The law of conservation of energy, which states that the amount of energy in a system is constant. For questions about Earth's environment, see the climate-science tag instead.

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What causes more damage, a head-on car crash at 30km/h or one car at 60km/h crashing into a stationary one?

Which will cause a greater impact? Two identical cars colliding head on (in opposite directions), each going at 30km/h OR One car travelling at 60km/h colliding into a stationary car (for the ...
6
votes
1answer
604 views

What is the difference between an isolated and a closed system?

What is the difference between difference between an isolated system and a closed system? Is it that for an isolated system, the system is free from external effects, but for closed system, the ...
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3answers
2k views

Is energy conserved when things fall into a black hole?

We all know in physics, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant—it is said to be conserved over time. Energy can neither be created nor ...
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1answer
64 views

Reflectivity and transmissivity greater than 1

In plasmonics, it is often seen that reflection coefficient and transmission coefficient are greater than 1. How is energy conservation valid in such cases?
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2answers
60 views

If we harvest energy generated by Coriolis Effect of the earth, will the earth slow down?

Coriolis Effect causes strong winds in the upper atmosphere, and it's purely due to differences in the linear velocity of Earth's rotation across latitudes. Now the Earth is spinning with the energy ...
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votes
1answer
67 views

Why can't rotating magnets in space or zero gravity be used to create infinite energy? [on hold]

I would like to know if a system like the one below will possibly work. I understand that the laws of physics forbid the "creation" of energy but despite my efforts I haven't been able to figure out ...
0
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1answer
52 views

What kind of energy does gravity convert to?

I know that energy doesnt disappear rather it just changes forms so that got me thinking to what kinds of energy can gravity be converted to and what is its most common convertion? Im not a ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Conservation of Energy - Conceptual [closed]

Two springs are attached by a piece of cloth. Both masses of the springs and of the cloth are negligible. The sizes of the cloth also are negligible. The initial tension in the springs are $|\vec{T}| =...
0
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1answer
45 views

How do gravitational sling shots work? [duplicate]

How can an object move faster after leaving the gravity of a planet, should a gain in potential energy by moving away from the planet lead to a loss of kinetic energy? Or am I missing something ...
2
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2answers
42 views

Bernoulli equations when different fluids and volumetric flow rates are involved

I have doubts on the use of Bernoulli equation when multiple volumetric flow rates are involved. Consider for istance the device in picture. Water flows in the main tube, while in the tank below ...
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0answers
16 views

Bernoulli equation: energy conservation in moving reference frames

I get a bit confuse with the use of Bernoulli equation in moving (inertial) frames. Consider the following example. The tube in picture is moved with velocity $u$ inside a tube where fluid moves with ...
3
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1answer
52 views

Effective Potential in General Relativity

I would like to clarify a concept about the Effective Potential in General Relativity when the kinetic energy term is not unitary. Suppose (in spherical coordinates) one has a generic line element of ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Source of energy for infinite expansion

I read in several sources that matter, dark matter & dark energy contributes 5%, 26% and 69% of the known universe. Also, I read in a slide deck about Big Bang theory on nobelprize.org that total ...
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2answers
63 views

Could superconducting magnets be used to form a shield around a spacecraft?

If superconducting magnets could be used in space to form a field around a spacecraft of a similar field strength on the earth 25 to 65 microtesla's? Would the temperature in space at -246c be OK ...
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votes
3answers
122 views

Does a planet/star itself lose mass when it 'emits' gravitational waves?

Orbiting planets and stars can create gravitational waves, as seen with the LIGO. But are they also losing mass-energy. Beside that, the kinetic energy associated with their orbital angular momentum ...
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2answers
17 views

Energy transfer involved in lowering a weight

Suppose I lift a weight of 1kg through 1metre, say from the floor to my waist height. The Potential Energy or work done against gravity is: PE=mgh= 1kg x 9.81m/s^2 x 1m = 9.81J or approximately 10 ...
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5answers
3k views

How do we know that energy and momentum are conserved?

