8 Impulsive Force Examples in Daily Life

Impulse Force

Impulsive force or impulse force is equal to the change in momentum of a body provided the mass remains constant. It acts for a very small duration of time but has a very large value of magnitude. The value of the impulse force changes quickly, which makes the magnitude calculation difficult. Hence, the average force is taken into consideration. The impulsive nature of the exerted force causes a sudden change in the momentum of a body in a very small period of time.


1. Footballer

When a football player kicks a ball suddenly with force, the ball shoots away. When the ball is at rest, the velocity is zero. Hence, the product of mass and velocity of the body, i.e., momentum, comes out to be zero. After the force is exerted by the player, the momentum increases to a higher value due to the development of velocity. This sudden change of momentum leads to the generation of an impulsive force. The impulsive force helps the ball to travel long distances in a short duration of time.

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2. Golf

When the golf ball is hit by the player, it receives a sudden change in momentum. This leads to a short reaction time and the development of a large impulsive force. This helps the ball to advance in the forward direction swiftly and also helps the ball to cover large distances.

Pebble Beach Golf Links at Pebble Beach Resorts in Pebble Beach, California, USA | Golf Advisor

3. Tennis

When a tennis ball hits the racket, it is supplied with a high magnitude and short duration force that helps to change the direction of motion of the ball. The force exerted by the player acting on the ball is the impulsive force.

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4. Martial Art

A martial artist makes use of impulsive force to demonstrate his skills in a number of tricks. When a martial artist intends to break hard objects such as bricks or wooden planks, etc., using his/her hands, he/she moves his/her hand swiftly and hits the object at a faster rate. By increasing the speed, the reaction time gets significantly reduced, and a huge magnitude impulsive force gets developed. This impulse force is strong enough to break the hard objects into pieces.

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5. Pile driver

When the driver is made to drop on a pile, it experiences a sudden change in momentum. This gives rise to the development of an impulsive force. The impulsive force exists for a short duration but has a high magnitude value. The impulsive force exerted on the pile drives it into the ground.

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6. Pestle and Mortar

When a pestle strikes the mortar, a short time force gets exerted on the spices contained in it. This force is very strong and has a small response time. Thus, the impulse force causes the objects present in the mortar to get crushed and break into smaller pieces.

Urban Spellcraft — Seasoning a Mortar & Pestle: Culinary

7. Egg Carton

Eggs are stored in a specially designed soft cardboard-like material. This helps in saving the eggs from coming in contact with any external force. The eggs are very delicate by nature. Even a short duration force is strong enough to damage and break them. The cardboard increases the reaction time therefore, the impulse force gets reduced automatically. Thereby, saving the eggs from being broken.

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8. Dropping a Ball

When a ball is dropped from a certain height, it bounces back as soon as it hits the floor. The momentum developed by the ball suddenly turns to zero when it hits the floor. This change in momentum takes place in a very short duration of time, which leads to the development of an impulse force. The impulse force has a considerably high magnitude; therefore, helps the ball to bounce. The bounce can be reduced by reducing the magnitude of impulse force. The best method of reducing the value of impulse force is to increase the time with which the momentum changes. Hence, a cushion is placed on the floor, and the ball is dropped on it. This helps the momentum of the ball to take more time than usual to get changed. Therefore, the magnitude of force gets reduced and so does the bounce.

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