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Describe me physical meaning of angular momentum

SAGAR SINGH - IIT DELHI
879 Points
11 years ago

Dear student,

Ordinary momentum is a measure of an object's tendency to move at constant speed along a straight path. Momentum depends on speed and mass. A train moving at 20 mph has more momentum than a bicyclist moving at the same speed. A car colliding at 5 mph does not cause as much damage as that same car colliding at 60 mph. For things moving in straight lines momentum is simply mass × speed. In astronomy most things move in curved paths so we generalize the idea of momentum and have angular momentum. Angular momentum measures an object's tendency to continue to spin. An ``object'' can be either a single body or two or more bodies acting together as a single group.

angular momentum = mass × velocity × distance (from point object is spinning or orbiting around)

Very often in astronomy, the object (or group of objects) we're observing has no outside forces acting on it in a way to produce torques that would disturb the angular motion of the object (or group of objects). A torque is simply a force acting along a line that is off the object's spin axis. In these cases, we have conservation of angular momentum.

conservation of angular momentum---the total amount of angular momentum does not change with time no matter how the objects interact with one another.

All the best.

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