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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Why doesn't this equation for orbital motion change with position in the orbit?

The question and answer are on pg.8-10 of this PDF: At first, I went through it, thinking nothing of it. But then, I wondered: "What if we picked a final state in which the space junk was NOT at ...
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551 views

Kinetic energy of two charged balls at infinite distance between them

If I have two balls with masses and charges $m_1, q_1^{+}$, $m_2, q_2^{+}$, initially held at distance $d$, and then released, how can I know the kinetic energies of each of the balls at infinite ...
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3answers
454 views

Two dimensional elastic collisions with varying angle of incident

If in an elastic collision I know all initial values and that mass for each object remains constant throughout the collision (but different from one another) how can I determine their final velocity ...
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3answers
267 views

Energy conserved… or not? Confused!

I am confused. Could someone kindly explain what's going on in this question? A particle of mass $m$ and charge $e$ moves in the $x,y-$ plane. There is a constant magnetic field $B$ that points in ...
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2answers
409 views

What would happen if energy was conserved but phase space volume wasn't? (and vice-versa)

I'm trying to understand the relationship between the two conservation laws. As I understand, Liouville's result is a weaker condition: it relies merely on the particular form assumed by Hamilton's ...
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1answer
503 views

Should the expression for energy conservation in alpha decay include the mass of electrons?

Let $M_P$, $M_d$, $m_\alpha$, $m_e$ and $Q$ the mass of the parent nucleus, daughter nucleus, alpha particle, electron and the disintegration energy, respectively. I understand that applying ...
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1answer
238 views

Energy conservation in nuclear reactions and radiactive decay

Reading "Fundamentals of Nuclear Physics" by Atam P. Arya, I understand that in a nuclear reaction, let say $x+X \to y+Y$ meaning that "when a particle $x$ strikes a target nucleus $X$, the outcome of ...
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1answer
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Infinite reflection of light and the conservation of energy / momentum

First off, I confess I'm no physicist, but I have been asking people with a more extensive knowledge this one question, without a definitive answer so far. Basically, I'm playing around with the idea ...
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2answers
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Stopping distance of two objects with equal Kinetic Energy

I'm working on a problem regarding two objects with the same kinetic energy. Two objects with masses of $m_1$ and $m_2$ have the same kinetic energy are both moving to the right. The same constant ...
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6answers
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Electrostatic Potential Energy Derivation

How is the boxed step , physically as well as mathematically justified and correct ? Source:Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_potential_energy As work done = $- \Delta U $. for Conservative ...
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4answers
543 views

Energy Gain with capacitor?

I have a question about energy gain in capacitors. Assume the following system: As the electron gets accelerated inside the capacitor, it will have more kinetic energy coming out than going in. But ...
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1answer
99 views

How fast will I get if I burn a comet? [closed]

Assuming I have a spacecraft which is $30,000\,\mathrm{kg}$ (roughly the size of the Apollo spacecraft). If I take a comet and (theoretically) electrolize it perfectly to hydrogen and oxygen. I know ...
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2answers
292 views

Two-body problem questions

I am self studying the two body problem and I'm stuck on the following: I have given $$\ddot{\vec{x}}_1= - G m_2 \frac{\vec{x}_1-\vec{x}_2}{|\vec{x}_1-\vec{x}_2|^3}$$ and $$\ddot{\vec{x}}_2= - G ...
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1answer
216 views

Bremsstrahlung vs energy conservation

From Wikipedia: Bremsstrahlung is electromagnetic radiation produced by the deceleration of a charged particle when deflected by another charged particle, typically an electron by an atomic ...
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10answers
8k views

What makes running so much less energy-efficient than bicycling?

Most people can ride 10 km on their bike. However, running 10 km is a lot harder to do. Why? According to the law of conservation of energy, bicycling should be more intensive because you have to ...
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1answer
60 views

About electrostatic potential energy

I consider an electron (charge $-e$) in $x=0$ and a constant electric field $E(x) \equiv E $. If the electron has initial velocity $v_0$ with the same direction of $E$, then its potential energy is $$ ...
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1answer
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How do you find (initial) velocity using conservation of energy?

