O'Reilly logo

An Introduction to Mechanics by Robert J. Kolenkow, Daniel Kleppner

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

3  MOMENTUM

3.1 Introduction

In the last chapter we made a gross simplification by treating nature as if it were composed of point particles rather than real, extended bodies. Sometimes this simplification is justified—as in the study of planetary motion, where the size of the planets is of little consequence compared with the vast distances which characterize our solar system, or in the case of elementary particles moving through an accelerator, where the size of the particles, about 10−15 m, is minute compared with the size of the machine. However, these cases are unusual. Much of the time we deal with large bodies which may have elaborate structure. For instance, consider the landing of a spacecraft on the moon. Even if we could calculate ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required