Engineering ToolBox - Resources, Tools and Basic Information for Engineering and Design of Technical Applications!

Impulse and Impulse Force

Forces acting a very short time are called impulse forces.

Sponsored Links

According to Newton's Second Law of Motion - force can be expressed as

F = dM / dt                                      (1)


F = applied force (N, lbf)

dM = change of momentum (kg m/s, lb ft/s)

dt = time taken (s)

Eq. (1) can alternatively be expressed as

  dM = F dt                                      (1b)

Change in momentum is force times acting time.

Forces that act for a very short time are called impulse forces. The product of the impulsive force and the time it acts is called the impulse. The impulse is equal to the change of momentum caused by the impulsive force and can be expressed as

I = F dt = dM                                      (2)


I = impulse (N s)

Example - resulting Velocity after an Acting Force

A force 1000 N is acting on a car with mass 1000 kg in 10 second.

Car - acting force and acceleration

The impulse - or change in momentum - can be calculated

I = dM = (1000 N) (10 s)

  = 10000 (N s, kg m/s)

Since momentum can be expressed as

M = m v                                                 (3)


M = momentum (kg m/s, lb ft/s)

m = mass (kg, lb)

v = velocity (m/s, ft/s)

then the velocity of the car after 10 s can be calculated as

v = (10000 kg m/s) / (1000 kg)

 = 10 m/s

 = 36 km/h

Sponsored Links

Related Topics

Related Documents

Sponsored Links

Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Extension - Online 3D modeling!

3D Engineering ToolBox Extension to SketchUp - add parametric components to your SketchUp model

Add standard and customized parametric components - like flange beams, lumbers, piping, stairs and more - to your Sketchup model with the Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Extension - enabled for use with the amazing, fun and free SketchUp Make and SketchUp Pro .Add the Engineering ToolBox extension to your SketchUp from the SketchUp Pro Sketchup Extension Warehouse!

About the Engineering ToolBox!


We don't collect information from our users. Only emails and answers are saved in our archive. Cookies are only used in the browser to improve user experience.

Some of our calculators and applications let you save application data to your local computer. These applications will - due to browser restrictions - send data between your browser and our server. We don't save this data.

Google use cookies for serving our ads and handling visitor statistics. Please read Google Privacy & Terms for more information about how you can control adserving and the information collected.

AddThis use cookies for handling links to social media. Please read AddThis Privacy for more information.


This page can be cited as

  • Engineering ToolBox, (2008). Impulse and Impulse Force. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

Modify access date.

. .


3D Engineering ToolBox - draw and model technical applications! 2D Engineering ToolBox - create and share online diagram drawing templates! Engineering ToolBox Apps - mobile online and offline engineering applications!

Scientific Online Calculator

Scientific Calculator

3 30

Sponsored Links