Momentum

Explanation[edit]

Momentum is generally defined as the 'oomph' of an object. Momentum of the object, denoted by p, is the product of mass m and the velocity v of the object. The unit of momentum (p = mv) is kg m/s.

Frequently Asked Questions[edit]

What is the difference between momentum and kinetic energy?[edit]

Say you apply a constant force F on a car of mass m for a time t to push it north on a frictionless road and it attains a velocity v. It now has a momentum of mv and a kinetic energy of ½ mv2. Now consider a small toy car, the size of your palm with a lesser mass. To reach the same momentum, you need to apply the same force for a longer time and distance to accelerate it to a suitable velocity. Comparing to the real car, the toy car would have the same momentum now, but a very high kinetic energy. Momentum is a vector quantity that varies linearly with velocity and kinetic energy is a scalar quantity that varies in a quadratic way with the velocity.