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# Law of Conservation of

Linear Momentum
Law of Conservation of Linear Momentum
Law of Conservation of Linear
Momentum
• The acceleration in the equation of Newton’s second law may be written in terms of
change in velocity per unit time. In symbols,

𝑚(𝑣−𝑣0 )
• Multiplying both sides by t gives 𝑓= 𝑡

𝑓𝑡 = 𝑚𝑣 − 𝑣0
• The product of force and time during which the force acts is called impulse. Linear
momentum, at simply momentum, is the product of the mass of a moving object and its
velocity. The above equations represents the impulse-momentum theorem and is
considered to be an alternative statement of Newton’s second law of motion. Using p
as a symbol for momentum,
𝑝 = 𝑚𝑣
Law of Conservation of Linear
Momentum
• Possessed by all moving objects, momentum is a vector quantity, with a direction the
same as that of the velocity. Its SI unit is kg m/s,
• Momentum is the best explained by considering an isolated closed system. As an
additional characteristics, an isolated system does not have any external forces acting
on it. A closed system is one where there is no increase or decrease in the mass of the
system. A single system may be both closed and isolated. For an isolated closed system
with two interacting bodies, the total momentum before interaction is equal to the
total momentum after interaction. This principle is called conservation of momentum,
which applies to linear momentum and angular momentum. The succeeding discussion
will focus on linear momentum.
For two interacting bodies of masses 𝑚1 and 𝑚2
𝑚1 𝑣1 + 𝑚1 𝑣1𝑓 + 𝑚2 𝑣2𝑓
Law of Conservation of Linear
Momentum
• Where subscripts I and f mean initials and final states, respectively. Note that
momentum is a vector quantity, thus its direction must always be taken into
consideration in the equations. Objects moving to the right have positive momentum;
those moving to the left have negative momentum.
• A 5,000 kg truck moving at 15 m/s collides with a 2,000 kg stationary car. The two
vehicles stick together and move as one after collision. (a) Find their common velocity
after colliding. (b) Determine whether the collision is elastic or inelastic.

## Given: 𝑚1 = 5 000 kg 𝑣1 = 15 m/s

𝑚2 = 2 000 kg 𝑣2 = 0 m/s
Law of Conservation of Linear
Momentum
Solution:
• a. In the equation for the law of conservation of momentum, 𝑣1𝑓 and 𝑣2𝑓 may be
represented by v, and the two masses may be combined because they moved as one
after collision. Note that 𝑣2𝑖 = 0
𝑚1 𝑣1𝑖 + 𝑚2 𝑣2𝑖 = 𝑚1 𝑣1𝑓 + 𝑣2𝑓
𝑚1 𝑣1𝑖 + 𝑚2 𝑣2𝑖 = (𝑚1 + 𝑚2 ) 𝑣
𝑚1 𝑣1𝑖 𝑚2 𝑣2𝑖
𝑣= +
𝑚1 𝑚2

## =(5000 kg) (15 m/s) +0

5 000 kg + 2 000 kg
= 10.7 m/s
Law of Conservation of Linear
Momentum
b. To determine whether collision is elastic or not, check whether kinetic
energy is conserved or not.
1 2 1
𝐾𝐸𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 = 𝑚1 𝑣1𝑖 = (5000 kg) (15 m/s) ^2 = 562500 J
2 2
1 1
𝐾𝐸𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 = (𝑚1 +𝑚2 )𝑣 2 = (5000 kg + 2000 kg) (10.7 m/s) ^2 = 400715 J
2 2

## • Since kinetic energy is not conserved, the collision is inelastic.

Law of Conservation of Linear
Momentum
• Conservation Laws
In everyday usage, the word conservation denotes wise use of something like energy.
In physics, the term refers to a situation where the amount of a physical quantity
remains constant. It is a “before-and-after interaction” look at a system.
Conservation laws are formulated in physics to offer a different approach to
mechanics.
• Law of Conservation of Energy
The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor
destroyed, but can be changed from one form to another. A car engine burns fuel,
converting the fuel’s chemical energy into mechanical energy to make the car move.
Windmills transform the wind’s energy into mechanical energy in order to turn
turbines, which then produce electricity. Solar cells convert radiant energy from the
sun to electrical energy, which in turn may be converted to light, sound, or heat
energy in homes.
Law of Conservation of Linear
Momentum
• Law of Conservation of Mass
The law of conservation of mass dates from Antoine Lavoisier’s 1789 discovery that in
chemical reactions, the total mass of the reactants equals the total mass of the products.
The total mass of an isolated system is constant. An isolated system as referred to here is
system where no mass enters or leaves during an interaction.
With his famous equation E=mc^2, Albert Einstein showed that mass and energy are
equivalent. The equation shows that mass can be converted to energy and vice versa. The
mass-energy equivalence accounts for the unaccounted mass, particularly in nuclear
reactions. As a results of this, this two conservation laws were merge into one the law of
conservation of mass and energy.
Law of Conservation of Linear
Momentum
• Conservation of momentum is experienced in some familiar situations. When a person
walks on his skateboard in one direction, the skateboard moves in the opposite
direction. The same situation may be observed when he steps from a small boat onto a
dock. As a person steps towards the dock, the boat moves away from the dock, and he
may fall into the water. Similarly, when a gun is fired, the bullets moves forward, but
the gun recoils in the opposite direction. In these situations, the momentum before
interaction is zero. When one of the interacting bodies moves forward, it acquires
momentum in the forward direction. Consequently, the other body must move
backward to keep the total momentum zero.
• One of the most important applications of the law conservation of linear momentum is
in the analysis of collisions, which may be elastic or inelastic. In an elastic collision,
the total kinetic energy of the system is conserved, which means that the sum of the
kinetic energies of the interacting bodies before and after collision are equal. In an
inelastic collision, some kinetic energy is changed into other forms of energy. Recall
that the kinetic energy (KE) of a body is given by the formula.
1
KE = mv^2
2

• Where m is the mass and v is the speed of the body. The SI unit for kinetic energy is kg
m^2/ s^2 or joule (J.)