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When a large force works on a body for very small time interval, it is called impulsive force.
An impulsive force does not remain constant, but changes first from zero to maximum and then from maximum to zero. In such case, we measure the total effect of force.
  • Impulse of a force is a measure of total effect of force.
  • Impulse is a vector quantity and its direction is same as that of force.
  • Force–time graph: Impulse is equal to the area under F–t curve (Fig. 3).
    Fig. 3
  • If Fav is the average magnitude of the force, then
  • From Newton’s second law 34059.png
    or 34053.png ⇒ 34047.png
    i.e., the impulse of a force is equal to the change in momentum. This statement is known as impulse momentum theorem.

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