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

Recent Examples on the Web Thus, conservation of angular momentum is preserved. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 24 July 2023 Concentrating more mass in a smaller space will force an object to speed up to preserve angular momentum. Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American, 17 May 2023 If the wave has no angular momentum and the turbine has no angular momentum, nothing will change. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 2 Mar. 2022 By the mid-1800s, the basic laws of motion had been established; it was assumed that the law of conservation of angular momentum meant that an object in free fall needed something to push against to give it initial rotation. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 1 May 2023 Rotational symmetries lead to the law of conservation of angular momentum. Kevin Hartnett, Quanta Magazine, 18 Apr. 2023 The angular momenta of the two turning parts of the cat's torso offset each other, resulting in an angular momentum of essentially zero. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 1 May 2023 Correction: April 18, 2023 Rotational symmetries imply the conservation of angular momentum, not just momentum, as the article originally stated. Kevin Hartnett, Quanta Magazine, 18 Apr. 2023 Instead Chen, Wang and their colleagues prepared single-photon pairs and entangled two of their properties independently: their polarization state and a property called orbital angular momentum. Philip Ball, Scientific American, 25 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'angular momentum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1817, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of angular momentum was in 1817

Dictionary Entries Near angular momentum

Cite this Entry

“Angular momentum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on angular momentum

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!