolated system is
conserved in any collision, so the total
momentum before the collision is equal to
the total momentum of the composite
system after the collision.
Since the objects stick together, they
share the same velocity after the collision.
m1v1i m2 v2i m1 m2 vf

Elastic Collisions
Both momentum and kinetic
energy are conserved.
m1v1i m2 v 2 i
m1v1f m2 v 2f
m1v12i m2 v 22 i
m1v12f m2 v 22f

Typically, there are two

unknowns to solve for and so
you need two equations.
Section 9.4

Elastic Collisions, cont.

The kinetic energy equation can be difficult to use.
With some algebraic manipulation, a different equation
can be used.
v1i v2i = v1f + v2f
This equation, along with conservation of momentum, can
be used to solve for the two unknowns.
It can only be used with a one-dimensional, elastic
collision between two objects.
Using this equation eliminates the need for using an
equation with quadratic terms (from the kinetic energy
Remember to use the appropriate signs for all velocities.

Elastic Collisions, final

Example of some special cases:
m1 = m2 the particles exchange velocities
When a very heavy particle collides head-on with a
very light one initially at rest, the heavy particle
continues in motion unaltered and the light particle
rebounds with a speed of about twice the initial speed
of the heavy particle.
When a very light particle collides head-on with a very
heavy particle initially at rest, the light particle has its
velocity reversed and the heavy particle remains
approximately at rest.

Inelastic Collisions
With inelastic collisions, some of the initial kinetic
energy is lost to thermal or potential energy.
Kinetic energy may also be gained during
explosions, as there is the addition of chemical or
nuclear energy.

A completely inelastic collision is one in which the

objects stick together afterward, so there is only
one final velocity.

Inelastic Collisions
Railroad cars again.
A 10,000-kg railroad car, A, traveling at a speed
of 24.0 m/s strikes an identical car, B, at rest. If
the cars lock together as a result of the collision,
how much of the initial kinetic energy is
transformed to thermal or other forms of energy?

Before collision

After collision

Inelastic Collisions
Ballistic pendulum.
The ballistic pendulum is a device
used to measure the speed of a
projectile, such as a bullet. The
projectile, of mass m, is fired into a
large block of mass M, which is
suspended like a pendulum. As a
result of the collision, the pendulum
and projectile together swing up to a
maximum height h. Determine the
relationship between the initial
horizontal speed of the projectile, v,
and the maximum height h.

Two-Dimensional Collisions
The momentum is conserved in all directions.
Use subscripts for
Identifying the object
Indicating initial or final values
The velocity components
If the collision is elastic, use conservation of kinetic
energy as a second equation.
Remember, the simpler equation can only be used for
one-dimensional situations.
Particle 1 is moving at velocity and particle 2 is at rest.
In the x-direction, the initial momentum is m1v1i.
In the y-direction, the initial momentum is 0.

Two-Dimensional Collision, example cont.

After the collision, the
momentum in the x-direction is
m1v1f cos m2v2f cos
After the collision, the
momentum in the y-direction is
m1v1f sin m2v2f sin
The negative sign is due
to the component of the
velocity being downward.
If the collision is elastic,
apply the kinetic energy
This is an example of a
glancing collision.

Two billiard balls collide in a

perfectly elastic collision. Ball
A has a mass of 0.8 kg and
an initial velocity (uA) of 3
m/s, ball B has a mass of 0.3
kg and an initial velocity (uB)
of 2 m/s, determine the
velocity of each ball after the

Two clay objects collide in

an inelastic collision,
object A has a mass of 0.8
kg and an initial velocity
(uA) of 4 m/s, object B has
a mass of 0.4 kg and an
initial velocity (uB) of 2
m/s, determine the final
velocity of A and B.

Directions after a Collision

On the last slide the boxes were drawn going in the opposite direction
after colliding. This isnt always the case. For example, when a bat
hits a ball, the ball changes direction, but the bat doesnt. It doesnt
really matter, though, which way we draw the velocity vectors in after
picture. If we solved the conservation of momentum equation (red
box) for vb and got a negative answer, it would mean that m2 was
still moving to the left after the collision. As long as we interpret our
answers correctly, it matters not how the velocity vectors are drawn.





m1 v1 - m2 v2 = - m1 va + m2 vb




Solving Collision Problems

1. Conceptualize. Imagine the collision occurring in your
mind. Draw simple diagrams of the particles before and after
the collision and include appropriate velocity vectors. At first,
you may have to guess at the directions of the final velocity
2. Categorize. Is the system of particles isolated? If so,
categorize the collision as elastic, inelastic, or perfectly
3. Analyze. Set up the appropriate mathematical
representation for the problem: inelastic, elastic. To find the
final velocities in this case, you will need some additional
4. Finalize. Once you have determined your result, check to
see if your answers are consistent with the mental and
pictorial representations and that your results are realistic.

