The statement that a property of a system does not change if the system is isolated.

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Experiment to verify a spring constant

In my high school physics class, I had students do a Hooke's Law lab to measure an unknown spring constant. Once we compared everyone's data we came up with a class value for $k$ of 253 N/m. We then ...
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1answer
120 views

Number conservation of bosons and fermions

Why is the number of bosons not conserved while the number of fermions is conserved? Does it have something to do with the Pauli exclusion principle?
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3answers
272 views

Angular Velocity after a frictional impulse [duplicate]

I am modelling 2D physics collision into simulations. In Physics for Game Programmers, Grant Palmer book, the velocity Vn1 after collision is mentioned to be independent of the friction coeff. ...
3
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1answer
151 views

Paradox: electric current in a coil on a disc - will this disc spin if the circuit is opened?

I encountered this problem in a book, but there were no solution written there. The setup: there is a plastic (insulator) circular disc, that is suspended in a way, that can very easily rotate (so ...
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2answers
174 views

Question about impulse and momentum

Check this question first please My question is: Why can't I use equations of motion to get the final speed after rebounding?Acceleration not equal to $9.8 \text{m/s}^2$ or the intial after ...
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2answers
87 views

Conservation in space-time curvature

Pardon this possibly naive question. I'm starting to poke around in the topic of General Relativity (as soon as I can pull myself back up out of the vortex of underlying mathematics that I've gotten ...
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1answer
56 views

What is the ultimate “goal” of two particles in a gravitational field? [closed]

What is the ultimate "goal" of two particles in a gravitational field? Will the particles eventually occupy the same point at the same time if nothing stops them? What stops them from achieving the ...
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3answers
362 views

Entire Universe's Momentum

I was thinking about the definition of the conservation of momentum, which says that momentum is conserved unless outside forces are acting on the system, and I was wondering that if the system is the ...
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1answer
65 views

Scalar field gives spin $0$ particles

Related to this question. What needs to be shown is that the total angular momentum (derived from the Klein-Gordon lagrangian) acting on a ket with $0$ momentum, gives 0. This would mean that a ...
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1answer
66 views

What is going on in a rotating magnet in a quantum scale?

If there is a rotating magnet in an empty space and there is no outer field acting on it. Rotating in such a way that after half rotation magnet's N pole will be in the place where magnet's S pole ...
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4answers
5k views

Why can't a single photon produce an electron-positron pair?

In reading through old course material, I found the assignment (my translation): Show that a single photon cannot produce an electron-positron pair, but needs additional matter or light quanta. ...
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1answer
64 views

Diffracted electron - where does it gain additional momentum?

When an electron is diffracted, the momentum after the diffraction has different direction than before. Where does the electron gain this momentum? This is related to this question, but it's ...
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0answers
91 views

Law of Conservation of Energy

I find it hard to comprehend the law of conservation of energy. Allow me to explain my confusion. I understand that the law of conservation of energy states that energy is neither created nor ...
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103 views

Spin, parity, etc. conservation in decays/reactions

I have a long list of short physics questions I'm reviewing, and there are several that ask about whether certain decays or reactions are allowed. Clearly these questions are testing my knowledge of ...
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1answer
103 views

Trying to show that the current is conserved

$ \newcommand{\p}{\partial} $ I am trying to show that the current $J^{\mu} = (\gamma_{\nu}\partial^{\nu} \phi - m\phi)\gamma^{\mu}\psi$ is conserved for all fields that satisfy the Klein-Gordon and ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Why is the Earth self-rotating? [duplicate]

What drives this happen? Would it be the internal energy or by an external force? I did try to Google the answer, but could not find a good one.
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0answers
58 views

Determining Parity of Decaying Quantum System

Show that a particle of spin $1$ cannot decay into two identical particles of spin $0$. The $\rho$-meson has spin $1$ and can decay into two spinless (spin-$0$) $\pi$-mesons, or pions, with ...
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2answers
147 views

Why is it important that the vector current should be conserved in QED?

