**Momentum** is the Noether charge of translational invariance. As such, even fields as well as other things can have momentum, not just particles. However, in curved spacetime which isn't asymptotically Minkowski, momentum isn't defined at all.

In physics, **momentum** is a physical quantity related to the velocity and mass of an object.

Table of contents |

2 Momentum in relativistic mechanics 3 Momentum in quantum mechanics 4 Figurative use |

## Momentum in classical mechanics

In classical mechanics, momentum (traditionally written as ** p**) is defined as the product of mass and velocity. It is thus a vector quantity.

The SI unit of momentum is newton-seconds, which can alternatively be expressed with the units kg.m/s.

An impulse changes the momentum of an object. An impulse is calculated as the integral of force with respect to duration.

## Momentum in relativistic mechanics

It is commonly believed that the physical laws should be invariant under translationss. Thus, the definition of momentum was changed when Einstein formulated Special relativity so that its magnitude would remain invariant under relativistic transformations. See physical conservation law. We now define a vector, called the **4-momentum** thus:

- [
*E/c*]**p**

*E*is the total energy of the system, and

*is called the "relativistic momentum" defined thus:*

**p**

*E*= γ*mc*^{2}

= γ**p***m***v**

- .

The "length" of the vector that remains constant is defined thus:

**=**

*p**E*/

*c*, where

*E*is the energy the photon carries and

*c*is the speed of light.

## Momentum in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics momentum is defined as an operator on the wave function. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle defines limits on how accurately the momentum and position of a single observable system can be known at once.