A 1 500-kg car traveling east with a
speed of 25.0 m/s collides at an
intersection with a 2 500-kg van
traveling north at a speed of 20.0 m/s
as shown in Figure 9.12. Find the
direction and magnitude of the velocity
of the wreckage after the collision,
assuming the vehicles stick together
after the collision.

The ballistic pendulum is an apparatus used to measure

the speed of a fast-moving projectile such as a bullet. A
projectile of mass m1 is fired into a large block of wood
of mass m2 suspended from some light wires. The
projectile embeds in the block, and the entire system
swings through a height h. How can we determine the
speed of the projectile from a measurement of h?

A block of mass m1 = 1.60 kg initially moving to the right

with a speed of 4.00 m/s on a frictionless, horizontal track
collides with a spring attached to a second block of mass
m2 = 2.10 kg initially moving to the left with a speed of 2.50
m/s as shown in Fig.a. The spring constant is 600 N/m.
(A) Find the velocities of the two blocks after the
(B) During the collision, at the instant block 1 is moving to
the right with a velocity of 3.00 m/s as in Fig.b, determine
the velocity of block 2.
(C) Determine the distance the spring is compressed at that

Sample Problem 1
35 g

7 kg

700 m/s

A rifle fires a bullet into a giant slab of butter on a frictionless
surface. The bullet penetrates the butter, but while passing
through it, the bullet pushes the butter to the left, and the butter
pushes the bullet just as hard to the right, slowing the bullet
down. If the butter skids off at 4 cm/s after the bullet passes
through it, what is the final speed of the bullet? (The mass of the
rifle matters not.)
35 g


4 cm/s

7 kg

Sample Problem 1 (cont.)

Lets choose left to be the + direction & use conservation of
momentum, converting all units to meters and kilograms.

p before = 7 (0) + (0.035) (700)

= 24.5 kg m /s

35 g

4 cm/s

p before = p after

7 kg

7 kg

35 g
700 m/s
p after = 7 (0.04) + 0.035 v
= 0.28 + 0.035 v

24.5 = 0.28 + 0.035 v

v = 692 m/s

v came out positive. This means we chose the

correct direction of the bullet in the after picture.

Sample Problem 2
7 kg

35 g
700 m/s

Same as the last problem except this time its a block of wood
rather than butter, and the bullet does not pass all the way
through it. How fast do they move together after impact?

7. 035 kg

(0.035) (700) = 7.035 v

v = 3.48 m/s

Note: Once again were assuming a frictionless surface, otherwise there

would be a frictional force on the wood in addition to that of the bullet, and the
system would have to include the table as well.

Sample Problem 3
An apple is originally at rest and then dropped. After falling a
short time, its moving pretty fast, say at a speed V. Obviously,
momentum is not conserved for the apple, since it didnt have
any at first. How can this be?



answer: Gravity is an external force on the

apple, so momentum for it alone is not
conserved. To make gravity internal, we must
define a system that includes the other object
responsible for the gravitational force--Earth.
The net force on the apple-Earth system is
zero, and momentum is conserved for it.
During the fall the Earth attains a very small
speed v. So, by conservation of momentum:

mV = Mv

Sample Problem 4
A crate of raspberry donut filling collides with a tub of lime Kool Aid on a
frictionless surface. Which way on how fast does the Kool Aid rebound?
answer: Lets draw v to the right in the after picture.
3 (10) - 6 (15) = -3 (4.5) + 15 v
v = -3.1 m/s
Since v came out negative, we guessed wrong in drawing v to the right,
but thats OK as long as we interpret our answer correctly. After the collision
the lime Kool Aid is moving 3.1 m/s to the left.


3 kg

10 m/s

6 m/s
15 kg

4.5 m/s

3 kg

15 kg

Exploding Bomb

A bomb, which was originally at rest, explodes and shrapnel
flies every which way, each piece with a different mass and
speed. The momentum vectors are shown in the after picture.

Exploding Bomb (cont.)