In Quantum Field Theory and the Standard Model by MD Schwartz in the chapter about the anomalies, he derives from the equation of motions and the Noether currents of a effective massless QED ...
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5answers
364 views

The elusive difference between force and impulse

Impulse is defined as the product of a force $F$ acting for a (short) time $t$, $J = F*t$, and that is very clear. What I find difficult to understand is how a force can exist that doesn't act for a ...
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1answer
28 views

Conservation of generalized energies in Newtonian and Relativistic Systems

I was considering the following problem: In a closed system, it is assumed that mass, momentum and energy is conserved. If we label the total mass of the System $M(i)$ at a time i, the total Momentum ...
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2answers
170 views

Force of a Train

Imagine that there are two trains and the first train is twice as long as the second train. They have the same mass per unit length and they are traveling at exactly the same speed. If the first ...
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1answer
67 views

Why is rho to two pions not allowed? [duplicate]

Why is the $\rho^0 \rightarrow \pi^0 + \pi^0$ decay not allowed? I have seen this question but I am not satisfied with the answers. The $J^{PC}$ of the $\rho$ and $\pi$ are $1^{--}$ and $0^{-+}$ ...
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3answers
262 views

Is energy conserved in general relativity? Does $\nabla_aT^{ab}=0$ represent the conservation of energy and momentum?

For example, the radiation dominated cosmology, the energy density of radiation is propotional to $a^{-4}$ and the volume is propotional to $a^3$, where $a$ is the scale factor. So the total energy ...
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1answer
87 views

Prove the relation between relative velocity ,momentum and energy

In Chapter 8 of F.Mandl's book Quantum field theory, during the derivation of the differential cross section, the following relation is used: $$E_1E_2v_{rel}=\sqrt{(p_1p_2)^2-m_1^2m_2^2} \,\, ,$$ ...
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0answers
50 views

Constant quantity associated to symmetry [closed]

I'm attending a subject in theoretical mechanics and we saw this fact that bugged me a little. It's by the way referenced in: John R Cary, Lie transform perturbation theory for Hamiltonian ...
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6answers
1k views

Does Newton's third law apply to momentum or to forces?

I read all the previous answers concerning the 3rd law and I have seen that it is definitely not universal, (Edit: but conservation of momentum is. If it is not universal it should be not a problem to ...
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6answers
3k views

Conservation of momentum when rain pours into a wagon

Suppose a wagon is moving at constant velocity on a friction-less surface, and rain begins to fill the wagon. The net force on the wagon is zero, so momentum is conserved; as the mass of the wagon ...
2
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1answer
118 views

Total divergence term and corresponding Feynman Diagram

A total divergence term added to the Lagrangian doesn’t affect the action because the integral of a total divergence vanishes. But if one attempts to derive the Feynman rules from the Lagrangian with ...
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2answers
76 views

Domain of different types of collision?

Can anyone tell me why elastic collision occur between atomic particles? inelastic collision occur between ordinary objects? perfectly inelastic collision occur during shooting? ...
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3answers
72 views

Why doesn't an object that collides with one that is at rest just do a 180?

Newton's third law says "for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction." So why is it, say, that when a pool/billiards ball hits the wall of the table, the ball doesn't just turn around?
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0answers
65 views

Angular momentum in an accretion disk

I need to plot the time evolution of the total angular momentum in an accretion disc. This confuses me because I thought this should be constant, since angular momentum has to be conserved? I'm given ...
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3answers
517 views

Why $\log \rho$ in the continuity equation?

I just saw the continuity equation, in a manuscript, written as $$\frac{\partial \log \rho }{\partial t} + \vec v \cdot \nabla \log \rho= - \nabla \cdot \vec v.$$ Now, just calculating the derivatives ...
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1answer
74 views

What is the motion of a balloon with a person climbing on a ladder?

Suppose you had a balloon of mass $M$ in the atmosphere at rest relative to the ground, with a ladder attached reaching towards the ground. A person (of mass less than $M$) begins climbing up the ...
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2answers
65 views

Does constant velocity of center of mass imply linear momentum is conserved?

