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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

33
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
180 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. ...
5
votes
0answers
94 views

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 ...
2
votes
5answers
298 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
86 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
84 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
116 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
21
votes
6answers
9k 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?
0
votes
3answers
433 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
13k views

Newton's cradle

Why, when one releases 2 balls in Newton's cradle, two balls on the opposite side bounce out at approximately the same speed as the 1st pair, rather than one ball at higher speed, or 3 balls at lower ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

What motion can emerge in a still universe? [duplicate]

I consider a very large non homogeneous cloud of dust in isolation. No external gravitational interactions. It is initially completely still and start collapsing under the its own gravity. Can the ...
0
votes
4answers
3k views

Will a stone thrown in space move forever?

If I throw a stone on space, in a place where gravity is equal zero, will the stone move forward forever, because no air, so no friction?
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does each celestial object spin on its own axis?

AFAIK all the celestial objects have a spin motion around its axis. What is the reason for this? If it must rotate by some theory, what decides it's direction and speed of rotation? Is there any ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Momentum conservation in an electromagnetic system?

Suppose that I have two charged particles in the configuration below. Let us assume the following: We apply a constant force $f$ to the the bottom particle so that it has a constant acceleration ...
0
votes
1answer
165 views

How positron and electron annihilate forming photons? [duplicate]

Electron is a particle with momentum $p$ and it spins up. Positron is its antiparticle having momentum $-p$ and it spins down. "A positron is an electron travelling backwards in time" said by Feynman. ...
1
vote
3answers
228 views

Is linear momentum conserved in an isolated system always?

Consider a isolated system of particles. If no external force acts on this system, the momentum of the system should remain constant. If the isolated system of particles represents living ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Why Does Angular Velocity Increase as Radius Decrease?

Suppose a child were to ask you why a tetherball (picture below) seems to speed up as it wraps around the pole. How would you explain this to them? Certainly you wouldn't say something like, "Angular ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Why is there no relation between kinetic energy and momentum in collision of two bodies? [duplicate]

The statement that baffles me: During most of the collisions, part of the kinetic energy evolve as heat, nevertheless momentum is still conserved. Ok, the statement may be true. But what ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

momentum and energy of the rods

I have two electromagnets and I attach them to two rods(same mass) such that, first one will be attached to centre of first rod and the second one will be to the end of second rod. Now I bring them ...
11
votes
8answers
6k views

What is a rocket engine thrusting against in space?

I know Newton's third law of motion might be the answer for this but still I am wondering how the rockets could thrust in the empty space and move in the opposite direction. I guess an astronaut ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Can momentum be conserved in a perfectly elastic collision?

I am taking for granted that when we say that something is conserved it is understood 'in its full integrity'. Energy is represented by a scalar J, and is conserved in elastic collision. momentum ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Complex scalar field

In his book on Quantum Field Theory, Ryder mentioned in p. 91 under the title Complex Scalar Fields and Electromagnetism, the following: He said that under a global phase transformation $$\phi ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

How does conservation of energy manifest itself quantum mechanically?

We know that classically, if we have some theory $\mathcal{L}$ such that the action $\int d^4 x \mathcal{L}$ is invariant under time translation, then we can use Noether's theorem to find that (the ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Why does matter gather as discs around massive objects? [duplicate]

Why do discs, like rings of Saturn and the spiral shape of our galaxy form around massive objects, instead of just a (spherical?) cloud of matter?
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Intuitive meaning of a special case of the Bernoulli equation

In the Bernoulli equation, if $h$ equals zero, it reduces to $$P_1+\frac12\rho v_1^2 = P_2+\frac12\rho v_2^2$$ The equation does not have an intuitive meaning other than the fact that it is a bare ...
4
votes
1answer
245 views

In QED, why is the $e^- + e^+\leftrightarrow\gamma$ process forbidden on-shell?

QED has a vertex that couples a single photon to two fermions. This vertex describes the annihilation of an electron-positron pair into a photon. Why is this process forbidden for all three particles ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Relationship between height and velocity in conservation of mechnical energy

I'm a high school physics student, and we recently did a lab on the conservation of energy where we measured the speed of a marble at varying heights on a rollercoaster track. We were supposed to ...
0
votes
5answers
188 views

Relation between the conservation of Energy and the conservation of Momentum?