Since the momentum of the bomb was zero before the
explosion, it must be zero after it as well. Each piece does
have momentum, but the total momentum of the exploded
bomb must be zero afterwards. This means that it must be
possible to place the momentum vectors tip to tail and form a
closed polygon, which means the vector sum is zero.

If the original momentum of the

bomb were not zero, these
vectors would add up to the
original momentum vector.

2-D Sample Problem

152 g


0.3 kg 5


A mean, old dart strikes an innocent mango

that was just passing by minding its own
business. Which way and how fast do they
move off together?

Working in grams and taking left & down as + :

152 (34) sin 40 = 452 v sin

152 (34) cos 40 - 300 (5) = 452 v cos


Dividing equations : 1.35097 = tan


= 53.4908
Substituting into either of the first two equations :
v = 9.14 m/s

Spinning Ice Skater

Why does a spinning ice skater speed up when she pulls her arms in?
Suppose Mr. Stickman is sitting on a stool
that swivels holding a pair of dumbbells. His
axis of rotation is vertical. With the weights
far from that axis, his moment of inertia is
large. When he pulls his arms in as hes
spinning, the weights are closer to the axis,
so his moment of inertia gets much smaller.
Since L = I and L is conserved, the
product of I and is a constant. So, when
he pulls his arms in, I goes down, goes
up, and he starts spinning much faster.

I= L = I

Collisions and Impulse

Since the time of the collision is often very short, we may be
able to use the average force, which would produce the same
impulse over the same time interval.

Collisions and Impulse

During a collision, objects are
deformed due to the large forces


, we can



This quantity is defined as the impulse, J:

The impulse is equal to the change in momentum:

Collisions and Impulse

Karate blow.
Estimate the impulse and the
average force delivered by a karate
blow that breaks a board a few cm
thick. Assume the hand moves at
roughly 10 m/s when it hits the board.
Take the mass of the hand plus a
reasonable portion of the arm to be
1 kg; if the speed goes from 10 m/s
to zero in 1 cm the time is 2 ms.

Conservation of Energy and

Momentum in Collisions
Momentum is conserved
in all collisions.
Collisions in which kinetic
energy is conserved as
well are called elastic
collisions, and those in
which it is not are called

Collisions in 2 or 3 Dimensions
Conservation of energy and momentum can also be used to
analyze collisions in two or three dimensions, but unless the
situation is very simple, the math quickly becomes unwieldy.
Here, a moving object collides with an
object initially at rest. Knowing the
masses and initial velocities is not
enough; we need to know the angles as
well in order to find the final velocities.

Collisions in 2 or 3 Dimensions
Problem solving:
1. Choose the system. If it is complex, subsystems may be chosen
where one or more conservation laws apply.
2. Is there an external force? If so, is the collision time short enough that
you can ignore it?
3. Draw diagrams of the initial and final situations, with momentum
vectors labeled.
4. Choose a coordinate system.
5. Apply momentum conservation; there will be one equation for each
6. If the collision is elastic, apply conservation of kinetic energy as well.
7. Solve.
8. Check units and magnitudes of result.

The Center of Mass

There is a special point in a system or object, called the
center of mass, that moves as if all of the mass of the
system is concentrated at that point.
The system will move as if an external force were applied
to a single particle of mass M located at the center of mass.
M is the total mass of the system.
This behavior is independent of other motion, such as
rotation or vibration, or deformation of the system.
This is the particle model.

Center of Mass (CM)

The general motion of an object can be considered as the
sum of the translational motion of the CM, plus rotational,
vibrational, or other forms of motion about the CM.

m x

y CM

m y

The coordinates of the center of mass are
m z
M is the total mass of the system.
Use the active figure to observe effect of different masses
and positions.


Center of Mass, Extended Object

Similar analysis can be done
for an extended object.
Consider the extended object
as a system containing a large
number of small mass
Since separation between the
elements is very small, it can
be considered to have a
constant mass distribution.

Center of Mass, position

The center of mass in three dimensions can be located by rCM
its position vector,

For a system of particles, CM

mi ri

ri xi i y i j zi k


is the position of the ith particle, defined by


r dm

For an extended object,

The center of mass of any symmetric object of
uniform density lies on an axis of symmetry and on
any plane of symmetry.

Center of Gravity
The center of gravity is the point at which the gravitational
force can be considered to act. It is the same as the
center of mass as long as the gravitational force does not
vary among different parts of the object.
The net effect of all these forces is equivalent to the effect
of a single force Mg acting through a point called the center
of gravity.
If is constant over the mass distribution, the center of
gravity coincides with the center of mass.

