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Angular Momentum
The angular momentum L of particle P in Figure 12.7, with respect to the origin, is defined as
This definition implies that if the particle is moving directly away from the origin, or directly
towards it, the angular momentum associated with this motion is zero. A particle will have a
different angular momentum if the origin is chosen at a different location. A particle moving in a
circle will have an angular momentum (with respect to the center of the circle) equal to
Again we notice the similarity between the definition of linear momentum and the definition of
angular momentum.
A particle can have angular momentum even if it does not move in a circle. For example, Figure
12.8 shows the location and the direction of the momentum of particle P. The angular momentum
of particle P, with respect to the origin, is given by
Figure 12.8. Angular momentum of particle P.
The change in the angular momentum of the particle can be obtained by differentiating the
equation for l with respect to time

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