Difference Between Momentum and Inertia

The concept of inertia and momentum are regularly confused because of their similar definitions. Inertia is the resistance offered by a body to the motion whereas momentum is the tendency of a body to continue moving. Let us look at the differences between the two to understand the concept better.

Difference between Momentum and Inertia

Momentum Inertia
Momentum is a vector quantity as it is the tendency of a body to remain in motion. Inertia is a scalar quantity as it is the resistance offered by the body to any change in its velocity.
Momentum is denoted as ‘p’. Inertia is denoted as ‘I’.
The momentum of a body of mass ‘m’ moving with a velocity of ‘v’ is calculated as p=m×v The inertia cannot be calculated using a formula.
Linear momentum and angular momentum are the two types of momentum. The inertia of rest, inertia of motion, and inertia of direction are the three types of inertia.
Momentum depends on mass and velocity. Inertia depends only on mass.
The total momentum is conserved. Inertia has nothing to do with the conservation of energy.

The difference between momentum and inertia should be understood clearly as these are an important topic in Physics. To know more about momentum and inertia, Visit BYJU’S.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is momentum?

Momentum is the product of a body’s mass and velocity. It is a quantity which possesses a direction and a magnitude.

Which symbol is used to denote momentum?

Momentum is denoted by the symbol ‘p’.

What are the two types of momentum?

Linear momentum and angular momentum are the two types of momentum.

What is inertia?

Inertia is a scalar quantity which is the measure of the resistance exerted by an object to any change in velocity.

Which symbol is used to denote inertia?

Inertia is denoted by the symbol ‘I’.

What are the three types of inertia?

The inertia of motion, the inertia of direction, and the inertia of rest are the three types of inertia.

What does the law of conservation of momentum state?

The law of conservation of momentum states that in an isolated system the total momentum of two or more bodies acting upon each other remains constant unless an external force is applied. Therefore, momentum can neither be created nor destroyed.

What is the formula to find the momentum?

Momentum = mass • velocity
p = m * v

People tend to fall forward when the brake is applied on the moving bus. This situation is an example for which type of inertia?

The Inertia of Motion.

Does friction affect the conservation of momentum?

Yes, friction affects momentum. As friction increases, momentum decreases.
Test your knowledge on Moment and inertia differences

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