Unformatted text preview: momentum of the particles: P = p 1 + p 2 + ... + p n = m 1 v 1 + m 2 v 2 + ... + m n v n Recall from our discussion of center of mass that: v cm = ( m 1 v 1 + m 2 v 2 + ... + m n v n ) where M is the total mass of the system. Comparing these two equations we see that: P = Mv cm Thus the total momentum of the system is simply the total mass times the velocity of the center of mass. We can also take a time derivative of the total momentum of the system: = M = Ma cm Recall also that, for a system of particles, F ext = Ma cm Clearly, then: F ext = Don't worry if the calculus here is complex. Though our definition of the momentum of a system of particles is important, the derivation of this equation only matters because it tells us a great deal about momentum. When we explore this equation further we will generate our principle of conservation of linear momentum....
View
Full Document
 Fall '10
 DavidJudd
 Physics, Kinetic Energy, Mass, Momentum, Special Relativity

Click to edit the document details