Momentum Calculator

Created by Luis Fernando
Last updated: Jul 02, 2022

Our linear momentum calculator physics tool helps you calculate the magnitude of the momentum of an object in linear motion.

We can think about momentum as the "strength of movement in a body" due to its mass and velocity. Momentum is highly related to force, and there are two types:

  • If the movement is rotational, the object has angular momentum, which equals its mass moment of inertia and angular velocity.
  • If that movement is linear (translational), it has linear momentum (calculated by this tool).

Our velocity calculator can help if you don't know the velocity needed to calculate the linear momentum.

How to calculate momentum? Linear momentum formula

The formula to calculate the linear momentum of an object is:

p=mv\mathbf{p}= m\mathbf{v}

where:

  • p\mathbf{p} – Linear momentum;
  • mm – Object's mass; and
  • v\mathbf{v} – Velocity of the object.

The SI units of momentum are kg·m/s or N·s, and imperial units are lbs·ft/s.

Mass is a scalar, and velocity is a vector quantity. Therefore, momentum is also a vector quantity, with the same direction as the velocity.

Examples of how to calculate momentum

These are some examples of magnitude of momentum calculation in physics:

  • A person weighing 70 kg70 \text{ kg}, walking at 1.5 m/s1.5 \text{ m/s} has a momentum magnitude of 70 kg1.5 m/s=105 N⋅s70\text{ kg} \cdot 1.5\text{ m/s}=105 \text{ N⋅s} (you can verify it with the momentum calculator).

  • An empty dump truck weighing 9 t9 \text{ t} traveling at 40 mph40 \text{ mph} has a momentum of 9 t40 mph=360 t⋅mph9 \text{ t} \cdot 40\text{ mph} = 360 \text{ t⋅mph} or 160.93 kN⋅s.

  • An elephant can run at 20 mph20 \text{ mph}. Since they can weigh between 2 t2 \text{ t} and 7 t7 \text{ t}, they can gain tremendous momentum of about 40 t⋅mph40 \text{ t⋅mph} (17.88 kN⋅s) to 140 t⋅mph140 \text{ t⋅mph} (62.59 kN⋅s) in their charge.

Luis Fernando
Momentum in one dimension
Mass (m)
lb
Velocity (v)
ft/s
Momentum (p)
kg⋅m/s
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