Know the difference between force and momentum (Read) in table

The key difference between momentum and force is that momentum is the quantity is defined as the product of mass and velocity of an object whereas a force is a push or pull that causes an object to move faster or slower, change direction, or change size or shape.

Later, you will learn the relation between force and momentum and the crucial points of difference between them. Generally, momentum refers to the quantity that tells about the contented motion present in any moving object. However, force refers to the amount that changes the amount of action present when acted upon any object.

Practical Example:

Whether you walk on the road, slide on a marble, or push a sofa, everything is physics and physical components. Indeed force and momentum are one of the important concepts on which half of the physics laws lean on. But the force and the momentum are different from each other.

  • Mass times velocity of any object stands as momentum.

  • It generally doubles when the velocity gets increased.

  • Kgm/s is the unit to define momentum.

What is a Force?

A force refers to the external action of pushing or pulling something, which results in the momentum change. It is a vector quantity whose direction depends on the acceleration direction. An unbalanced force applied to the body results in the movement of that object. However, the force acted in a balanced way results in equal magnitude but opposite direction. As a result, the net effect cancels out.

Formula: F= ma

SI unit: Newton

Dimensions: [LMT-2]

Types of forces

  • Contact Forces: These are the forces that result from the actual contact between two objects. For instance, a bat hitting a ball is a practical example of contact forces.

  • Forces Acting at a Distance: Without any physical contact, the forces acting between the objects are defined under this category.

What is Momentum?

According to Newtonian mechanics, momentum or describing linear momentum, translational momentum or simply momentum is the multiplication of mass with velocity. Since velocity is a vector quantity and mass is a constant body, it makes momentum to be a vector quantity as well.

Suppose you are playing pool. When you hit the cue ball to destroy the formation of those stripes and solids, it happens when the cue ball transfers its energy to those colour balls—the momentum changes from zero to some value. Similarly, the momentum is only visible when the velocity is more than the mass to break its inertia.

Formula: Momentum = Mass X Velocity

p = mv

SI unit: kgms-1

Dimensions: [MLT−1]

Derive The Relationship Between Force and Momentum:

  • Force and momentum relation is given by the equation: F=dp/dt. The second law of motion gives the following equation as stated by Newton. The law states that the change in momentum of any object is given by mass into acceleration, that is, force.

  • Force and momentum relation can also be stated through the following equations:

  • momentum= (mass * velocity)
  • As acceleration = velocity/time implies velocity = acceleration * time
  • So, momentum= (mass * (acceleration * time))
  • momentum = (mass * acceleration) * time)
  • momentum = force * time

Key Difference Between Force and Momentum in tabular form

Force Momentum
Force = mass * acceleration or F=ma Momentum = mass * velocity or p=mv
For the stationary object, the forces can exist. The momentum for the stationary objects is always zero.
The direction of the force depends on the acceleration. The direction of the momentum rests on the direction of the velocity.
The force is inversely proportional to time, that is; with the increase in time, the force decreases. The momentum is directly proportional to time; that is; with the increase in time, the momentum also increases.
Force can be a result of actually touching between objects and without physical contact also Momentum is the result of an unbalanced force acting on a body
For constant acceleration, this quantity does not change. The momentum changes for the constant acceleration, but remains constant if the velocity is constant.
The increase in time decreases the amount of force provided the momentum is constant The increase in time results in an increase in momentum


There were some differences between force and momentum. actually, both these physical quantities look alike but there is a key difference between force and momentum is that  Force is generally the external action upon a body whether it is a pulling or pushing action while Momentum is the representation of the amount of motion within a moving body.

Physics Differences:

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