# Momentum

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momentum*

Momentum | |
---|---|

Common symbols | p, p |

SI unit | kg⋅m/s |

Other units | slug⋅ ft/s |

Conserved? | Yes |

Dimension | MLT^{−1} |

Part of a series on |

Classical mechanics |
---|

In
Newtonian mechanics, **linear momentum**, **translational momentum**, or simply **momentum** is the product of the
mass and
velocity of an object. It is a
vector quantity, possessing a magnitude and a direction. If *m* is an object's mass and **v** is its velocity (also a vector quantity), then the object's momentum **p** is

In the International System of Units (SI), the unit of measurement of momentum is the kilogram metre per second (kg⋅m/s), which is equivalent to the newton-second.

Newton's second law of motion states that the rate of change of a body's momentum is equal to the net force acting on it. Momentum depends on the
frame of reference, but in any inertial frame it is a *conserved* quantity, meaning that if a
closed system is not affected by external forces, its total linear momentum does not change. Momentum is also conserved in
special relativity (with a modified formula) and, in a modified form, in
electrodynamics,
quantum mechanics,
quantum field theory, and
general relativity. It is an expression of one of the fundamental symmetries of space and time:
translational symmetry.

Advanced formulations of classical mechanics,
Lagrangian and
Hamiltonian mechanics, allow one to choose coordinate systems that incorporate symmetries and constraints. In these systems the conserved quantity is **generalized momentum**, and in general this is different from the **kinetic** momentum defined above. The concept of generalized momentum is carried over into quantum mechanics, where it becomes an operator on a
wave function. The momentum and position operators are related by the
Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

In continuous systems such as electromagnetic fields, fluid dynamics and deformable bodies, a momentum density can be defined, and a continuum version of the conservation of momentum leads to equations such as the Navier–Stokes equations for fluids or the Cauchy momentum equation for deformable solids or fluids.

## Newtonian

Momentum is a vector quantity: it has both magnitude and direction. Since momentum has a direction, it can be used to predict the resulting direction and speed of motion of objects after they collide. Below, the basic properties of momentum are described in one dimension. The vector equations are almost identical to the scalar equations (see multiple dimensions).

### Single particle

The momentum of a particle is conventionally represented by the letter *p*. It is the product of two quantities, the particle's
mass (represented by the letter *m*) and its
velocity (*v*):^{
[1]}

The unit of momentum is the product of the units of mass and velocity. In SI units, if the mass is in kilograms and the velocity is in meters per second then the momentum is in kilogram meters per second (kg⋅m/s). In cgs units, if the mass is in grams and the velocity in centimeters per second, then the momentum is in gram centimeters per second (g⋅cm/s).

Being a vector, momentum has magnitude and direction. For example, a 1 kg model airplane, traveling due north at 1 m/s in straight and level flight, has a momentum of 1 kg⋅m/s due north measured with reference to the ground.

### Many particles

The momentum of a system of particles is the vector sum of their momenta. If two particles have respective masses *m*_{1} and *m*_{2}, and velocities *v*_{1} and *v*_{2}, the total momentum is

The momenta of more than two particles can be added more generally with the following:

A system of particles has a center of mass, a point determined by the weighted sum of their positions:

If one or more of the particles is moving, the center of mass of the system will generally be moving as well (unless the system is in pure rotation around it). If the total mass of the particles is , and the center of mass is moving at velocity *v*_{cm}, the momentum of the system is:

This is known as
Euler's first law.^{
[2]}^{
[3]}

### Relation to force

If the net force F applied to a particle is constant, and is applied for a time interval Δ*t*, the momentum of the particle changes by an amount

In differential form, this is
Newton's second law; the rate of change of the momentum of a particle is equal to the instantaneous force F acting on it,^{
[1]}

If the net force experienced by a particle changes as a function of time, *F*(*t*), the change in momentum (or
impulse J) between times *t*_{1} and *t*_{2} is

Impulse is measured in the derived units of the newton second (1 N⋅s = 1 kg⋅m/s) or dyne second (1 dyne⋅s = 1 g⋅cm/s)

Under the assumption of constant mass m, it is equivalent to write

hence the net force is equal to the mass of the particle times its
acceleration.^{
[1]}

*Example*: A model airplane of mass 1 kg accelerates from rest to a velocity of 6 m/s due north in 2 s. The net force required to produce this acceleration is 3
newtons due north. The change in momentum is 6 kg⋅m/s due north. The rate of change of momentum is 3 (kg⋅m/s)/s due north which is numerically equivalent to 3 newtons.

