How does momentum and impulse affect a dropped object?

1 Answer
Jul 24, 2015


They will "affect" the impact of the object with the ground:


When you drop an object it will fall under the influence of gravity and reach the ground;
at the instant before the impact it will have a certain momentum #vecp_1=mvecv_1# (a vector, with modulus AND direction). On impact your object will receive an impulse from the normal force #N(t)# (not constant but variable according to the time of contact).

After the impact the momentum #vecp_2=mvecv_2# will be "reversed" compared to the initial one (before impact).
The process you observe could be described, visually, as:

enter image source here