Center of Mass (CM)

The center of gravity can be found experimentally
by suspending an object from different points. The
CM need not be within the actual objecta
doughnuts CM is in the center of the hole.

Center of Mass (CM)

CM of three guys on a raft.
Three people of roughly equal masses m on a lightweight (airfilled) banana boat sit along the x axis at positions xA = 1.0 m,
xB = 5.0 m, and xC = 6.0 m, measured from the left-hand end.
Find the position of the CM. Ignore the boats mass.

Center of Mass (CM)

CM of a thin rod.
(a) Show that the CM of a uniform thin rod of length l and
mass M is at its center. (b) Determine the CM of the rod
assuming its linear mass density (its mass per unit length)
varies linearly from = 0 at the left end to double that
value, = 20, at the right end.

Center of Mass (CM)

CM of L-shaped flat object.

Determine the CM of the uniform thin L-shaped

construction brace shown.

CM and Translational Motion

The total momentum of a system of particles is equal to the
product of the total mass and the velocity of the center of
The sum of all the forces acting on a system is equal to the
total mass of the system multiplied by the acceleration of the
center of mass:

Therefore, the center of mass of a system of particles (or

objects) with total mass M moves like a single particle of
mass M acted upon by the same net external force.

CM and Translational Motion

A two-stage rocket.
A rocket is shot into the air as shown. At the moment it
reaches its highest point, a horizontal distance d from its
starting point, a prearranged explosion separates it into two
parts of equal mass. Part I is stopped in midair by the
explosion and falls vertically to Earth. Where does part II land?
Assume g = constant.

A system consists of three particles located as shown in
Figure 9.18. Find the center of mass of the system.

(A) Show that the center of mass of

a rod of mass M and length L lies
midway between its ends, assuming
the rod has a uniform mass per unit
(B) Suppose a rod is nonuniform
such that its mass per unit length
varies linearly with x according to the
expression = x where is a
constant. Find the x coordinate of
the center of mass as a fraction of L.


Momentum of an object:

Newtons second law:

Total momentum of an isolated system of objects is conserved.
During a collision, the colliding objects can be considered to be
an isolated system even if external forces exist, as long as they
are not too large.

Momentum will therefore be conserved during collisions.

In an elastic collision, total kinetic energy is also
In an inelastic collision, some kinetic energy is
In a completely inelastic collision, the two objects
stick together after the collision.

The center of mass of a system is the point at

which external forces can be considered to act.


1. A 3.00-kg particle has a velocity of (3i 4j) m/s.

(a) Find its x and y components of momentum.
(b) Find the magnitude and direction of its momentum.
2. A 65.0-kg boy and his 40.0-kg sister, both wearing roller blades, face each other at rest.
The girl pushes the boy hard, sending him backward with velocity 2.90 m/s toward the west.
Ignore friction.
(a) Describe the subsequent motion of the girl.
(b) How much chemical energy is converted into mechanical energy in the girls muscles?
(c) Is the momentum of the boy-girl system conserved in the pushing-apart process? How
can it be, with large forces acting? How can it be, with no motion beforehand and plenty of
motion afterward?
3. How fast can you set the Earth moving? In particular, when you jump straight up as high
as you can, what is the order of magnitude of the maximum recoil speed that you give to
the Earth? Model the Earth as a perfectly solid object. In your solution, state the physical
quantities you take as data and the values you measure or estimate for them.
4. (a) A particle of mass m moves with momentum of magnitude p. Show that the kinetic
energy of the particle is given by K = p2/2m. (b) Express the magnitude of the particles
momentum in terms of its kinetic energy and mass.