### Conservation

In a
closed system (one that does not exchange any matter with its surroundings and is not acted on by external forces) the total momentum remains constant. This fact, known as the *law of conservation of momentum*, is implied by
Newton's laws of motion.^{
[4]}^{
[5]} Suppose, for example, that two particles interact. As explained by the third law, the forces between them are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction. If the particles are numbered 1 and 2, the second law states that *F*_{1} = *dp*_{1}/*dt* and *F*_{2} = *dp*_{2}/*dt*. Therefore,

with the negative sign indicating that the forces oppose. Equivalently,

If the velocities of the particles are *u*_{1} and *u*_{2} before the interaction, and afterwards they are *v*_{1} and *v*_{2}, then

This law holds no matter how complicated the force is between particles. Similarly, if there are several particles, the momentum exchanged between each pair of particles adds to zero, so the total change in momentum is zero. This conservation law applies to all interactions, including
collisions and separations caused by explosive forces.^{
[4]} It can also be generalized to situations where Newton's laws do not hold, for example in the
theory of relativity and in
electrodynamics.^{
[6]}

### Dependence on reference frame

Momentum is a measurable quantity, and the measurement depends on the
frame of reference. For example: if an aircraft of mass *m* kg is flying through the air at a speed of 50 m/s its momentum can be calculated to be 50*m* kg.m/s. If the aircraft is flying into a headwind of 5 m/s its speed relative to the surface of the Earth is only 45 m/s and its momentum can be calculated to be 45*m* kg.m/s. Both calculations are equally correct. In both frames of reference, any change in momentum will be found to be consistent with the relevant laws of physics.

Suppose a particle has position *x* in a stationary frame of reference. From the point of view of another frame of reference, moving at a uniform speed *u*, the position (represented by a primed coordinate) changes with time as

This is called a
Galilean transformation. If the particle is moving at speed *dx*/*dt* = *v* in the first frame of reference, in the second, it is moving at speed

Since *u* does not change, the accelerations are the same:

Thus, momentum is conserved in both reference frames. Moreover, as long as the force has the same form, in both frames, Newton's second law is unchanged. Forces such as Newtonian gravity, which depend only on the scalar distance between objects, satisfy this criterion. This independence of reference frame is called Newtonian relativity or
Galilean invariance.^{
[7]}

A change of reference frame, can, often, simplify calculations of motion. For example, in a collision of two particles, a reference frame can be chosen, where, one particle begins at rest. Another, commonly used reference frame, is the center of mass frame – one that is moving with the center of mass. In this frame, the total momentum is zero.

### Application to collisions

By itself, the law of conservation of momentum is not enough to determine the motion of particles after a collision. Another property of the motion,
kinetic energy, must be known. This is not necessarily conserved. If it is conserved, the collision is called an *
elastic collision*; if not, it is an *
inelastic collision*.

#### Elastic collisions

An elastic collision is one in which no
kinetic energy is transformed into heat or some other form of energy. Perfectly elastic collisions can occur when the objects do not touch each other, as for example in atomic or nuclear scattering where electric repulsion keeps the objects apart. A
slingshot maneuver of a satellite around a planet can also be viewed as a perfectly elastic collision. A collision between two
pool balls is a good example of an *almost* totally elastic collision, due to their high
rigidity, but when bodies come in contact there is always some
dissipation.^{
[8]}

A head-on elastic collision between two bodies can be represented by velocities in one dimension, along a line passing through the bodies. If the velocities are *u*_{1} and *u*_{2} before the collision and *v*_{1} and *v*_{2} after, the equations expressing conservation of momentum and kinetic energy are:

A change of reference frame can simplify analysis of a collision. For example, suppose there are two bodies of equal mass *m*, one stationary and one approaching the other at a speed *v* (as in the figure). The center of mass is moving at speed *v*/2 and both bodies are moving towards it at speed *v*/2. Because of the symmetry, after the collision both must be moving away from the center of mass at the same speed. Adding the speed of the center of mass to both, we find that the body that was moving is now stopped and the other is moving away at speed *v*. The bodies have exchanged their velocities. Regardless of the velocities of the bodies, a switch to the center of mass frame leads us to the same conclusion. Therefore, the final velocities are given by^{
[4]}

In general, when the initial velocities are known, the final velocities are given by^{
[9]}

If one body has much greater mass than the other, its velocity will be little affected by a collision while the other body will experience a large change.

