Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that there is always reaction for every action in opposite direction and of equal magnitude.

**Explanation:** Whenever a force is applied over a body, that body also applies same force of equal magnitude and in opposite direction.

**Example:**

**Walking of a person:** A person is able to walk because of the Newton’s Third Law of Motion. During walking, a person pushes the ground in backward direction and in the reaction the ground also pushes the person with equal magnitude of force but in opposite direction. This enables him to move in forward direction against the push.

**Recoil of gun:**When bullet is fired from a gun, the bullet also pushes the gun in opposite direction, with equal magnitude of force. This results in gunman feeling a backward push from the butt of gun.**Propulsion of a boat in forward direction:**Sailor pushes water with oar in backward direction; resulting water pushing the oar in forward direction. Consequently, the boat is pushed in forward direction. Force applied by oar and water are of equal magnitude but in opposite directions.

**Law of Conservation of Momentum:** The sum of momenta of two objects remains same even after collision.

In other words, the sum of momenta of two objects before collision and sum of momenta of two objects after collision are equal.

Mathematical Formulation of Conservation of Momentum:

Suppose that, two objects A and B are moving along a straight line in same direction and the velocity of A is greater than the velocity of B.

Let the initial velocity of A=u_{1}

Let the initial velocity of B= u_{2}

Let the mass of A= m1

Let the mass of B=m2

Let both the objects collide after some time and collision lasts for ' t' second.

Let the velocity of A after collision= v_{1}

Let the velocity of B after collision= v_{2}

We know that, Momentum = Mass × Velocity

Therefore,

Momentum of `A(F_A)` before collision `=m_1xxu_1`

Momentum of `B(F_B)` before collision `=m_2xxu_2`

Momentum of A after collision `=m_1xxv_1`

Momentum of B after collision `=m_2xxv_2`

Now, we know that Rate of change of momentum

=Mass x rate of change in velocity

=mass x Change in velocity/time

Therefore, rate of change of momentum of A during collision, `F_(AB)=m_1((v_1-u_1)/t)`

Similarly the rate of change of momentum of B during collision, `F_(BA)=m_2((v_2-u_2)/t)`

Since, according to the Newton's Third Law of Motion, action of the object A (force exerted by A) will be equal to reaction of the object B(force exerted by B). But the force exerted in the course of action and reaction is in opposite direction.

Therefore, `F_(AB)=-F_(BA)`

`=>m_1((v_1-u_1)/t)` `=-m_2((v_2-u_2)/t)`

`=>m_1(v_1-u_1)` `=-m_2(v_2-u_2)`

`=>m_1v_1-m_1u_1` `=-m_2v_2+m_2u_2`

`=>m_1v_1+m_2v_2` `=m_1u_1+m_2u_2`

`=>m_1u_1+m_2u_2` `=m_1v_1+m_2v_2` ---(i)

Above equation says that total momentum of object A and B before collision is equal to the total momentum of object A and B after collision. This means there is no loss of momentum, i.e. momentum is conserved. This situation is considered assuming there is no external force acting upon the object.

This is the Law of Conservation of Momentum, which states that in a closed system the total momentum is constant.

In the condition of collision, the velocity of the object which is moving faster is decreased and the velocity of the object which is moving slower is increased after collision. The magnitude of loss of momentum of faster object is equal to the magnitude of gain of momentum by slower object after collision.

- Bullet and Gun – When bullet is fired from a gun, gun recoils in the opposite direction of bullet. The momentum of bullet is equal to momentum of gun. Since, the bullet is has very small mass compared to the gun, hence velocity of bullet is very high compared to the recoil of gun. In the case of firing of bullet, law of conservation of momentum is applied as usual.
- In the collision of atoms, the conservation of momentum is applied.
- In the game of snooker, when a ball is hit by stick, the conservation of momentum is applied.
- When the mouth of an inflated balloon is let open, it starts flying, because of conservation of momentum.
- When a cricket ball is hit by bat, the Law of Conservation of Momentum is applied.
- When the coins of carom board are hit by striker, the Law of Conservation of Momentum is applied.
- Newton’s cradle is one of the best examples of conservation of momentum.

Copyright © excellup 2014