5. A 45.0-kg girl is standing on a 150-kg plank. Both are originally at rest, on a

frozen lake that constitutes a frictionless, flat surface. The girl begins to walk
along the plank at a constant velocity of 1.50i m/s relative to the plank. (a)
What is the velocity of the plank relative to the ice surface? (b) What is the
girls velocity relative to the ice surface?
6. A neutron in a nuclear reactor makes an elastic head-on collision with the
nucleus of a carbon atom initially at rest. (a) What fraction of the neutrons
kinetic energy is transferred to the carbon nucleus? (b) The initial kinetic
energy of the neutron is 1.60 x 10-13J. Find it final kinetic energy and the
kinetic energy of the carbon nucleus after the collision (The mass of the
carbon nucleus is nearly 12.0 times the mass of the neutron.)
7. An unstable atomic nucleus of mass 17.010-27 kg initially at rest
disintegrates into three particles. One of the particles, of mass 5.0010-27 kg,
moves in the y direction with a speed of 6.00 x 106 m/s. Another particle, of
mass 8.40 x10-27 kg, moves in the x direction with a speed of 4.00106 m/s.
Find (a) the velocity of the third particle and (b) the total kinetic energy
increase in the process.
8. An object of mass 3.00 kg, moving with an initial velocity of 5.00 i m/s,
collides with and sticks to an object of mass 2.00 kg with an initial velocity of
3.00 j m/s. Find the final velocity of the composite object.

9. Two blocks of masses M and 3M are placed on a horizontal, frictionless surface. A

light spring is attached to one of them, and the blocks are pushed together with the
spring between them (Fig. P9.4). A cord initially holding the blocks together is burned;
after that happens, the block of mass 3M moves to the right with a speed of 2.00 m/s.
(a) What is the velocity of the block of mass M?
(b) Find the systems original elastic potential energy, taking M 0.350 kg. (c) Is the
original energy in the spring or in the cord? Explain your answer. (d) Is momentum of
the system conserved in the bursting-apart process? How can it be, with large forces
acting? How can it be, with no motion beforehand and plenty of motion afterward?

10. A friend claims that as long as he has his seat belt on, he can hold on to a 12.0kg child in a 60.0 mi/h head-on collision with a brick wall in which the car passenger
compartment comes to a stop in 0.050 0 s. Is his claim true? Explain why he will
experience a violent force during the collision, tearing the child from his arms.
Evaluate the size of this force. (A child should always be in a toddler seat secured
with a seat belt in the back seat of a car.)
11. An estimated forcetime curve for a baseball struck by a bat is shown in Figure
P9.7. From this curve, determine (a) the impulse delivered to the ball, (b) the average
force exerted on the ball, and (c) the peak force exerted on the ball.

12. A ball of mass 0.150 kg is dropped from rest from a height of 1.25 m. It rebounds
from the floor to reach a height of 0.960 m. What impulse was given to the ball by
the floor?
13. A 3.00-kg steel ball strikes a wall with a speed of 10.0 m/s at an angle of 60.0with
the surface. It bounces off with the same speed and angle (Fig. P9.9). If the ball
is in contact with the wall for 0.200 s, what is the average force exerted by the wall on
the ball?
14. A tennis player receives a shot with the ball (0.060 0 kg) traveling horizontally at
50.0 m/s and returns the shot with the ball traveling horizontally at 40.0 m/s in the
opposite direction. (a) What is the impulse delivered to the ball by the tennis racquet?
(b) What work does the racquet do on the ball?
15. A 10.0-g bullet is fired into a stationary block of wood (m = 5.00 kg). The bullet
imbeds into the block. The speed of the bullet-plus-wood combination immediately
after the collision is 0.600 m/s. What was the original speed of the bullet?
16. A railroad car of mass 2.50 x 104 kg is moving with a speed of 4.00 m/s. It collides
and couples with three other coupled railroad cars, each of the same mass as the
single car and moving in the same direction with an initial speed of 2.00 m/s. (a) What
is the speed of the four cars immediately after the collision? (b) How much energy is
transformed into internal energy in the collision?

17. Four railroad cars, each of mass 2.50 x 104 kg, are coupled together and
coasting along horizontal tracks at speed vi toward the south. A very strong movie
actor, riding on the second car, uncouples the front car and gives it a big push,
increasing its speed to 4.00 m/s southward. The remaining three cars continue
moving south, now at 2.00 m/s. (a) Find the initial speed of the cars. (b) How much
work did the actor do?
18. Four objects are situated along the y axis as follows: a 2.00-kg object is located at
3.00 m, a 3.00-kg object is at 2.50 m, a 2.50-kg object is at the origin, and a 4.00-kg
object is at 0.500 m. Where is the center of mass of these objects?
19. The mass of the Earth is 5.98 x 1024 kg, and the mass of the Moon is 7.36 x 1022
kg. The distance of separation, measured between their centers, is 3.84 x108 m.
Locate the center of mass of the EarthMoon system as measured from the center of
the Earth.
20. A uniform piece of sheet steel is shaped as shown in Figure P9.37. Compute the
x and y coordinates of the center of mass of the piece.