Which has more momentum, an object with a mass of 5kg moving at 15m/s or an object with a mass of 20kg moving at 17m/s?

Jan 25, 2016

I would go for the object with bigger mass and velocity.

Explanation:

Momentum $\vec{p}$ is given, along the $x$ axis, as:
$p = m v$
so:
Object 1: ${p}_{1} = 5 \cdot 15 = 75 k g \frac{m}{s}$
Object 2: ${p}_{2} = 20 \cdot 17 = 340 k g \frac{m}{s}$

You can "see" momentum by thinking of catching a ball with your hands:
here you compare catching a basketball and an iron cannonball; even if the velocities aren't so different, the masses are quite different...!