I know that if momentum is conserved for a system, you can derive that the velocity of the center of mass of that system is constant. I was wondering if the second condition also implies the first: if ...
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2answers
93 views

Playing catch in space?

I was thinking about this on the bus (exam this week :P). What would happen if two people played catch in outer space? Lets say person A and B are in space at rest, A throws a mass m at B, what ...
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2answers
254 views

Why is there conservation of kinetic energy in elastic collision and not in inelastic collision?

Why is there conservation of kinetic energy in elastic collision and not in inelastic collision? What would be the difference that lead to conservation of kinetic energy in elastic collision and not ...
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1answer
88 views

Origin of momentum. Noether's theorem

My professor talked about Noether's theorem and how translation is the origin of momentum conservation. But why is it not velocity that is conserved but mass times velocity. And on the same note why ...
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0answers
24 views

Locus of a moving mass point

Two very small mass particles $m_1$, $m_2$ are connected by a $2l$ long, infinitely soft and inelastic thread without mass. The initial condition of the system before being freely released is as in ...
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1answer
4k views

What conservation law corresponds to Lorentz boosts?

Noether's Theorem is used to related the invariance under certain continuous transformations to conserved currents. A common example is that translations in spacetime correspond to the conservation of ...
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4answers
170 views

Why is $M\frac{dv}{dt} = v_{rel} .\frac{dm}{dt}$ correct and $(M - dm)\frac{dv}{dt} = v_{rel} .\frac{dm}{dt}$ wrong?

Newton's 2nd law of motion can't be applied for mass-varying systems. Another force, known as Thrust must come to play. It can be measured using law of conservation of linear momentum. ...
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If weak isospin is not conserved in time, what does the Noether theorem tell us?

As far as I understand weak isospin is only conserved in interactions but not as time evolves. Nevertheless, we get from Noethers theorem, because of global $SU(2)$ invariance a conserved quantity ...
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2answers
183 views

A student of mine wants to build a Gyroscopic Inertial Thruster

I work as a tutor with students in their first three semesters. One of my more eager students is obsessed with this thing: A Gyroscopic Inertial Thruster Here is a Wikipedia Article on that. I was ...
2
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5answers
161 views

Relation between potential energy and forces

Can you also explain why can't we define potential energy corresponding to a non-conservative internal force? Non-conservative forces are those which don't depend on the initial and final states but ...
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0answers
71 views

Throwing a baseball against the back of a car [closed]

We, some fellow students and I, are trying to figure out what to. But we simply do not know which formula to use at question a. We found the following: $\Delta P=(2mv_{ball,i}M)/(m+M)$ Could someone ...
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2answers
79 views

Mathematical subtlety in a physics problem

A wagon of initial mass $M$ is moving with an initial velocity $V_o$. Now sand starts accumulating on this wagon, increasing the total mass from $M$ to $M+s$. We have to find the final velocity of ...
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3answers
1k views

Decay of massless particles

We don't normally consider the possibility that massless particles could undergo radioactive decay. There are elementary arguments that make it sound implausible. (A bunch of the following is ...
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0answers
99 views

Why is only the third component of weak isospin used as a conserved quantity?

Using Noether's theorem \begin{equation} \partial_0 \int d^3x \left(\frac{\partial L}{\partial(\partial_0\Psi)} \delta \Psi \right) = 0 \end{equation} we get three conserved quantites $Q_i$ from ...
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4answers
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If angular momentum is conserved, what's wrong with this scenario?

I understand that, in a given system with no external torques applied, angular momentum is conserved. However, consider the following situation: Let's say the earth revolves around the Sun in a ...
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6answers
8k views

Can a car steer on a frictionless surface?

Do the front tires of a car act like gyroscopes, such that a car could steer on a frictionless surface?
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3answers
356 views

Quantum explanation of Newton's Third Law of Motion

Newton's law states that for every action there is equal and opposite reaction. This law explains how rockets fly in space and accounts for the the majority of the lift action generated by a ...