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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3answers
423 views

Optimal speed for the water wheel

The hydroelectricity plants extract the potential energy of highly deployed massive object (water) as it falls down. Without turbine, all that energy would be converted into speed (kinetic energy) at ...
1
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4answers
50 views

Does work done require interaction between system and surrounding?

There's no work done for a person climbing upstairs because the energy is converted to PE within system only. The person is the system. How true is the above statement?
0
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3answers
105 views

How is energy converted when massless spring is attached to a rigid support

Say a massless spring of length l is attached to a rigid support. It is extended to length l + x. Now at this position, the ...
-2
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1answer
50 views

Capacitor Charging another Capacitor to a higher Voltage Level? [on hold]

Ok, I admit I don't have a degree in physics and I'm not well versed in a lot of calculus formulas and sometimes I don't understand formulas when I see them so I usually skip over them, yes I know ...
4
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1answer
87 views

Is work done by a pseudo force?

If a body is viewed from the frame of another body which is itself accelerating will work be done by the pseudo force acting on first body in the frame of second body ( provided the first body is ...
0
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2answers
132 views

In a CMCS 2-body system, why does the speed of the particles after collision stay the same?

A particle $m_1$ is traveling with velocity $v$ toward a stationary particle $m_2$. The velocity of the center of mass is given as $v_c=\frac{m_1}{m_1+m_2}v$. Changing to a moving coordinate system, ...
5
votes
5answers
99 views

How can we explain the difference in change of kinetic energy, due to different frames of reference?

Imagine a ball ($m= 1\,{\rm kg}$) moving at a velocity $2\,{\rm m}/{\rm s}$ towards a wall. When it hits the wall, it suddenly stops, thereby liberating all its ${\rm KE}$ as heat. Here, the initial ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

A problem of missing energy when charging a second capacitor

A capacitor is charged. It is then connected to an identical uncharged capacitor using superconducting wires. Each capacitor has 1/2 the charge as the original, so 1/4 the energy - so we only have 1/2 ...
3
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3answers
473 views

Conservation of momentum and energy in an explosion

One simple problem is physics is to determine the mechanical energy difference after an explosion. To do this, you must assume that momentum is conserved because in a explosion you have internal ...
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1answer
35 views

Where extra stored energy of Capacitor go ? [duplicate]

Suppose We have a capacitor with capacitance $\ C $ and charge $\ Q $ . So total stored energy is $$ E=\frac{Q^2}{2C} $$ Now if I connect a capacitor with same capacitance parallel with it then ...
-2
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0answers
46 views

Work done by a constant force

Is a constant force always conservative? What I tried (Assuming $F$ and $dr$ to be in same direction ) $W=\int Fdr$ Now since $F$ is constant hence it becomes $F \int dr=F \times ...
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3answers
574 views

Example of law of conservation of energy

Law of conservation of energy states that "Energy of the universe remains constant. Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed, but it can be transformed from one form to another". So I ...
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1answer
97 views
0
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2answers
50 views

Vertical circular motion: minimum velocity

In vertical circular motion while finding the minimum velocity at the bottom-most point for looping the loop, why do we take the tension at the topmost point to be zero?
7
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3answers
2k views

Impossibility of time travel due to energy conservation?

I just watched the movie Terminator Genisys (It wasn't as bad as people say) and started pondering time travel. While pontificating and stretching my limited remembrance of AP Physics, science ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

What is minimum total energy?

I thought that the energy for a system is constant. But in a question in my physics book we have been asked to determine the minimum total energy from a graph of potential energy vs position? What ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

4 momentum in particle physics, collision of positron and electron

If I have a positron striking an electron at rest to create 2 pions( + and -) and I want to calculate the minimum kinnetic energy that the electrons can possess to create these pions, then the created ...
1
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1answer
221 views

Conservation of energy when focusing black body radiation on another black body

This question about whether or not it is possible to focus black-body radiation to make something hotter than the radiation's source was answered mostly negative: the second law of thermodynamics ...
2
votes
4answers
996 views

How Uncertainty Principle, Vacuum fluctuations and Energy Conservation coexist in QFT?

Recently I had a debate about the uncertainty principle in QFT that made me even more confused.. Because we use Fourier transforms in QFT, we should have an analogue to the usual Heisenberg ...
0
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2answers
138 views

Approximating energy loss caused by drag force

We know the usual aerodynamic drag equation is given by: $$F_d = -bv^2$$ Where $b$ here is just some constants combination related to the property of the fluid and the material passing through. My ...
0
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1answer
59 views

Does energy exist? [closed]

None of this is going to be rigorous or have a right answer, so please don't take it as though I'm demanding one. I'm just interested in everyone's thoughts. It feels to me (and possibly you) that ...
47
votes
12answers
18k views

What happens to the energy when waves perfectly cancel each other?

What happens to the energy when waves perfectly cancel each other (destructive interference)? It appears that the energy "disappear" but the law of conservation of energy states that it can't be ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Current on both sides of a capacitor

When a capacitor is connected to a DC circuit, what ensures that the current on both sides of the capacitor is the same? When charges arrive at one end of the capacitor they stop moving; presumably ...
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2answers
82 views

If energy isn't globally conserved, can we extract useful “free” work?

Previously, we discussed why energy is not globally conserved under general relativity. It seems counterintuitive to me, however. Does this mean we can extract useful work from this "free" energy? ...
1
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1answer
120 views

Pendulum problem where it hits a peg swings around and lands on top of it

Using energy equation from when it is released to when it reaches its highest point after hitting the peg I get change in kinetic energy = 0 and change in potential due to gravity = 0 Does the string ...
0
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1answer
140 views

Changing momentum of moving trolley

We have a trolley of mass $m$ and it is moving at a velocity $v$ along a smooth horizontal plane. It is full of water, and is leaking water at a constant rate out of the bottom of the trolley, i.e ...
0
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2answers
36 views

Conservation of Energy vs Conservation of Momentum in Rotational Dynamics

It is clear to me why angular momentum is always conserved, and how in some cases energy is not necessarily conserved within the system (in those cases where bodies deform, or friction is involved). ...
2
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3answers
211 views

Does energy conservation not hold in fission and fusion processes?

