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Linear Momentum

Momentum is a physical quantity which is useful in understanding Newton’s second law. It is a measure of the inertia of motion. It is also the ability of a body to impart motion to another body or the quantity of motion contained in a body. Momentum depends on two factors, namely
  1. mass of the body and
  2. velocity of the body.
The linear momentum of a body is defined as the product of its mass and velocity.

If m is the mass of the body and v is its velocity, the momentum p of the body is given by
 
p = mv
 
It is a vector in the direction of velocity.
 
The SI unit of momentum is kg m s−1.
 
Newton’s second law of motion can also be stated as ‘the rate of change of momentum of a body is proportional to the applied force and takes place in the direction of the force’.
 
Therefore, Newton’s second law can be written in terms of momentum as follows:
F = ma
 
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Thus, the resultant force on a body is equal to change in linear momentum per unit time.




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