Without mass; only time, distance, and height is given. For example: For this lab, the reference level was 100cm above ground therefore the height of the object was 10cm. I determined time and ...
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1answer
119 views

What Speed Would an object need to leave the earth at to reach L1? [closed]

Let's say the Earth is an airless sphere. What speed would an object weighing 1 kg need to leave the surface at in order to get to and be motionless at L1, where the Moon's gravity becomes stronger ...
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2answers
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Elastic collision and spring

Bodies $A$ and $B$ are moving in the same direction in a straight line with a constant velocities on a frictionless surface. The mass and the velocity of $A$ are $2 \text{kg}$ and $10 \text{m/s}$. ...
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4answers
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Why doesn't fusion contradict the 1st law of thermodynamics?

I was reading up on the 1st law of thermodynamics for my Chemistry exam and I was wondering why doesn't fusion contradict the 1st law of thermodynamics? The 1st law states that The energy of an ...
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1answer
94 views

Gravitational potential energy

Consider two places next to each other: Place 1, where there is a gravitational field whereas Place 2 - there's no field. Now if we lifted a box in place 1, it gains potential energy. Then, we move ...
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1answer
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How to understand the work-energy theorem?

How to understand the work-energy theorem? I took a short lecture on physics for engineering last week. The lecturer emphasized that the work done on an object will cause the kinetic energy change as ...
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1answer
430 views

The relation between Hamiltonian and Energy

I know Hamiltonian can be energy and be a constant of motion if and only if: Lagrangian be time-independent, potential be independent of velocity, coordinate be time independent. Otherwise ...
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3answers
388 views

Where do the conservation laws come from?

I know the conservation of energy comes from Noether's theorem via the time-translational symmetry, and if I remember correctly, the conservation of momentum comes from space-translational symmetry. ...
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0answers
74 views

Need help with relativistic dynamics

I understand the concept, but I'm having a hard time applying the consequences of conservation (energy/momentum). For example: A proton with kinetic energy 437 MeV hits a proton at rest elastically ...
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0answers
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How do I find the force from drop shock using material properties?

I am dropping a cylindrical cast iron bar with a know elastic modulus and poisson's ratio, $E_{1}$ and $v_{1}$, onto a flat beam of elastic modulus, $E_{2}$ and $v_{2}$ so there is tangential drop ...
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0answers
187 views

How much money does an unused but plugged-in cellphone-charger waste in a year, if its not getting warm?

Is it right as xkcd states: You can use heat flow to come up with simple rule of thumb: If an unused charger isn’t warm to the touch, it’s using less than a penny of electricity a day. Or, more ...
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4answers
931 views

How Uncertainty Principle, Vacumm 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 Furrier transforms in QFT we should have an analogue to the usual Heisenberg ...
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7answers
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Why can't we store light in the form of light?

We can store cold (ice), heat (i.e. hot water bag) and electrical charge (batteries). We can even "store" a magnetic field in a magnet. We can convert light into energy and then, if we want, back to ...
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1answer
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Work being done without distance

I have this issue: If you push a 40.0 kg crate at a constant speed of 1.40 m/s across a horizontal floor (µk=0.25 ), at what rate (a) is work being done on the crate by you and (b) is the energy ...
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2answers
2k views

Finding maximum speed in a work-energy problem [closed]

I have the following problem: The Royal Gorge bridge over the Arkansas River is $310\text{ m}$ above the river. A $57\text{ kg}$ bungee jumper has an elastic cord with an unstressed length of ...
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1answer
360 views

When moving something by entrainment in a fluid stream, where does the energy come from?

The particular Something I had in mind here would be air bubbles that are pulled downwards against their buoyancy by a stream of water falling down a shaft. The work required to push those bubbles ...
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1answer
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How is quantum tunneling possible?

