Could an elephant have the same momentum as a golf ball?

1 Answer
Mar 28, 2018

Answer:

Yes.

Explanation:

The mass of a golf ball is about 45 gms, or 0.045 kg. For the sake of discussion, I will choose an elephant that has mass of 4500 kg. That is #10^5# times the mass of the golf ball.

Imagine the golf ball was given a speed of #70 m/s#.
For the elephant to be walking and have the same momentum as the golf ball, it has to have velocity that is #10^-5# times that of the golf ball.

So the elephant must be going #70xx10^-5 m/s#. At that rate it would take about 23 minutes to go 1 m. Could happen I suppose, but I have a better idea. If the elephant shifts its trunk a bit, its center of mass would change. It is hot hard to imaging it giving its trunk a leisurely wave such that it briefly has momentum equal to a flying golf ball.

I hope this helps,
Steve