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Why does an object with more mass have a greater change in momentum that an object with less mass?

0 votes
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Slide 4 of the 703 lecture:

Identical forces push blocks A and B across a frictional surface. Block A has 4 times the mass of Block B. They travel the same distance. Which block has a greater change in momentum?

The answer is Block A.

My thought was that since impulse = force * time = change in momentum, it would be the same. Why is it not? I know an object with more mass will have more momentum, but it should be the same CHANGE, right? 

asked Dec 5, 2013 in Intro College Physics by Momentuous

1 Answer

0 votes
You picked the correct concept. ||\Delta P=F\Delta t||. Here we know that F is identical. Then you need to decide how does ||\Delta t|| compare in both cases.

The object with larger mass will have smaller acceleration causing it to spend more time traveling the same distance than the lighter block. So the change of momentum is also larger for the block with larger mass.
answered Dec 5, 2013 by PhysicsDude (21,750 points)
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