Momentum Rapid Review for AP Physics B & C

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 10, 2011

For a more thorough review, refer to these concepts:

Rapid Review

  • Momentum equals an object's mass multiplied by its velocity. However, you can also think of momentum as the amount of "oomph" a mass has in a collision.
  • Impulse equals the change in an object's momentum. It also equals the force exerted on an object multiplied by the time it took to apply that force.
  • Momentum is always conserved. When solving conservation of momentum problems, remember that momentum is a vector quantity.
  • In an elastic collision, kinetic energy is conserved. When two objects collide and bounce off each other, without losing any energy (to heat, sound, etc.), they have engaged in an elastic collision. In an inelastic collision, kinetic energy is not conserved. The extreme case is a perfectly inelastic collision. When two objects collide and stick together, they have engaged in a perfectly inelastic collision.
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