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# Re: [Phys-L] The Impulse Momentum Theorem

• From: Bill Nettles <bnettles@uu.edu>
• Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2014 18:28:20 +0000

-> -----Original Message-----
-> From: Phys-l [mailto:phys-l-bounces@www.phys-l.org] On Behalf Of Paul
-> Nord
-> Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2014 8:11 AM
-> To: Phys-L@Phys-L.org
-> Subject: [Phys-L] The Impulse Momentum Theorem
->
-> Question: Do you teach the Impulse Momentum Theorem?

At our university we do impulse-momentum in trig-based and calculus-based physics and connect it to conservation of momentum concepts, etc. We also look at area under the F vs t curve. We don't look at impulses in physical science (non-science majors with minimal math) --conservation of momentum takes enough mental effort for that audience.

If you handle Newton's 2nd Law as "the force is related to the rate of change of momentum", then F=ma is secondary. I think you need to cover both ideas. Define momentum first (p=mv) then introduce Delta p = F Delta t. Impulses help explain how air bags and Styrofoam peanuts do their jobs.

-> It seems that Impulse was dropped from the curriculum at some point in the
-> past. Was there a reason for this?
Are you talking about high school curricula?