#### Inelastic collisions

In an inelastic collision, some of the kinetic energy of the colliding bodies is converted into other forms of energy (such as
heat or
sound). Examples include
traffic collisions,^{
[10]} in which the effect of loss of kinetic energy can be seen in the damage to the vehicles; electrons losing some of their energy to atoms (as in the
Franck–Hertz experiment);^{
[11]} and
particle accelerators in which the kinetic energy is converted into mass in the form of new particles.

In a perfectly inelastic collision (such as a bug hitting a windshield), both bodies have the same motion afterwards. A head-on inelastic collision between two bodies can be represented by velocities in one dimension, along a line passing through the bodies. If the velocities are *u*_{1} and *u*_{2} before the collision then in a perfectly inelastic collision both bodies will be travelling with velocity *v* after the collision. The equation expressing conservation of momentum is:

If one body is motionless to begin with (e.g. ), the equation for conservation of momentum is

so

In a different situation, if the frame of reference is moving at the final velocity such that , the objects would be brought to rest by a perfectly inelastic collision and 100% of the kinetic energy is converted to other forms of energy. In this instance the initial velocities of the bodies would be non-zero, or the bodies would have to be massless.

One measure of the inelasticity of the collision is the
coefficient of restitution *C*_{R}, defined as the ratio of relative velocity of separation to relative velocity of approach. In applying this measure to a ball bouncing from a solid surface, this can be easily measured using the following formula:^{
[12]}

The momentum and energy equations also apply to the motions of objects that begin together and then move apart. For example, an
explosion is the result of a chain reaction that transforms potential energy stored in chemical, mechanical, or nuclear form into kinetic energy, acoustic energy, and electromagnetic radiation.
Rockets also make use of conservation of momentum: propellant is thrust outward, gaining momentum, and an equal and opposite momentum is imparted to the rocket.^{
[13]}

### Multiple dimensions

Real motion has both direction and velocity and must be represented by a
vector. In a coordinate system with *x*, *y*, *z* axes, velocity has components *v*_{x} in the *x*-direction, *v*_{y} in the *y*-direction, *v*_{z} in the *z*-direction. The vector is represented by a boldface symbol:^{
[14]}

Similarly, the momentum is a vector quantity and is represented by a boldface symbol:

The equations in the previous sections, work in vector form if the scalars *p* and *v* are replaced by vectors **p** and **v**. Each vector equation represents three scalar equations. For example,

represents three equations:^{
[14]}

The kinetic energy equations are exceptions to the above replacement rule. The equations are still one-dimensional, but each scalar represents the magnitude of the vector, for example,

Each vector equation represents three scalar equations. Often coordinates can be chosen so that only two components are needed, as in the figure. Each component can be obtained separately and the results combined to produce a vector result.^{
[14]}

A simple construction involving the center of mass frame can be used to show that if a stationary elastic sphere is struck by a moving sphere, the two will head off at right angles after the collision (as in the figure).^{
[15]}

### Objects of variable mass

The concept of momentum plays a fundamental role in explaining the behavior of variable-mass objects such as a
rocket ejecting fuel or a
star
accreting gas. In analyzing such an object, one treats the object's mass as a function that varies with time: *m*(*t*). The momentum of the object at time *t* is therefore *p*(*t*) = *m*(*t*)*v*(*t*). One might then try to invoke Newton's second law of motion by saying that the external force *F* on the object is related to its momentum *p*(*t*) by *F* = *dp*/*dt*, but this is incorrect, as is the related expression found by applying the product rule to *d*(*mv*)/*dt*:^{
[16]}

- (incorrect)

This equation does not correctly describe the motion of variable-mass objects. The correct equation is

where *u* is the velocity of the ejected/accreted mass *as seen in the object's rest frame*.^{
[16]} This is distinct from *v*, which is the velocity of the object itself as seen in an inertial frame.

This equation is derived by keeping track of both the momentum of the object as well as the momentum of the ejected/accreted mass (*dm*). When considered together, the object and the mass (*dm*) constitute a closed system in which total momentum is conserved.

