One of the most powerful laws in physics is the law of momentum conservation. The law of momentum conservation can be stated as follows.

For a collision occurring between object 1 and object 2 in an isolated system, the total momentum of the two objects before the collision is equal to the total momentum of the two objects after the collision. That is, the momentum lost by object 1 is equal to the momentum gained by object 2.

The above statement tells us that the total momentum of a collection of objects (a *system*) is *conserved* – that is, the total amount of momentum is a constant or unchanging value. This law of momentum conservation will be the focus of the remainder of Lesson 2. To understand the basis of momentum conservation, let’s begin with a short logical proof.