The Big Idea
The universe has many remarkable qualities, among them a rather beautiful symmetry: the total amount of motion in the universe is constant. This law only makes sense if we measure “motion” in a specific way: as the product of mass and velocity. This product, called momentum, can be transferred from one object to another in a collision. The rapidity with which momentum is exchanged over time is determined by the forces involved in the collision. This is the second of the five fundamental conservation laws in physics. The other four are conservation of energy, angular momentum, charge, and CPT. (See Feynman's Diagrams for an explanation of CPT.)
In this chapter students learn how to analyze and solve momentum questions and problems. Specifically, they will learn about momentum conservation in the context of collisions and also about impulse and impulse force.