## Relativistic

### Lorentz invariance

Newtonian physics assumes that
absolute time and space exist outside of any observer; this gives rise to
Galilean invariance. It also results in a prediction that the
speed of light can vary from one reference frame to another. This is contrary to observation. In the
special theory of relativity, Einstein keeps the postulate that the equations of motion do not depend on the reference frame, but assumes that the speed of light *c* is invariant. As a result, position and time in two reference frames are related by the
Lorentz transformation instead of the
Galilean transformation.^{
[17]}

Consider, for example, one reference frame moving relative to another at velocity *v* in the *x* direction. The Galilean transformation gives the coordinates of the moving frame as

while the Lorentz transformation gives^{
[18]}

where *γ* is the
Lorentz factor:

Newton's second law, with mass fixed, is not invariant under a Lorentz transformation. However, it can be made invariant by making the *inertial mass* *m* of an object a function of velocity:

*m*_{0} is the object's
invariant mass.^{
[19]}

The modified momentum,

obeys Newton's second law:

Within the domain of classical mechanics, relativistic momentum closely approximates Newtonian momentum: at low velocity, *γm*_{0}**v** is approximately equal to *m*_{0}**v**, the Newtonian expression for momentum.

### Four-vector formulation

In the theory of special relativity, physical quantities are expressed in terms of
four-vectors that include time as a fourth coordinate along with the three space coordinates. These vectors are generally represented by capital letters, for example **R** for position. The expression for the *four-momentum* depends on how the coordinates are expressed. Time may be given in its normal units or multiplied by the speed of light so that all the components of the four-vector have dimensions of length. If the latter scaling is used, an interval of
proper time, *τ*, defined by^{
[20]}

is
invariant under Lorentz transformations (in this expression and in what follows the (+ − − −)
metric signature has been used, different authors use different conventions). Mathematically this invariance can be ensured in one of two ways: by treating the four-vectors as
Euclidean vectors and multiplying time by
√−1; or by keeping time a real quantity and embedding the vectors in a
Minkowski space.^{
[21]} In a Minkowski space, the
scalar product of two four-vectors **U** = (*U*_{0}, *U*_{1}, *U*_{2}, *U*_{3}) and **V** = (*V*_{0}, *V*_{1}, *V*_{2}, *V*_{3}) is defined as

In all the coordinate systems, the ( contravariant) relativistic four-velocity is defined by

and the (contravariant) four-momentum is

where *m*_{0} is the invariant mass. If **R** = (*ct*, *x*, *y*, *z*) (in Minkowski space), then

Using Einstein's
mass-energy equivalence, *E* = *mc*^{2}, this can be rewritten as

Thus, conservation of four-momentum is Lorentz-invariant and implies conservation of both mass and energy.

The magnitude of the momentum four-vector is equal to *m*_{0}*c*:

and is invariant across all reference frames.

The relativistic energy–momentum relationship holds even for massless particles such as photons; by setting *m*_{0} = 0 it follows that

In a game of relativistic "billiards", if a stationary particle is hit by a moving particle in an elastic collision, the paths formed by the two afterwards will form an acute angle. This is unlike the non-relativistic case where they travel at right angles.^{
[22]}

The four-momentum of a planar wave can be related to a wave four-vector^{
[23]}

For a particle, the relationship between temporal components, *E* = *ħ* *ω*, is the
Planck–Einstein relation, and the relation between spatial components, **p** = *ħ* **k**, describes a
de Broglie
matter wave.

## Generalized

Newton's laws can be difficult to apply to many kinds of motion because the motion is limited by *constraints*. For example, a bead on an abacus is constrained to move along its wire and a pendulum bob is constrained to swing at a fixed distance from the pivot. Many such constraints can be incorporated by changing the normal
Cartesian coordinates to a set of *
generalized coordinates* that may be fewer in number.^{
[24]} Refined mathematical methods have been developed for solving mechanics problems in generalized coordinates. They introduce a *generalized momentum*, also known as the *canonical* or *conjugate momentum*, that extends the concepts of both linear momentum and
angular momentum. To distinguish it from generalized momentum, the product of mass and velocity is also referred to as *mechanical*, *kinetic* or *kinematic momentum*.^{
[6]}^{
[25]}^{
[26]} The two main methods are described below.

### Lagrangian mechanics

In
Lagrangian mechanics, a Lagrangian is defined as the difference between the kinetic energy *T* and the
potential energy *V*:

If the generalized coordinates are represented as a vector **q** = (*q*_{1}, *q*_{2}, ... , *q*_{N}) and time differentiation is represented by a dot over the variable, then the equations of motion (known as the Lagrange or
Euler–Lagrange equations) are a set of *N* equations:^{
[27]}

If a coordinate *q*_{i} is not a Cartesian coordinate, the associated generalized momentum component *p*_{i} does not necessarily have the dimensions of linear momentum. Even if *q*_{i} is a Cartesian coordinate, *p*_{i} will not be the same as the mechanical momentum if the potential depends on velocity.^{
[6]} Some sources represent the kinematic momentum by the symbol **Π**.^{
[28]}

In this mathematical framework, a generalized momentum is associated with the generalized coordinates. Its components are defined as

Each component *p*_{j} is said to be the *conjugate momentum* for the coordinate *q*_{j}.