How is quantum tunneling possible? According to quantum mechanics, each particle is represented by a probability density function. This function must be continuous, and therefore when we look at a ...
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1answer
420 views

How to get the new direction of 2 disks colliding?

I'm developing a 2D game including collisions between many disks. I would like to know how I can get the angle corresponding to the new direction of each disk. For every disk I have this information ...
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3answers
211 views

computer vs heater coil comparison

If I have a computer and a heater coil that consume exactly the same amount of energy, which would be more efficient at heating my room? This is assuming that they both have the same fans and heat ...
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3answers
244 views

Redshifted photons

When a photon is emitted from a far away source and then measured by an observer, there is a loss of energy or redshift which takes place. Why does this happen? I have read this similar post, however ...
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3answers
453 views

If you could reverse gravity, what velocity would you achieve on leaving Earth?

If you could reverse gravity, to make it repulsive instead of attractive, what velocity would you achieve on leaving Earth? A simple question really, but I have completely forgot how to calculate ...
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What is a natural movement of a ball on a upward curve (the two arrow lines pointing upward) given no external force?

If you drop a ball down a upward curving parabolic ramp, what is the expected movement of the ball? Assume the ball is set into motion with no external force. Would it go all the way from point A to ...
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1answer
116 views

particle accelerator in space

I'm attempting to learn special relativity and i'm having trouble calculating velocity and momentum for each part of the system after interactions. I wanted to know how fast a linear accelerator and ...
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1answer
410 views

Conservation of Energy as Applied to Point Charges

The following question appears to be extremely straight forward, but I can't seem to be able to obtain the correct answer. The question is: A charge Q1 = 1.3uC is at rest and is located 2.3 cm ...
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2answers
269 views

Does the mass of a falling body decrease?

Let's say a body with m=2kg falls from 100 meters. Obviously it's speed would be far lower than the speed of light so the change in mass (if it exists) would be very tiny. However, I know that if the ...
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2answers
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How exactly, or whats the process, rather, of energy changing into matter?

$E=mc^2$ this is the equation by Einstein claiming energy can change from energy to mass. this would happened at the big bang I assume, when electrons and protons were made to create hydrogen and some ...
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0answers
216 views

How do I calculate the energy balance of a trompe?

I was quite fascinated by the concept of an ancient type of air compressor, called a trompe. It entrains air bubbles into a falling stream of water via the Venturi effect, and extracts the air at a ...
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1answer
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Energy in orbit of satellites around the earth lost?

If the total mechanical energy in a satellite's orbit (assuming circular) is greater when it is closer to the earth, and hence smaller when it is farther from the earth, then we can say that as the ...
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1answer
77 views

Gravitational potential energy with regards to annihilation

Given particles A, B, C and D, where: A and B have an equivalent mass C and D have an equivalent mass, both larger than A (or B) D is the antiparticle of C. A and B start close to C, but with ...
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1answer
513 views

Can light be canceled by merging with an inverted wave?

Can light waves be canceled by merging them with their inverted waves? Seems like it would violate conservation of energy but waves are added together when they overlap, right? Where is the flaw in ...
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1answer
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What is the result of a classical collision between THREE point particles at the same precise instant?

Classical Mechanics is said to be deterministic, a statement that nearly always is followed by that quote from Laplace, something like If at one time, one knew the positions and velocities of all ...
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Kinetic energy with respect to different reference frames

I'm having problems understanding the following situation. Suppose two 1-tonne cars are going with the same orientations but opposite senses, each 50 km/h with respect to the road. Then the total ...
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1answer
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What are the resulting forms of energy after thermal equalization

When two bodies of matter are placed together, one hotter than the other, where does the energy go when the two temperatures equalize? Is there any energy in thermal difference at all? If not, how ...
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Is the normal force a conservative force?

Most of the time the normal force doesn't do any work because it's perpendicular to the direction of motion but if it does do work, would it be conservative or non-conservative? For example, consider ...