How do we know energy and momentum are conserved? Are these two facts taken as axioms or have they been proven by an experiment? This question has been in part addressed here: Conservation of ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Feynman's explanation of virtual work given in his book Feynman's lectures on Physics

In his book Chapter 4 Conservation of Energy, on Gravitational potential energy the discussion goes... "Take now the somewhat more complicated example shown in Fig. 4-6. A rod or bar, 8 feet long, ...
3
votes
1answer
28 views

What happens to the energy of fermions when a degenerate gas forms?

For example, when an electron degenerate gas forms, two electrons (of opposite spins) occupy each of the lowest possible energy states up to the Fermi energy. This is because of the Pauli exclusion ...
3
votes
3answers
86 views

Thermal energy of a system

If I had a hot cup of tea and I added to it cold milk, what would happen is that tea will lose some of its thermal energy to the milk. But why do we notice that our liquid is no longer as hot as ...
4
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1answer
69 views

What is rotational potential energy?

I don't understand the concept of rotational potential energy. During linear motion, when a force is applied, the work it does gets converted to kinetic energy and there is no change in the ...
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1answer
34 views

Oscillation of a simple pendulum [closed]

What is maximum possible time period of oscillation of a simple pendulum on earth? Please elaborate your answers.
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Can energy conservation be derived from Newton's Laws?

Can the idea of energy conservation be derived from Newtons's laws? From inspection of his laws you can vaguely discern a relationship but I want to know of you can manipulate his laws to prove it. ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Conservation of energy in interference of light

In interference of light, I know that energy is conserved globally but how the energy disappeared at minima appears at maxima? Is there any path by which energy flowed or is it just energy couldn't ...
0
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1answer
38 views

Acceleration in full-swing pendulum

Consider a $360^{0}$ swing pendulum with a massless rod. If I start it from the position of unstable balance, at the very top of the circumference, according to the conservation of energy, its ...
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2answers
56 views

Simple Conservation of Energy Question

Deduce that the speed $V$ with which the bullet strikes the plasticine is about $160 \ m/s$ Using the conservation of energy, I equated the kinetic energy of the bullet to the potential energy of ...
2
votes
2answers
505 views

Escape velocity at an angle

Comparing the work required for a mass to escape the Earth's gravity to the necessary initial kinetic energy gives us the escape velocity from the surface of the Earth of around $11\;\mathrm{km\cdot s^...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Why isn't mass still being created in the universe? [closed]

I was watching a lecture by Alan Guth and wished I was in the classroom to be able to ask a question. He explained that the total energy in the universe could be very close to zero since mass and ...
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votes
1answer
73 views

Conservation of energy in the form of y=kx +b?

I am doing an experiment on method of mixtures and specific heat capacities. During my experiment I have to use the graph as a means of finding the SHC of the subject. So I did the experiment with ...
0
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0answers
34 views

Joule's “Work-Heat Equivalent” Experiment

I have been reading about the Joule's experiment that is supposed to have shown that work is the equivalent of heat. I can't really find the original paper and I am finding trouble understanding how ...
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0answers
39 views

Energy Conservation in Changing Potential Well

If you prepare a particle in a basis state, $|n\rangle$ of an infinite potential well of length $L$, the energy of that state will be $\langle E\rangle = E_n$, with zero variance. If you then ...
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votes
4answers
294 views

How to solve this problem without using energy conservation

I believe most of you probably solved the following problem using energy conservation as shown here. It states a block of mass $m$ sliding on a sphere of radius $R$. I've be trying to solve this ...
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2answers
58 views

Lagrangian of an effective potential

If there is a system, described by an Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}$ of the form $$\mathcal{L} = T-V = \frac{m}{2}\left(\dot{r}^2+r^2\dot{\phi}^2\right) + \frac{k}{r},\tag{1}$$ where $T$ is the kinetic ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Why do particles moving in circular motion emit em radiation? [duplicate]