Now if a given coordinate *q*_{i} does not appear in the Lagrangian (although its time derivative might appear), then

This is the generalization of the conservation of momentum.^{
[6]}

Even if the generalized coordinates are just the ordinary spatial coordinates, the conjugate momenta are not necessarily the ordinary momentum coordinates. An example is found in the section on electromagnetism.

### Hamiltonian mechanics

In Hamiltonian mechanics, the Lagrangian (a function of generalized coordinates and their derivatives) is replaced by a Hamiltonian that is a function of generalized coordinates and momentum. The Hamiltonian is defined as

where the momentum is obtained by differentiating the Lagrangian as above. The Hamiltonian equations of motion are^{
[29]}

As in Lagrangian mechanics, if a generalized coordinate does not appear in the Hamiltonian, its conjugate momentum component is conserved.^{
[30]}

### Symmetry and conservation

Conservation of momentum is a mathematical consequence of the
homogeneity (shift
symmetry) of space (position in space is the
canonical conjugate quantity to momentum). That is, conservation of momentum is a consequence of the fact that the laws of physics do not depend on position; this is a special case of
Noether's theorem.^{
[31]} For systems that do not have this symmetry, it may not be possible to define conservation of momentum. Examples where conservation of momentum does not apply include
curved spacetimes in
general relativity^{
[32]} or
time crystals in
condensed matter physics.^{
[33]}^{
[34]}^{
[35]}^{
[36]}

## Electromagnetic

### Particle in a field

In
Maxwell's equations, the forces between particles are mediated by electric and magnetic fields. The electromagnetic force (*
Lorentz force*) on a particle with charge *q* due to a combination of
electric field **E** and
magnetic field **B** is

(in
SI units).^{
[37]}^{: 2 }
It has an
electric potential *φ*(**r**, *t*) and
magnetic vector potential **A**(**r**, *t*).^{
[28]}
In the non-relativistic regime, its generalized momentum is

while in relativistic mechanics this becomes

The quantity is sometimes called the *potential momentum*.^{
[38]}^{
[39]}^{
[40]} It is the momentum due to the interaction of the particle with the electromagnetic fields. The name is an analogy with the potential energy , which is the energy due to the interaction of the particle with the electromagnetic fields. These quantities form a four-vector, so the analogy is consistent; besides, the concept of potential momentum is important in explaining the so-called hidden-momentum of the electromagnetic fields^{
[41]}

### Conservation

In Newtonian mechanics, the law of conservation of momentum can be derived from the
law of action and reaction, which states that every force has a reciprocating equal and opposite force. Under some circumstances, moving charged particles can exert forces on each other in non-opposite directions.^{
[42]} Nevertheless, the combined momentum of the particles and the electromagnetic field is conserved.

#### Vacuum

The Lorentz force imparts a momentum to the particle, so by Newton's second law the particle must impart a momentum to the electromagnetic fields.^{
[43]}

In a vacuum, the momentum per unit volume is

where *μ*_{0} is the
vacuum permeability and *c* is the
speed of light. The momentum density is proportional to the
Poynting vector **S** which gives the directional rate of energy transfer per unit area:^{
[43]}^{
[44]}

If momentum is to be conserved over the volume *V* over a region *Q*, changes in the momentum of matter through the Lorentz force must be balanced by changes in the momentum of the electromagnetic field and outflow of momentum. If **P**_{mech} is the momentum of all the particles in *Q*, and the particles are treated as a continuum, then Newton's second law gives

The electromagnetic momentum is

and the equation for conservation of each component *i* of the momentum is

The term on the right is an integral over the surface area *Σ* of the surface *σ* representing momentum flow into and out of the volume, and *n*_{j} is a component of the surface normal of *S*. The quantity *T*_{ij} is called the
Maxwell stress tensor, defined as

^{ [43]}

#### Media

The above results are for the *microscopic* Maxwell equations, applicable to electromagnetic forces in a vacuum (or on a very small scale in media). It is more difficult to define momentum density in media because the division into electromagnetic and mechanical is arbitrary. The definition of electromagnetic momentum density is modified to

where the H-field **H** is related to the B-field and the
magnetization **M** by

The electromagnetic stress tensor depends on the properties of the media.^{
[43]}

## Quantum mechanical

In quantum mechanics, momentum is defined as a self-adjoint operator on the wave function. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle defines limits on how accurately the momentum and position of a single observable system can be known at once. In quantum mechanics, position and momentum are conjugate variables.