I have read that during fission and fusion processes, there is some kind of equilibrium between the single nucleus and the disintegration products, so they are constantly being converted into each ...
0
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2answers
161 views

Why does this capillary action generator not work?

So I was doing a bit of reading. Apparently the the obstacle to generating energy from the forces driving capillary action is breaking the surface tension at the top of a capillary tube. It is just ...
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2answers
62 views

Energy of black hole

If a black hole attracts and engulfs light, then why doesn't the energy of the black hole increase to form a star once again? Black holes form when a star burns off its energy and collapses, so it ...
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3answers
157 views

Infinite acceleration

Let's say we have two planets at a stand still within reasonable distance of each other. They will accelerate towards each other and subsequently collide. If instead we give them a sufficient (but ...
0
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3answers
721 views

Conservation of Angular Momentum, as related to a flywheel

Trying to work out some pesky flywheel dynamics for a project I'm working on, would love some for your assistance to better understand the underlying concepts. For a given flywheel (thin-walled ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Convective boundary condition

Consider a fluid over a sheet which is placed horizontally along the x-axis. The lower face of the sheet is in contact with another fluid at temperature $T_f$ ( it is heating the sheet). The sheet is ...
0
votes
3answers
66 views

What happens to half of the energy in a circuit with a capacitor?

For a simple circuit with a battery supplying a voltage V to a capacitor, let us assume that the charge on the capacitor is Q. Now, the work done by the battery or the energy supplied is given by the ...
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1answer
83 views

Acceleration orthogonal to movement direction

I've been told that acceleration orthogonal to an objects movement direction doesn't require energy. Thus when a satellite goes around the earth, the change in direction caused by gravity doesn't use ...
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0answers
15 views

Applying conservation of energy to an ideal gas

Suppose we have cylinder which contains an ideal gas confined by a piston of mass $m$. The height of the piston is $H$, relative to the ground, and it has an initial velocity $v$, compressing the gas ...
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2answers
43 views

How did people discover the conservation of mechanical energy?

I want to write about the history of energy, and am focusing on mechanical energy at the moment. My question is: Can I attribute the conservation of mechanical energy to the power of maths, ...
4
votes
2answers
277 views

What happens to a photon when it enters a black hole?

The photon has a mass of 0, but it has energy because of its motion. When it is sucked into the black hole and becomes a singularity, it loses its energy because it is no longer moving. It is not ...
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2answers
334 views

Does conservation of momentum mean a gyroscopic inertial thruster cannot work?

There is a device called the gyroscopic inertial thruster. Here is a Wikipedia article on it. I believe that this device cannot possibly work and that conservation of momentum proves that it cannot ...
0
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2answers
68 views

Can matter be formed from nothing? [closed]

Well, I wanted to know whether matter can be created from nothing? Could matter be created in pure vacuum or does it require some energy? If energy is required, How is energy converted to matter? If ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Finding the V(speed) of a 12KG bucket in pulley with the law of conversation of energy [closed]

A system of two paint buckets connected by a lightweight rope is released from rest with 12kg bucket 2m above the ground floor. Use the principle of conservation of energy to find the speed with which ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

Conservation of momentum but not kinetic energy in inelastic collisions

In inelastic collisions, the kinetic energy of the system is not conserved but the momentum is. Kinetic energy is: $0.5 \times \text{mass} \times \text{velocity}^2$. Momentum is: ...
0
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2answers
123 views

Does a mass falling towards the earth obey conservation of energy?

I'm trying to grasp basic concepts of energy and I have a question regarding conservation of energy. According to Feynman's book and Wikipedia, the law of conservation of energy states that ...
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1answer
152 views

Shawyer EM Drive — Momentum Conservation Violation

I have been following the developments around the Shawyer EM drive for about 2 years now as NASA and other parties test it out in various environments. To preface, I would very much like to see the EM ...
6
votes
3answers
297 views

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

For example, the radiation dominated cosmology, the energy density of radiation is proportional to $a^{-4}$ and the volume is proportional to $a^3$, where $a$ is the scale factor. So the total energy ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Where does the energy come from when a current heats a wire (resistor)?

I'm trying to figure out an example from a textbook (Demtröder -- Experimentalphysik 2, pg. 198) where the energy transport caused by a current is depicted: Assume you have a wire (with some ...
8
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10answers
2k views

How to explain independence of momentum and energy conservation in elementary terms?

I'm trying to explain to someone learning elementary physics (16 year old) that linear momentum and energy are conserved independently. I'm not a professional physicist and haven't tried to explain ...
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1answer
53 views

How can we account for a friction force changing sign in a conservation of energy equation?

I want to solve a simple mechanical problem whereby three forces act upon an object. $F_1 = (10 - x)$ N $F_2 = -3 N$ (friction force) $F_3 = -10x$ N So at $x$ = 0 we see that $F_1$ + $F_2$ + $F_3$ ...
2
votes
5answers
394 views

In an elastic collision, can we choose between cons. of energy and cons. of momentum?

Suppose we have two solid spheres with masses $m$ and $M$, respectively, and that $m$ is significantly less than $M$. The lighter sphere is placed directly on top of the heavier one, and the two are ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Slingshot Energy into traveled distance [closed]

If I have a slingshot and I am told that when pulled it has about $E$ joules of energy, how do I compute the height at which an object of mass $m$ would travel if the slingshot is released in the ...