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Conservation of Momentum and Explosion for JEE

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Last updated date: 16th May 2024
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Momentum is a vector quantity that can be conserved, as we are aware. The sum of a particle's mass and velocity is known as momentum. A collision that requires momentum conservation also occurs when an object is launched from a cannon. Since there is no momentum prior to the 'collision,' there is also no momentum following the impact. This kind of occurrence is known as an explosion in Physics. In this article, we will know more about the conservation of momentum in explosions along with its examples.


What is an Explosion?

One way to conceptualise an explosion is as a single thing breaking up into two or more pieces. An object changes shape as it explodes because it disintegrates into several pieces. Explosions happen when energy changes quickly from one type, such as chemical potential energy, to another, such as heat energy or kinetic energy. This kind of occurrence is known as an explosion in Physics. We'll examine whether the law of conservation of momentum holds true during an explosion in this post.


Examples of Explosions

Some familiar examples of explosions are as follows: 

  • A bomb blowing into fragments 

  • A bullet shot out of a gun 

  • Water streaming out of a hose 

  • An alpha particle ejected out of a nucleus 

  • Blood pumping out of your heart

Law of Conservation of Momentum and Explosion

Principles of momentum conservation can be used to predict the motion of an exploding object. This is due to the fact that momentum is conserved for all interactions, including collisions and explosions. However, kinetic energy is only preserved in elastic interactions, which an explosion is most obviously not.

An explosion maintains the Law of Conservation of Momentum. Think about two low-friction carts that are at rest on a track. The system initially consists of two independent carts that are at rest. Before the explosion, the system's overall momentum is zero. A spring-loaded plunger on one of the carts can be released by tapping on a tiny pin. The carts are positioned next to one another after the spring is squeezed. When the plunger is let go after the pin is tapped, an explosion-like impulse sends both carts racing down the track in the opposing directions.

If there is no external unbalanced force acting on an object (all forces are internal), the system is closed, and if the object explodes, there will be no change in the system's overall momentum. In other words, the overall momentum before and after the explosion are equal. That implies that when an explosion occurs, the Law of Conservation of Momentum is upheld.


What Causes Explosions? 

Gases rapidly expand in an explosion. When gases are exposed to a heat source, such as a fire, sparks, or even static electricity, or when pressure increases, explosions frequently result. Chemical reactions can potentially result in explosions. For instance, if two or more compounds that are incompatible are combined, they could explode. In some cases, when exposed to air or water, chemicals can even explode.


Conclusion

The system's momentum is constant while no outside forces are at work on it. In order to solve collision-related problems, it is essential to understand the conservation of momentum, which holds true across all branches of Physics. Momentum is a vector quantity that can be conserved, as we are aware. The sum of a particle's mass and velocity is known as momentum. The conservation of momentum is a general law of Physics which states that the total momentum of a system remains constant and that the quantity called momentum which characterises motion never changes in an isolated collection of objects. When applying the conservation of momentum concept, care must be taken to ensure that the system under investigation is truly free from outside influences. Newton's third law of motion has a direct impact on the idea of momentum conservation. Explosions happen when energy changes quickly from one type, such as chemical potential energy, to another, such as heat energy or kinetic energy.

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FAQs on Conservation of Momentum and Explosion for JEE

1. State Newton’s third law. How the principle of conservation of momentum is a direct consequence of Newton’s third law?

The Third Law of Newton: Action and Reaction


“Every time one object applies force to another, the other object applies an equal and opposing force to the first.”


His third law argues that there is an equal and opposite reaction to every action (force) in nature. When object A pulls on item B, object B pulls back on object A with an equal and opposing force. In other words, interactions lead to forces.


Newton's third law of motion has a direct impact on the idea of momentum conservation. Because the law of conservation of momentum may be deduced from the concept of action and reaction, which asserts that every force has a reciprocating equal and opposite force, it is based on Newton's third law. A wall will push back against you with the same force that you used to push against it.

2. What is the Centre of Mass?

The unique location where the weighted relative position of the scattered mass adds to zero is known as the centre of mass in Physics. In the absence of external forces acting on the system, the centre of mass of a system of objects moves along a straight line at a constant speed (internal forces between the objects are allowed - e.g. the objects can collide).