For a single particle described in the position basis the momentum operator can be written as

where ∇ is the
gradient operator, *ħ* is the
reduced Planck constant, and *i* is the
imaginary unit. This is a commonly encountered form of the momentum operator, though the momentum operator in other bases can take other forms. For example, in
momentum space the momentum operator is represented as

where the operator **p** acting on a wave function *ψ*(*p*) yields that wave function multiplied by the value *p*, in an analogous fashion to the way that the position operator acting on a wave function *ψ*(*x*) yields that wave function multiplied by the value *x*.

For both massive and massless objects, relativistic momentum is related to the
phase constant by^{
[45]}

Electromagnetic radiation (including
visible light,
ultraviolet light, and
radio waves) is carried by
photons. Even though photons (the particle aspect of light) have no mass, they still carry momentum. This leads to applications such as the
solar sail. The calculation of the momentum of light within
dielectric media is somewhat controversial (see
Abraham–Minkowski controversy).^{
[46]}^{
[47]}

## In deformable bodies and fluids

### Conservation in a continuum

In fields such as
fluid dynamics and
solid mechanics, it is not feasible to follow the motion of individual atoms or molecules. Instead, the materials must be approximated by a
continuum in which there is a particle or
fluid parcel at each point that is assigned the average of the properties of atoms in a small region nearby. In particular, it has a density *ρ* and velocity **v** that depend on time *t* and position **r**. The momentum per unit volume is *ρ***v**.^{
[48]}

Consider a column of water in
hydrostatic equilibrium. All the forces on the water are in balance and the water is motionless. On any given drop of water, two forces are balanced. The first is gravity, which acts directly on each atom and molecule inside. The gravitational force per unit volume is *ρ***g**, where **g** is the
gravitational acceleration. The second force is the sum of all the forces exerted on its surface by the surrounding water. The force from below is greater than the force from above by just the amount needed to balance gravity. The normal force per unit area is the
pressure *p*. The average force per unit volume inside the droplet is the gradient of the pressure, so the force balance equation is^{
[49]}

If the forces are not balanced, the droplet accelerates. This acceleration is not simply the partial derivative *∂***v**/*∂t* because the fluid in a given volume changes with time. Instead, the
material derivative is needed:^{
[50]}

Applied to any physical quantity, the material derivative includes the rate of change at a point and the changes due to
advection as fluid is carried past the point. Per unit volume, the rate of change in momentum is equal to *ρ**D***v**/*Dt*. This is equal to the net force on the droplet.

Forces that can change the momentum of a droplet include the gradient of the pressure and gravity, as above. In addition, surface forces can deform the droplet. In the simplest case, a
shear stress *τ*, exerted by a force parallel to the surface of the droplet, is proportional to the rate of deformation or
strain rate. Such a shear stress occurs if the fluid has a velocity gradient because the fluid is moving faster on one side than another. If the speed in the *x* direction varies with *z*, the tangential force in direction *x* per unit area normal to the *z* direction is

where *μ* is the
viscosity. This is also a
flux, or flow per unit area, of *x*-momentum through the surface.^{
[51]}

Including the effect of viscosity, the momentum balance equations for the incompressible flow of a Newtonian fluid are

These are known as the
Navier–Stokes equations.^{
[52]}

The momentum balance equations can be extended to more general materials, including solids. For each surface with normal in direction *i* and force in direction *j*, there is a stress component *σ*_{ij}. The nine components make up the
Cauchy stress tensor **σ**, which includes both pressure and shear. The local conservation of momentum is expressed by the
Cauchy momentum equation:

where **f** is the
body force.^{
[53]}

The Cauchy momentum equation is broadly applicable to deformations of solids and liquids. The relationship between the stresses and the strain rate depends on the properties of the material (see Types of viscosity).

### Acoustic waves

A disturbance in a medium gives rise to oscillations, or
waves, that propagate away from their source. In a fluid, small changes in pressure *p* can often be described by the
acoustic wave equation:

where *c* is the
speed of sound. In a solid, similar equations can be obtained for propagation of pressure (
P-waves) and shear (
S-waves).^{
[54]}

The flux, or transport per unit area, of a momentum component *ρv _{j}* by a velocity

*v*is equal to

_{i}*ρ v*. In the linear approximation that leads to the above acoustic equation, the time average of this flux is zero. However, nonlinear effects can give rise to a nonzero average.

