Conservation of momentum
Schmidt, Paul W. Formerly, Department of Physics, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
Last reviewed:November 2018
Show previous versions
- Conservation of momentum examples
- Video example: Astronaut pushing a satellite
- Rocket propulsion
- Exploding bomb
- Proof of principle
- Additional Readings
The fundamental physical law stating that the momentum of a system is constant if no external forces act upon the system. The principle of conservation of momentum holds generally and is applicable in all fields of physics. In particular, momentum is conserved even if the particles of a system exert forces on one another or if the total mechanical energy is not conserved. Use of the principle of conservation of momentum is fundamental in the solution of collision problems (Fig. 1). See also: Collision (physics); Conservation of energy; Conservation laws (physics); Energy; Momentum; Physics
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information