Angular Momentum and Moments for Particles


The concept of angular momentum, and the moment (torque) needed to create such a momentum is the topic of this page. This is an important stepping stone toward thinking about bodies that rotate.

Table of Links

Review of Moments

Before we can discuss angular momentum in a meaningful way it is important to remember what a moment is. Here’s a review in case you’re a little rusty.

Angular Momentum (Theory)

In this video, I define angular momentum and present the relevant theory for using the concept to solve dynamics problems.

Concept Questions, Part A

Diagram of pendulumWatch the accompanying video, showing a simulation of a simple pendulum, and then answer the following conceptual questions about angular momentum.

You don’t have to watch the whole video. It just repeats over and over… like a pendulum.


Concept Questions, Part B

In the video below, I demonstrate what happens when I inflate a buoyant bubble on the end of the pendulum. Then, I’d like you to answer several questions about angular momentum in this context.

Second set of pendulum questions

Concept Questions, Part C

Coming Soon.

Analysis of a Myth Busters Problem

You may be familiar with the television show, Myth Busters. In this video, I show part of a Myth Busters episode in which I was rather dissatisfied with their explanation of a “myth” that they claimed that they had busted. In this (somewhat long, 25-minute) video, we take a closer look at some of the dynamics in the problem. The analysis uses several principles covered in our class: angular impulse – momentum, linear impulse – momentum, and path coordinates.