_{j}v_{j}^{ [55]}It is possible for momentum flux to occur even though the wave itself does not have a mean momentum.

^{ [56]}

## History of the concept

This section needs attention from an expert in History of Science. The specific problem is: Dispute over originator of conservation of momentum. (November 2019) |

In about 530 AD, working in Alexandria, Byzantine philosopher
John Philoponus developed a concept of momentum in his commentary to
Aristotle's *Physics*. Aristotle claimed that everything that is moving must be kept moving by something. For example, a thrown ball must be kept moving by motions of the air. Most writers continued to accept Aristotle's theory until the time of Galileo, but a few were skeptical. Philoponus pointed out the absurdity in Aristotle's claim that motion of an object is promoted by the same air that is resisting its passage. He proposed instead that an impetus was imparted to the object in the act of throwing it.^{
[57]} Ibn Sīnā (also known by his Latinized name
Avicenna) read Philoponus and published his own theory of motion in *The Book of Healing* in 1020. He agreed that an impetus is imparted to a projectile by the thrower; but unlike Philoponus, who believed that it was a temporary virtue that would decline even in a vacuum, he viewed it as a persistent, requiring external forces such as
air resistance to dissipate it.^{
[58]}^{
[59]}^{
[60]}
The work of Philoponus, and possibly that of Ibn Sīnā,^{
[60]} was read and refined by the European philosophers
Peter Olivi and
Jean Buridan. Buridan, who in about 1350 was made rector of the University of Paris, referred to
impetus being proportional to the weight times the speed. Moreover, Buridan's theory was different from his predecessor's in that he did not consider impetus to be self-dissipating, asserting that a body would be arrested by the forces of air resistance and gravity which might be opposing its impetus.^{
[61]}^{
[62]}

René Descartes believed that the total "quantity of motion" (
Latin: *quantitas motus*) in the universe is conserved,^{
[63]} where the quantity of motion is understood as the product of size and speed. This should not be read as a statement of the modern law of momentum, since he had no concept of mass as distinct from weight and size, and more important, he believed that it is speed rather than velocity that is conserved. So for Descartes if a moving object were to bounce off a surface, changing its direction but not its speed, there would be no change in its quantity of motion.^{
[64]}^{
[65]}^{
[66]}
Galileo, in his *
Two New Sciences*, used the
Italian word *impeto* to similarly describe Descartes' quantity of motion.

Leibniz, in his "
Discourse on Metaphysics", gave an argument against Descartes' construction of the conservation of the "quantity of motion" using an example of dropping blocks of different sizes different distances. He points out that force is conserved but quantity of motion, construed as the product of size and speed of an object, is not conserved.^{
[67]}

Christiaan Huygens concluded quite early that
Descartes's laws for the elastic collision of two bodies must be wrong, and he formulated the correct laws.^{
[68]} An important step was his recognition of the
Galilean invariance of the problems.^{
[69]} His views then took many years to be circulated. He passed them on in person to
William Brouncker and
Christopher Wren in London, in 1661.^{
[70]} What Spinoza wrote to
Henry Oldenburg about them, in 1666 which was during the
Second Anglo-Dutch War, was guarded.^{
[71]} Huygens had actually worked them out in a manuscript *De motu corporum ex percussione* in the period 1652–6. The war ended in 1667, and Huygens announced his results to the Royal Society in 1668. He published them in the *
Journal des sçavans* in 1669.^{
[72]}

The first correct statement of the law of conservation of momentum was by English mathematician
John Wallis in his 1670 work, *Mechanica sive De Motu, Tractatus Geometricus*: "the initial state of the body, either of rest or of motion, will persist" and "If the force is greater than the resistance, motion will result".^{
[73]} Wallis used *momentum* for quantity of motion, and *vis* for force. Newton's *
Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica*, when it was first published in 1687, showed a similar casting around for words to use for the mathematical momentum. His Definition II defines *quantitas motus*, "quantity of motion", as "arising from the velocity and quantity of matter conjointly", which identifies it as momentum.^{
[74]} Thus when in Law II he refers to *mutatio motus*, "change of motion", being proportional to the force impressed, he is generally taken to mean momentum and not motion.^{
[75]} It remained only to assign a standard term to the quantity of motion. The first use of "momentum" in its proper mathematical sense is not clear but by the time of
Jennings's *Miscellanea* in 1721, five years before the final edition of Newton's *Principia Mathematica*, momentum M or "quantity of motion" was being defined for students as "a rectangle", the product of Q and V, where Q is "quantity of material" and V is "velocity", *s*/*t*.^{
[76]}

