Linear Momentum
Linear Momentum
Definition of Linear Momentum

Linear momentum (p) is a vector quantity that denotes the product of an object’s mass (m) and its velocity (v).

It is represented by the letter ‘p’ and its unit is kilogram meter per second (kg m/s) in the SI system.

Mathematically, it’s defined as p = mv where ‘m’ is the mass of the object and ‘v’ is the velocity.
Conservation of Linear Momentum

The principle of conservation of momentum states that the total momentum of an isolated system of objects remains constant, provided no external forces act upon it.

Whenever objects interact, their total linear momentum before the interaction is equal to their total linear momentum after the interaction.

This principle is useful in a variety of physics problems, including collisions and explosions.
Impulse and Linear Momentum

Impulse (J) is the change in an object’s momentum, caused by the application of a force over an interval of time.

Mathematically, Impulse is defined as J = Δp = Ft, where ‘Δp’ represents the change in momentum, ‘F’ denotes the force applied and ‘t’ is the time for which the force is applied.

This relation is often referred to as the impulsemomentum theorem.
Applications of Linear Momentum

Linear momentum is used in various aspects of physics and engineering, including calculating effects of forces, and solving problems related to collisions.

Understanding momentum plays a vital role in road safety, as many crashprotection features in cars are designed based on the principles of momentum conservation.
Understanding Linear Momentum

Familiarise yourself with the concept of linear momentum, its mathematical representation and units of measurement.

Understand and apply the principle of conservation of momentum to solve problems involving interaction of objects.

Learn the relationship between momentum, force, and time, often referred to as impulse.

Be capable of applying these concepts to various practical situations, from engineering designs to road safety.
Linear momentum is a fundamental concept in physics that describes the motion of objects. It is particularly useful when analysing collisions and interactions between objects, and forms an essential part of a physicist’s toolkit.