I just learn about the momentum and it conservative attribute in a closed and isolate system and there is something I don't understand when I relate it to the conservation of the energy Considering ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

Effect of movements of astronauts on International Space Station

I know that astronauts move in and around in ISS. When they move they also touch the modules of ISS and sometimes they apply force on the module to move. When this happens, as far as I know it affects ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

The massive Thirring model

I am trying to find conservation laws in the following coupled equations: \begin{equation} -af(x) + i\frac{\partial f}{\partial x} + g(x) + |g(x)|^2 f(x) = 0 \end{equation} \begin{equation} -ag(x) - ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Changing Rotation Direction in Mid Air

Not sure whether this is an appropriate question for this site, but could anyone explain the physics behind how this skier is able to change his direction of rotation mid-air? ...
4
votes
2answers
331 views

A kind of Noether's theorem for the Hamiltonian

How can I (conveniently?) show that an invariance of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian (i.e. the kinetic as well as the potential energy are independently invariant) will lead to a conservation law using ...
1
vote
0answers
119 views

Can we prove Conservation of Angular Momentum without assuming internal forces are central?

The only proof I've seen of Conservation of Angular Momentum assumes that the internal forces of the system act along the line joining particles i and j (i.e. - all internal forces are central.) Can ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Conserved quantity of Spactime Diffeomorphism Group

So it's my understanding that the underlying symmetry of GR is the Diffeomorphism Group of 3+1 spacetime. It's also my understanding that a symmetry implies a corresponding conserved quantity in a ...
1
vote
2answers
277 views

Question relating to energy transfer in between two particles

How would I go about calculating the maximum kinetic energy transferred from one particle when it forms an elastic collision with another particle. For example, if I had two billiards one with mass m ...
0
votes
1answer
157 views

Help with equations for deflecting an asteroid

This is a homework assignment, but not the physics part. I have to write a python script to simulate the size of a warhead required to deflect an asteroid (parameters inputted by user) that is on a ...
0
votes
0answers
130 views

Conservation of kinetic energy on a moving inertial frame

The velocity of an object differs from the point of views of two different inertial observers standing at two different frame of reference. Assuming no gravity and acceleration = 0 for the object and ...
3
votes
4answers
976 views

Application of Kirchhoff's laws in circuits with inductors

As we know,the Kirchhoff circuit laws are applicable for conservative electric fields. Now it is applicable for circuits where inductors are present but the field there is not conservative. So how ...
0
votes
1answer
197 views

Question on the negativity of the coefficient of restitution

I was trying to solve a Mechanics question on Momentum. Here is the question : Two small smooth spheres A and B have equal radii and have masses m and km respectively. They are moving in a ...
2
votes
1answer
500 views

What are the general solutions to a hard sphere collision?

Surely someone has found the solutions to the hard sphere collisions (in $n$ dimensions) of two bodies of mass $m_1$ and $m_2$, respectively--that is the resultant velocities (or momenta) of the two ...
2
votes
4answers
816 views

If a truck collides with a car, can the truck experience a larger force?

I am confused, here is a question: A large truck and a mini bus both have same velocity V and they collide and stop. The collision lasts for 1 second. A) Which one of the two will experience ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

When is momentum not conserved?

What are some common examples where momentum is not conserved? This question arose in my mind when I read that a ball dropped from a height penetrates into a bed of sand and that momentum is ...
0
votes
4answers
149 views

Can conservation of momentum and conservation of energy explain every possible event in the Universe?

I heard my friend, a researcher, say that we can, in theory, explain every event happening in the universe using the Conservation of momentum and energy. He added that we may not be able to do that ...
1
vote
1answer
672 views

On the origin of the rotation of celestial bodies [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does Venus rotate the opposite direction as other planets? Why does every thing spin? As far as I can imagine, almost each celestial body, star, planet, ...
5
votes
6answers
998 views

Why does the Earth rotate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does every thing spin? So why would the Earth, or any planet for that matter, rotate along an axis? I know of no force which could come into play here, so i assume ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Reason behind the rotation of Earth? [duplicate]

I want to know what is the reason that the Earth rotates on its own axis? What are the forces responsible for the Earth's rotation?
15
votes
4answers
1k views

NASA's “Impossible” Space Engine

Recently, there was some news that said that the researchers at NASA have come across some impossible kind of space engine which does not require any fuel. I have read at a few places like here, here ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

What's the point of NASA's impossible space engine? Wouldn't a mirror work better?

My understanding (which is very little) is that the point of NASA's recent virtual-particle engine is to convert solar energy into momentum. That's fine, but what's the point? If the spacecraft is ...