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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How do I calculate the work done by snow when stopping a person from falling from a plane? [closed]

I have the following data: Assume a man falling from a plane from a height of 370 m ($=h$) high (Straight down). The man falls into a pile of snow and creates a 1.1 m ($=d$) deep crater. The man has a ...
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1answer
201 views

What does the absence of hydrodynamic entrance effects do to the momentum conservation Equation?

I am trying to do a homework problem where we re-write the mass, momentum and energy conservation formulas for downward flow in a vertical pipe and it says "where all hydrodynamic entrance effects ...
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1answer
246 views

Why positronium can annihilate in vacuum?

I thought that the annihilation process of positronium cannot take place without a third-party particle. This can be directly derived from energy & momentum conservation: energy conservation: $$h\...
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2answers
317 views

How energy conservation is not violated here?

If I lift a book of mass $m$ from the ground and put it at height $h$,then initial and final energies with respect to ground are 0 and $mgh$ respectively. So how energy is conserved here?
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1answer
215 views

A variable mass system (cart of sand with a hole)

Imagine we have a frictionless semicircular skateboard ramp and we release a cart filled with sand from one edge of the ramp. The cart has a hole and it loses sand at a constant rate. My question is ...
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1answer
149 views

If an electron can't go faster than light, how is energy conserved here?

I came across a physics question recently about accelerating electrons with potential differences and it got me wondering. Here is the question that brought the concept to mind. First off, imagine ...
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5answers
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Noether Theorem and Energy conservation in classical mechanics

I have a problem deriving the conservation of energy from time translation invariance. The invariance of the Lagrangian under infinitesimal time displacements $t \rightarrow t' = t + \epsilon$ can be ...
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2answers
175 views

Rigid bodies - the wheel

As I've been taught lately in my mechanics course: the wheel has a unique property: at every moment of motion, the touching point between the wheel and the ground is not in movement and ...
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0answers
39 views

James Joule's Conservation of Energy

Is there a manifest or documentation of the original Conservation of Energy as stated by James Joule word for word? Edit 1.1: I found Joule's Memoir on google, skimming through to find any conclusive ...
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3answers
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When is energy conserved in a collision and not momentum?

Consider the following example: A bullet of mass 45g is fired at a speed of 220 m/s into a 5.0 kg sandbag hanging from a string from the ceiling. The sandbag absorbs the bullet and begins to swing....
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1answer
122 views

Sign of $dr$ in Schwarzschild geodesics

There is an equation that relates energy $E$, angular momentum $L$ and other constants and variables to find $\left(\frac{dr}{d\tau}\right)^2$ in a plane. $$\left(\frac{dr}{d\tau}\right)^2=\frac{E^2}{...
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123 views

What is going on with star's energy?

The sun radiates $3.8 × 10^{26} J$ energy each second, this energy is absorbed by various celestial objects but most of it is reflected or emitted back in the space, similarly there must be energy ...
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1answer
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What is happening to rotational kinetic energy when moment of inertia is changed?

I know this question is asked here a lot, but I just had to ask this to finalise the concept. When a system lets say a rod of length $L$ and mass $M$ is rotating with angular speed $omega_1$ its ...
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3answers
1k views

Where does the kinetic energy go?

A uniform cylinder was placed on a frictionless bearing and set to rotate about its vertical axis. After a cylinder has reached a specific state of rotation it is heated without any mechanical support ...
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4answers
185 views

Solids: is energy expended in some fashion by, say, a table to keep the top from sinking down against gravity?

A friend and I were discussing this, and couldn't decide. Since it takes energy to physically raise something up above the planet's surface, does it continue to require energy in order to keep it ...
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2answers
145 views

Finding the value of velocity $u$ [closed]

A block of mass $m$ is pushed towards a moveable wedge of mass $\eta m$ and height $h$, with a velocity $u$. All surfaces are smooth. The minimum value of $u$ for which the block will reach the top of ...
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1answer
160 views

Physical interpretation of $Q^i = \partial _\nu T^{i \nu}$

I'm trouble with exercise 1.8 of Carroll's Space-Time and Geometry: If $\partial_\nu T^{\mu \nu} = Q^\mu$, what physically does the spatial vector $Q^i$ represent? Use the dust energy momentum ...
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0answers
65 views

Collision Between Two Particles: Writing the Mass As A Function of The Angle [duplicate]

Suppose we have two masses, $m_1$ and $m_2$, where $m_2$ is at rest, and $m_1$ is headed directly towards $m_2$. I would like to write the ratio of the masses as a function of the angle. Using ...
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2answers
2k views

How does potential energy work in the context of objects in space?

