Momentum is the product of velocity and mass, it is also a vector quantity which means it has a direction and magnitude.

This means that a car has no momentum when it is standing still however when it drives it will have momentum in the direction that it is driving, the faster the car drives, the greater the momentum it has.

Momentum is calculated using the equation:

Momentum = velocity x mass 

  • Momentum - measured in kilograms per second (kg m/s)

  • Mass - measured in kilograms (Kg)

  • Velocity - measured in meters per second (m/s)

Worked example:

A car has a mass of 1500 kg. it is traveling north at a speed of 26 m/s. Calculate the momentum of the car.

  1. Momentum = mass x velocity​

  2. Momentum = 1500 x 26

  3. Momentum = 39,000 kg m/s (North)

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