angular momentum


Definition of angular momentum

: a vector quantity that is a measure of the rotational momentum of a rotating body or system, that is equal in classical physics to the product of the angular velocity of the body or system and its moment of inertia with respect to the rotation axis, and that is directed along the rotation axis

Examples of angular momentum in a Sentence

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Turntables would start turning faster when aligned with the universe’s motion, and angular momentum would not appear to be conserved. Quanta Magazine, "The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution," 2 May 2017 It might be described with just its mass, angular momentum, and charge. Wired, "Are We All Wrong About Black Holes?," 8 Sep. 2019 Once the bottle is set in motion, its angular momentum remains constant. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Physics holds the key to performing the flipping water bottle trick," 8 Oct. 2018 In a study published in 2015 Pan and his colleagues managed to teleport two states of a photon: its spin and orbital angular momentum. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, "“Qutrit” Experiments Are a First in Quantum Teleportation," 6 Aug. 2019 The reaction wheels can spin to absorb and counteract the angular momentum caused by the gas coming from the thruster. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Small CubeSat Became the Unlikely Hero of the InSight Landing," 29 Nov. 2018 But the situation was much the same when light with orbital angular momentum was first produced more than a quarter century ago. Adam Mann, National Geographic, "Physicists discover croissant-shaped twists of light," 27 June 2019 That diurnal cycle is linked to the giant impact by a fundamental law of physics, the conservation of angular momentum. Simon J. Lock, Scientific American, "When Earth and the Moon Were One," 2 July 2019 As the two coalesce, the conservation of angular momentum—the tendency of things that spin to keep spinning in the same plane—dictates that the star that emerges from a merger spins very fast indeed. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Two white dwarfs collide, may end up as neutron star," 29 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'angular momentum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of angular momentum

1817, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

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The first known use of angular momentum was in 1817

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