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physics impulse - Michael Strickland Physics 111L Kileigh...

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Michael Strickland Physics 111L October 19 2010 Kileigh Peturis Impulse and Momentum
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Introduction In classical mechanics, an impulse is defined as the integral of a force with respect to time. When a force is applied to a rigid body it changes the momentum of that body. A small force applied for a long time can produce the same momentum change as a large force applied briefly, because it is the product of the force and the time for which it is applied that is important. The impulse is equal to the change of momentum. The momentum of a body is equal to its mass multiplied by its velocity. Momentum is measured in N s. Note that momentum is a vector quantity, in other words the direction is important. The impulse of a force (also measured in N s) is equal to the change in momentum of a body which a force causes. This is also equal to the magnitude of the force multiplied by the length of time the force is applied.
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