# Momentum

By: Calvin W. #kettner #momentum #tackk

Momentum is a characteristic of a moving object that is related to the mass and velocity of the object.  Conservation of Momentum states that, in the absence of outside forces like friction, the total momentum of objects that interact does not change.  The formula for momentum is Momentum = Mass * Velocity.  No one really knows why P represents the word momentum is the formula, but it likely came from the Latin word "petere" meaning "go towards."  The letter m already represented mass.  A heavy moving van can have the same momentum as a small motorcycle.  Although the van has a greater mass, the velocity of the motorcycle could be greater making the momentum of both machines equal.  A sticky collision is when two cars with the same mass get tangled together after they collide.  A non-sticky collision is when two objects with the same mass don't stick together, the objects just trade velocities.

Above is an elastic collision.

Above is an inelastic collision

Throwing a piece of clay on the ground would be an inelastic collision because some of the kinetic energy of the clay was lost as heat and sound to the ground and air, and some of the heat remained in the clay.  The energy was divided into different places.  Angular momentum is when an object spins around and around like a top.  In space, nebulae, stars, black holes, and planets all have angular momentum.

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