In theory, every moving and colliding objects works through momentum. The momentum of an object can be calculated with the following equation:
p = mv
Where m = mass (kg) and v = velocity (m/s). To understand more about momentum, consider two imaginary spacecraft colliding and joining together.
Before the collision
After the collision
Perspective of the Observer with Velocity V
- Before, p = (m x 0) + (-2mv) = -2mv
- After, p = 2m x (-v) = -2mv
Force and Momentum
△p = m△v
We can assume that △p happens in time △t.
△p/△t = m x (△v/△t)
We know that △v/△t is acceleration though. Therefore…
△p/△t = ma
We know that F = ma though. Therefore…
△p/△t = Force
Force = rate of change of momentum. We can then arrange △p = F△t where ‘F△t’ is also known as the impulse force.
- △p fuel = –△p rocket
- △m x (-v) = -M x △V
- △mv = M△V
- Momentum can be worked out be multiplying mass with velocity.
- The change in momentum is also know as the impulse which is Force x △t.
- Newton’s third law states that momentum is conserved.