It's said that potential energy is "energy of position." If an object is sitting on a shelf five feet above the floor, its potential energy can be thought of as equal to the amount of energy that ...
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2answers
1k views

Conservation of mass energy and kinetic energy in different reference frames

With a little work it's easy to show that kinetic energy by itself is not necessarily preserved when switching between frames of reference. And it is my understanding that energy should be preserved ...
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0answers
52 views

Do these steps demonstrate that acceleration of charged particle is proportional to current?

One formulation of Maxwell's Gauss Law for electric field is: $$\bigtriangledown E = 4 \pi k \rho $$ This can be worked into the Divergence Theorem as follows: $$\int\int_{A} F_\perp \:dA= 4\pi k \...
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1answer
153 views

Hamiltonian conservation

Lagrangian formalism does not involve forces that doesn't come from a potential and Hamiltonian formalism says that even though energy is not conserved due to a force like this, the Hamiltonian is ...
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4answers
407 views

What kind of energy does superfluidity use?

Liquid helium (and other similar fluids) can "climb up" the walls of their containers. Who does the work in this case, and what kind of energy does it use? I'm sure we can't make a perpetuum mobile ...
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Conservation of Mathematical Constraints when deriving Energy and Momentum from $F=ma$

Background: Starting from $F = ma$, integrating with respect to time, and using basic calc, one can derive $\int Fdt = m (v_f - v_i)$ Starting from $F = ma$, integrating with respect to distance, ...
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4answers
5k views

Where does the loss in gravitational energy of the load go when a spring is pulled?

A mass spring system is in equilibrium. If I pull on the load by $x$ meters, the energy stored in the spring is (this is what is given in my book): $$E=\frac12kx^2 $$ However, doesn't the load lose ...
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1answer
239 views

Can exergy and exergy destruction be understood through thermodynamical and/or statistical-mechanical principles?

My textbook Fundamentals of engineering thermodynamics, Moran and Shapiro states: The exergy is the maximum theoretical work obtainable for an overall system consisting of a system and the ...
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1answer
417 views

Energy conversion and momentum conservation law

Bullet ($m=0.02\ kg\ ;v_1=400 \ m/s$ ) hits pendulum ball ($M=3.98\ kg$) and system with stacket bullet and ball bends to one side. Need to find max. delta height ($h$) (position change in vertical ...
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3answers
877 views

Conservation of energy and continuity equation

When physicists say energy is conserved, do they mean that energy satisfies the continuity equation: $$\triangledown \cdot j+\dot{\rho}=0$$ On the internet there is plenty of talk of how the ...
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2answers
514 views

Do accelerated charges radiate or not?

This questions has been asked all over the net (here included) but I can't find a satisfactory answer or discussion. Some say it does not radiate if the acceleration is caused by a uniform gravity ...
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1answer
521 views

How certain is the heat death of the universe?

According to our current scientific knowledge, how certain is it that heat death shall be the ultimate fate of our universe, and why? Are there any serious hypotheses competing with heat death, and if ...
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1answer
246 views

How would you quantify and predict the internal friction and efficiency of a bungee cord?

I am in an introductory physics class and we have been working with Gravitational Potential Energy, Elastic Potential Energy, Kinetic Energy and the Law of Conservation of Energy in relation to bungee ...
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6answers
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Why are rockets so big?

