# Solving Momentum Problems

Thomas Sullivan, the director of training for Building Momentum, runs a monthly workshop for military members known as, Innovation Boot Camp.“The problem solving aspect has always been at the center of what we do,” clarified Sullivan.

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Right off the bat we notice that in case A the ball is bouncing directly back in the horizontal direction, whereas in case B it’s taking a ricochet off the wall. – How conservation of energy is used to determine the initial and final velocity: We know that energy is conserved, what does that mean?

If we remember, that means that the energy in equals the energy out. Because the mass stays the same, this implies that the initial velocity and final velocity of the ball in both cases are equal.

Here we have to use trig, and end up with a change in momentum of 2*m*v*cos(theta), which is less than the change in case A because the vertical component of the velocity involves no change in direction.

That’s how I would break down a conceptual momentum problem like this.

– Analyzing the change in momentum equation and how it’s used to determine the difference between A and B: If we remember, the change in momentum would be the final momentum minus the initial momentum.