Is Momentum a Vector Quantity?


Quick Answer

Momentum is a vector quantity as it is the product of mass and velocity of an object. Mass is a scalar quantity but velocity is vector. In physics, the symbol for momentum is P, and its units are kilogram meters per second and gram centimeters per second.

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Full Answer

Any physical quantity that has magnitude as well as direction is called a vector quantity. Mass has only magnitude but velocity is always in a specific direction. As an example, if a 2 kilogram ball is moving with a velocity of 5 meters per second in the eastward direction, its momentum is obtained as follows.

P = mass x velocity = 2 kilograms x 5 meters per second = 10 kilogram meters per second in the eastward direction. It is important to mention direction with momentum.

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