I'm curious why rockets are so big in their size. Since both the gravitational potential one need to overcome in order to put thing into orbit, and the chemical energy burned from the fuel, are ...
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2answers
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Work done by a conservative force

Wikipedia: A conservative force is a force with the property that the work done in moving a particle between two points is independent of the taken path. Equivalently, if a particle travels in a ...
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421 views

Was Joule's experiment able to show: thermal energy = $mgh$

Is my understanding of this experiment correct? There is the quantity $MC\delta \theta$ associated to the heat which I think is not an absolute value to be compared with $mgh$ since the $\delta \theta$...
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0answers
199 views

Conservation of Mechanical Energy [closed]

I am currently trying to tackle the problem: A 2.0 kg bundle starts up a 30° incline with 125 J of kinetic energy. How far will it slide up the plane if the coefficient of friction is 0.30? ...
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2answers
190 views

Not so simple problem using momentum, energy and angular velocity…?

I have an object in free space (no gravity) with angular momentum $ = \omega_i $, and some velocity vector $=\vec{V_i}$. To simplify we will say it has a mass-less rigid rod length $ = \ell $, ...
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2answers
201 views

almost same mass, same distance, different energy needs

Imagine a car, driving 10 km at constant speed in 6th gear. There will be a measurable fuel consumption. Now imagine the same car driving 10 km again at a constant speed (same as above) in the 1st ...
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3answers
611 views

Does unitarity imply conservation of energy?

Not too long ago, someone began to discuss the thinking and motivation behind the Lagrangian and its formalism for the Newtonian framework and an intuitive understanding of such formalism. Somehow, it ...
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2answers
190 views

How does energy transfer between B and E in an EM standing wave?

I'm trying to understand how an electric field induces a magnetic field and vice versa, its associated energy, as well as relating it to my understanding of waves on a string. Using a standing wave ...
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1answer
837 views

Where do the photons mediating the electromagnetic force come from?

The electromagnetic field is mediated by photons (energy quanta). Its range is infinite, the interaction only weakens quadratically with distance due to the area of an expanding virtual sphere. Where ...
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2answers
1k views

The physical observation of the conservation of energy?

Aside from Noether's Theorem, how do we know energy is conserved? Energy is the capacity of a system to do work. It's the number that tells me how much "force" a system can apply over a distance. For ...
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1answer
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Explicit time dependence of the Lagrangian and Energy Conservation

Why is energy(or in more general terms,the Hamiltonian) not conserved when the Lagrangian has an explicit time dependence? I know that we can derive the identity: $\frac{\partial \mathcal{H}}{\...
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12answers
6k views

Where does the extra force generated by a lever come from?

Given an object being pulled down to earth by a force of 1000 lb: If a machine were to lift it off the ground for me, and I grabbed on to the rope before it was released, there is no way in the world ...
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2answers
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Perfect elastic collision and velocity transfer

So my teacher told me that when you have two identical balls in a perfectly elastic collision, the first ball A will collide with B and afterwards A will stop and B continue. Why is this? Doesn't ...
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2answers
8k views

Finding max height of a mass launched by a spring?

I have the following problem on my homework. The actual problem has numbers, but I figure using symbolic notation will help me understand the concept in the long run. A block of mass $M$ is launched ...
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1answer
156 views

Understanding Where I Went Wrong in a Linear Conservation Problem

I have the following physics problem. In the figure below, a stationary block explodes into two pieces L and R that slide across a frictionless floor and then into regions with friction, where they ...
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1answer
2k views

Physics transformation energy [closed]

A 15kg child slides down a 2.3m -high playground slide. She starts from rest, and her speed at the bottom is 2.1m/s . What is the change in the thermal energy of the slide and the seat of her pants? (...
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2answers
13k views

How to find the compression of a spring attached to an object [closed]

I am having some trouble figuring out the equation needed to solve this problem. A 3.0-kg block slides along a frictionless tabletop at 8.0 m/s toward a second block (at rest) of mass 4.5 kg. A ...
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1answer
186 views

Superfluid Fountain

I was wondering how a super fluid fountain can flow indefinitely without violating energy conservation.
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4answers
3k views

Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE) to Kinetic Energy (KE) transfer in Satellite Orbits

I am stumped by a mundane A Level Physics question (teacher of physics here obviously a bit short of practice!). My colleagues and I are stumped and were wondering if any one could help us. It ...