Impulse Calculator

Enter the total mass of an object (m) and the change in velocity of that object to calculate it’s impulse. This calculator converts mass and speed into impulse, which is another word for the change in momentum.

As mentioned above, impulse is the change in momentum of an object at two points in time. Having said that, as you’ll see from the formula below, impulse is not time dependent. The only reason time is mentioned is because if no time has passed, then no change could have occurred on the object or system.

Impulse Formula

The following formula can be used to calculate Impulse:

Impulse = mass (m) * (Velocity(2)-Velocity(1))

Where velocity 1 & 2 are velocities at two different points in time, or in other words the change in velocity.

Now lets compare this to the formula for momentum.

Momentum = mass (m) * velocity (v)

As you can see, they are nearly identical, except impulse has a change in velocity. As a result, the impulse formula can be re-written as follows:

Impulse = Change in momentum

The units for impulse are generally kg*m/s. It can also be lbs*ft/s.

How to calculate impulse

So how do you use this calculator? First you need to obtain the mass of an object. You can do this through calculation or through the use of a scale. Next, you need to measure the speed or velocity at a start point and an end point. Then, you need to subtract the last measured speed by the first measured speed. Finally, multiply your change in speed by the mass that you had weighed early. Now you have your impulse. Another way to calculate impulse is to calculate the momentum at the initial time, and the final time. Then subtract momentum 1 from momentum 2 and you are your impulse.

impulse calculator

For more science related calculators, visit this page.

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