The Impulse-Momentum Equation


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What is the relationship between impulse and momentum? It is simple - and extremely powerful. The impulse-momentum equation says:

Impulse Momentum Equation

or, sometimes "Impulse = Change in Momentum". In mathematical symbols, it can be written as:

Impulse = delta p


Ft = mv - mv sub o = p - p sub o


Ft = delta p = m delta v


The impulse-momentum equation can be easily derived from kinematics and Newton's Second Law. This equation is very closely related to Newton's Second Law - in fact, it is often called the "Impulse-Momentum form of Newton's Second Law".

Using the Impulse-Momentum Equation

You will need to be able to apply the impulse-momentum equation in two general types of situations:

last update April 10, 2000 by JL Stanbrough