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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It is designed to illustrate the principle of conservation of angular momentum and includes handy tips on how to optimize your chances of successfully performing the trick. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Physics holds the key to performing the flipping water bottle trick," 8 Oct. 2018 The color represents vorticity, a quantity related to angular momentum. Lee Phillips, Ars Technica, "Turbulence, the oldest unsolved problem in physics," 10 Oct. 2018 As for why dark matter and visible matter end up so tightly correlated in galaxies, based on the simulations, Navarro and colleagues attribute it to angular momentum acting together with gravity during galaxy formation. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Universe Is Not a Simulation, but We Can Now Simulate It," 16 June 2018 As a boat rolls, the angular momentum of the flywheel creates a reaction force that transmits through the mounts to the hull of the boat. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Skip the Seasickness: How Boats Are Getting More Tech-Savvy," 28 June 2018 Since the two rotors are spinning in opposite directions, the total angular momentum is zero and there is no need for torque from an extra tail rotor. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "The Physics of NASA's New Mars Helicopter," 16 May 2018 His group found that most skaters had the necessary angular momentum leaving the ice, but sometimes had trouble getting enough rotational speed to complete the jump. Evelyn Lamb, Smithsonian, "How Physics Keeps Figure Skaters Gracefully Aloft," 7 Feb. 2018 Because the Universe doesn't create or destroy things like energy, momentum, or angular momentum, the energy contained in the two photons has to sum to the value of the energy contained by the first photon. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Imaging at 1,000fps with a single pixel," 15 Feb. 2018 There is a trade-off between vertical velocity and angular momentum. Evelyn Lamb, Smithsonian, "How Physics Keeps Figure Skaters Gracefully Aloft," 7 Feb. 2018

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

17 Dec 2018

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The first known use of angular momentum was in 1817

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