# Impulse - ball The impulse in this situation is the average...

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Impulse Often in systems of particles, two particles interact by applying a force to each other over a finite period of time, as in a collision. The physics of collisions will be further examined in the as an extension of our conservation law, but for now we will look at the general case of forces acting over a period of time. We shall define this concept, force applied over a time period, as impulse. Impulse can be defined mathematically, and is denoted by J : J = FΔt Just as work was a force over a distance, impulse is force over a time. Work applied mostly to forces that would be considered external in a system of particles: gravity, spring force, friction. Impulse, however, applies mostly to interactions finite in time, best seen in particle interactions. A good example of impulse is the action of hitting a ball with a bat. Though the contact may seem instantaneous, there actually is a short period of time in which the bat exerts a force on the
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Unformatted text preview: ball. The impulse in this situation is the average force exerted by the bat multiplied by the time the bat and ball were in contact. It is also important to note that impulse is a vector quantity, pointing in the same direction as the force applied. Given the situation of hitting a ball, can we predict the resultant motion of the ball? Let us analyze our equation for impulse more closely, and convert it to a kinematic expression. We first substitute F = ma into our equation: J = FΔt = ( ma ) Δt But the acceleration can also be expressed as a = . Thus: J = m Δt = mΔv = Δ ( mv ) = mv f- mv o The large impulse applied by the bat actually reverses the direction of the ball, causing a large change in velocity. Recall that when finding that work caused a change in the quantity mv 2 we defined this as kinetic energy. Similarly, we define momentum according to our equation for an impulse....
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