For example particles moving in a synchrotron . Which energy of the particle is converted to the energy of the radiation ? What is the relation between this energy and the change in direction of the ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Where does gravity get it's energy to cause tides? [duplicate]

The moon's orbital radius is fixed as a function of its velocity (I know it is actually drifting..). Since there is nothing in space to resist this velocity, it will continue orbiting "forever". Now ...
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1answer
26 views

Calculating the work done by friction on a rigid body due to the piston

I have a uniform rod of length 0.5m and mass 0.1kg, and on this rod are two balls of mass 0.03kg both at a distance of 9.997cm away from the center of the rod. There is a pin about the center of the ...
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4answers
3k views

LED conversion efficiency exceed 100%

I have read this article, Which says that conversion efficiency of the LED have exceeded 100%. The results are published in Physical Review Letters In their experiments, the researchers reduced ...
1
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0answers
63 views

Energy to winding or unroll a tube with a gaz under pressure inside

I take a tube with a gas under pressure inside it. The volume of the tube is not constant. When I winding the tube its volume decreases. So, the pressure increases in the same time so I need an energy ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Feynman's argument on machine limits: how are the machines reset?

Feynman makes an argument in his Lectures that loses me on one point. His argument (abbreviated): We suppose that there is a reversible machine—which lowers one unit of weight by one unit of ...
2
votes
2answers
129 views

Physics Chain Problem

A chain of length d lies on a table, $d/4$ of it hangs loose on the side of it. Friction coefficient is 0.2. It is released and begins to slide. What is the final velocity with which it falls of the ...
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2answers
86 views

Prove energy conservation using Noether's theorem

I wonder how you prove that energy is conserved under a time translation using Noether's theorem. I've tried myself but without success. What I've come up with so far is that I start by inducing the ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Newton's Cradle: why does it stay symmetric? [duplicate]

How is it that always the same number of balls leave at the other end in Newton's cradle. I understand that the momentum needs to be conserved, but as momentum is defined as p=m*v couldn't you have a ...
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vote
2answers
69 views

Work done according to Newton's Principia

Actually I was going through the principia, reading Newton's derivations of the properties of ellipses. Suddenly I had this question which got stuck in my mind - Throughout Principia Newton uses the ...
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votes
2answers
115 views

Do conservation laws contradict quantum mechanics? [closed]

Take for example the double-slit experiment interpreted in the Copenhagen sense. The particle leaves as an object with mass, yet passes through the slits as a massless wave, only to collapse again as ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Feynman's paradox : “conservation of angular momentum or Lenz's law ?” [duplicate]

When I was in high school, out of my interest I read electro-magnetism topic from Feynman's lecture on physics. There was a Paradox question in that topic, answer of which i am seeking here... Below ...
0
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1answer
42 views

Velocity Related To Gravitation [closed]

Which Equation is correct $v^2=\large{\frac{2GM}r}$ OR $v^2=\large{\frac{GM}r}$? I am getting confused here.
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3answers
189 views

Are mechanical energy of an element of a rope and energy density constant in the case of mechanical waves?

I'm confused about energy driven by a wave. Consider a sinousoidal wave moving in a rope. In my view each element $dm$ of the rope follows a simple harmonic motion in time. That means that the ...
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3answers
80 views

Is conservation of energy only for isolated systems?

I am thinking in the mechanical context. Everywhere I research (e.g. Wikipedia) the law of conservation of energy is stated only for the special case of an isolated system. I am wondering if ...
0
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3answers
41 views

Finding an object's final velocity with distance dependant force [duplicate]

I am (just for fun) trying to calculate the velocity with which the moon would impact the earth if it stopped orbiting and simply headed towards earth. I know the force is $\frac{G m_1 m_2}{r^2}$. ...
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votes
1answer
50 views

Can we produce energy from pure substance having considerable mass? [closed]

According to Einstein's formula, $E=mc^2$. Any substance which has mass can be converted into energy or energy is also existing in the form of mass. So I am very much interested to build a machine ...