You have already seen how to compute the center of mass for a set of discrete objects. But in real life, many objects are not compact little point masses -- they are big, extended conglomerations of mass, sometimes with bits sticking out here and there. How can we compute the center of mass for these more realistic objects?
Most examples we've seen so far for using momentum involve collisions: objects coming together or flying apart. But there's another very important application in which momentum is crucial: understanding rockets.
If you want to see some applications of these "rocket equations", take a look at
Real rockets can use momentum to help propel them -- even without fuel!
Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.