Momentum Examples

In simple terms, momentum is considered to be a quantity of motion. This quantity is measurable because if an object is moving and has mass, then it has momentum. Something that has a large mass has a large momentum or something that is moving very fast has a large momentum. Often times we discuss people or teams having the "momentum" in some sports setting. For instance, if Tiger Woods starts making a bunch of great shots in a golf match, we would say that he has momentum. When we use the term this way, we mean that he is "on the move" or that he is unstoppable. So objects with a large amount of momentum are hard to stop. In physics, momentum is a quantity that can be calculated by multiplying the mass and velocity of the object involved. Momentum is expressed by the letter p. So momentum equals mass times velocity or p = m x v. Therefore, if any object of any mass is not moving, its momentum is zero because its velocity is zero.
Examples of Momentum:

1. A semi-truck full of logs has a large mass and must slow down long before a stop light because even with a small velocity, it has a large momentum and is difficult to stop.

2. A four-wheeler moving at a relatively fast velocity has a smaller momentum than the semi-truck because of its small mass and will stop much faster.

3. A bullet, although small in mass, has a large momentum because of an extremely large velocity.

4. A 1000 kg car moving at 15 m/sec has a momentum of 15,000 kg•m/sec as a result of multiplying the mass and the velocity.

5. A karate expert can generate enough speed with his fist that the momentum can carry through several bricks breaking them.

6. Two football players of equal mass are traveling towards each other, one is moving at 5 m/sec and the other at 8 m/sec. The one moving with the faster velocity has a greater momentum and will knock the other one backwards.

Related Links:
Science Examples
Momentum and Impulse Quiz
Momentum Quiz
Momentum Quiz