## See also

## References

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^{a}^{b}^{c}Feynman Vol. 1, Chapter 10 **^**Ho-Kim, Quang; Kumar, Narendra; Lam, Harry C.S. (2004).*Invitation to Contemporary Physics*(illustrated ed.). World Scientific. p. 19. ISBN 978-981-238-303-7.- ^
^{a}^{b}^{c}^{d}Goldstein 1980, pp. 54–56 **^**Goldstein 1980, p. 276**^**Carl Nave (2010). "Elastic and inelastic collisions".*Hyperphysics*. Archived from the original on 18 August 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.**^**Serway, Raymond A.; John W. Jewett, Jr (2012).*Principles of physics : a calculus-based text*(5th ed.). Boston, MA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning. p. 245. ISBN 9781133104261.**^**Carl Nave (2010). "Forces in car crashes".*Hyperphysics*. Archived from the original on 22 August 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.**^**Carl Nave (2010). "The Franck-Hertz Experiment".*Hyperphysics*. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.**^**McGinnis, Peter M. (2005).*Biomechanics of sport and exercise*(2nd ed.). Champaign, IL [u.a.]: Human Kinetics. p. 85. ISBN 9780736051019. Archived from the original on 2016-08-19.**^**Sutton, George (2001), "1",*Rocket Propulsion Elements*(7th ed.), Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-471-32642-7- ^
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^{a}^{b}Lerner, Rita G.; Trigg, George L., eds. (2005).*Encyclopedia of physics*(3rd ed.). Weinheim: Wiley-VCH-Verl. ISBN 978-3527405541. **^**Goldstein 1980, pp. 341–342**^**Goldstein 1980, p. 348**^**Hand, Louis N.; Finch, Janet D. (1998).*Analytical mechanics*(7th print ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 4. ISBN 9780521575720.**^**Witten, Edward (1981). "A new proof of the positive energy theorem" (PDF).*Communications in Mathematical Physics*.**80**(3): 381–402. Bibcode: 1981CMaPh..80..381W. doi: 10.1007/BF01208277. ISSN 0010-3616. S2CID 1035111.**^**Grossman, Lisa (18 January 2012). "Death-defying time crystal could outlast the universe".*newscientist.com*. New Scientist. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02.**^**Cowen, Ron (27 February 2012). ""Time Crystals" Could Be a Legitimate Form of Perpetual Motion".*scientificamerican.com*. Scientific American. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02.**^**Powell, Devin (2013). "Can matter cycle through shapes eternally?".*Nature*. doi: 10.1038/nature.2013.13657. ISSN 1476-4687. S2CID 181223762. Archived from the original on 2017-02-03.**^**Gibney, Elizabeth (2017). "The quest to crystallize time".*Nature*.**543**(7644): 164–166. Bibcode: 2017Natur.543..164G. doi: 10.1038/543164a. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 28277535. S2CID 4460265. Archived from the original on 2017-03-13.**^**Jackson 1975**^**Semon, Mark D.; Taylor, John R. (November 1996). "Thoughts on the magnetic vector potential".*American Journal of Physics*.**64**(11): 1361–1369. Bibcode: 1996AmJPh..64.1361S. doi: 10.1119/1.18400. ISSN 0002-9505.**^**Griffiths, David J. (David Jeffery), 1942- (29 June 2017).*Introduction to electrodynamics*(Fourth ed.). Cambridge, United Kingdom. ISBN 978-1-108-42041-9. OCLC 1021068059.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list ( link)**^**Vieira, R. S.; Brentan, H. B. (April 2018). "Covariant theory of gravitation in the framework of special relativity".*The European Physical Journal Plus*.**133**(4): 165. arXiv: 1608.00815. Bibcode: 2018EPJP..133..165V. doi: 10.1140/epjp/i2018-11988-9. ISSN 2190-5444. S2CID 16691128.**^**Babson, David; Reynolds, Stephen P.; Bjorkquist, Robin; Griffiths, David J. (September 2009). "Hidden momentum, field momentum, and electromagnetic impulse".*American Journal of Physics*.**77**(9): 826–833. Bibcode: 2009AmJPh..77..826B. doi: 10.1119/1.3152712. ISSN 0002-9505.**^**Griffiths, David J. (2013).*Introduction to electrodynamics*(Fourth ed.). Boston: Pearson. p. 361. ISBN 978-0321856562.- ^
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## External links

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- Conservation of momentum – A chapter from an online textbook