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Re: [Phys-L] The Impulse Momentum Theorem

For ~30 years of teaching non-AP HS Physics we ‘did momentum first’ and then used delta p / delta t to define this thing called Force.

On Nov 6, 2014, at 9:11 AM, Paul Nord <> wrote:

Question: Do you teach the Impulse Momentum Theorem?

We casually added some mention of this to a lab we’ve started doing in the last couple of years. We’re doing a karate-style board break. High speed video allows us to look at the collision in some detail. Though the board breaks in about two frames, we can observe the velocity of the hand (or another object) before and after the collision.

It seems that Impulse was dropped from the curriculum at some point in the past. Was there a reason for this? We teach F = ma but we don’t seem to carry that forward to talk about the change in velocity from a force applied for a short time and one applied for a long time. Though we do go on to define work.

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