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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Quantum perpetual motion

Perpetual motion describes hypothetical machines that operate or produce useful work indefinitely and, more generally, hypothetical machines that produce more work or energy than they consume, ...
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When you measure position of an electron in a energy pure state, what happens to the energy?

When you measure the position of an electron that is in a pure energy state, what happens the energy becomes non-deterministic. That is future measurements of energy can only be predicted with respect ...
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Vacuum energy and perpetual motion

The part of the Einstein equations of general relativity referred to vacuum energy, introduce a repulsive term in gravity. This means that as the space become bigger and bigger, vacuum part become ...
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How much power would it take to stop a bullet with a magnet?

If a 7.5 gram copper-jacketed lead bullet (say, a 9x19mm Parabellum) was travelling at 360 m/s, how much power would it take to diamagnetically stop it in the space of one meter? This question comes ...
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How does a flywheel generate electricity at a constant voltage?

I believe I am missing something simple here. My question concerns flywheel energy storage. Say we have stored some amount of energy in a spinning flywheel. The flywheel is attached to a generator. ...
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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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Force as gradient of scalar potential energy

My text book reads If a particle is acted upon by the forces which are conservative; that is, if the forces are derivable from a scalar potential energy function in manner $ F=-\nabla V $. I ...
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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. ...
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How can gas from compressed air can “take” heat from surrounding environment?

I have recently been reading about why a can of compressed air gets cold when the air it contains is discharged. From what I understand the change from a liquid to a gas requires energy and therefore ...
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Total Energy of the Universe? [duplicate]

I've heard the total energy is zero, but I've also heard it cannot be said to be zero since there's so much unknown stuff in the universe. Is that true?
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Work done by the Magnetic Force

The magnetic part of the Lorentz force acts perpendicular to the charge's velocity, and consequently does zero work on it. Can we extrapolate this statement to say that such a nature of the force ...
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Is a particle subject to dissipation proportional to its velocity a Hamiltonian system?

Why or why not? I'm pretty sure that this isn't a Hamiltonian system because it involves a dissipation term, but using the Hamiltonian flow it gives me that the system is Hamiltonian.
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Conservation of Energy in the Universe [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is energy really conserved? Why can’t energy be created or destroyed? One of the laws of the universe that dazzles me the most is the law of conservation of energy. I ...
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It is possible to extract energy from black holes or..satellites?

When something falls down, potential energy is transformed into kinetic one. Furthermore, you can attach a pulley and extract some energy (like in an aljibe), for example with a dynamo... If the ...
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What happens to gravitational waves after arbitrarily long propagation?

Given that some systems may radiate energy in the form of gravity waves, and that gravitational waves weaken proportionally to the distance travelled, what would happen to the waves that never hit ...
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Energy Conservation Law validity

I will probably be laughed out of town for saying this, but why can't the Energy Conservation Law be broken? Everybody thought electricity to motion was impossible until Faraday made his motor, ...
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Potential Energy Concept

Imagine a book that we lift it with a force that is exactly equal to the force of gravity so the forces cancel out and the book moves with a constant velocity. Consider the situation after the book ...
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Is the principle of Conservation of Energy empirically verifiable?

Before I am inundated by myriad and vociferous claims that conservation of energy is the single most well-attested and experimentally verified principle in all of science, let me say that I am well ...
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Lagrangian and conservation of energy

If Lagrangian of the motion is $$\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2}m\left(a^2\dot\phi^2+a^2\dot\theta^2\sin^2\phi\right)+mga\cos\phi,$$ how can I show that total mechanical energy is conserved? I've read ...
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Stimulated Emission

In the case of stimulated emission we always see that one photon goes into the gain medium and two photons come out. How can this conserve energy?
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CPT Violation and Symmetry / Conservation Laws

Ok, so I remember reading that every conservation law has a corresponding symmetry (i.e. conservation of momentum is translational symmetry, conservation of angular momentum is rotational symmetry). ...
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First integral of an equation of motion: $\mu\ddot r=-\frac{k}{r^2}$

I've got an equation of motion (EOM), which is $ \mu\ddot r=-\frac{k}{r^2} $ How do I find the first integral of this EOM? I'd appreciate it if someone could show me the steps involved. I should ...
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Are there devices which convert thermal energy to electric energy?

Converting optical energy to electric energy is a huge business based on the photovoltaic effect. Is there an analogous effect for phonons? Are ther devices which convert phonon energy to electric ...
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Where do electrons get their ever-lasting circulating energy?

We all know (or maybe know) that to move, we need to spend energy. If you want to drive a car, you gotta spend gasoline. We also know that energy can't be created (first law of thermodynamics, and ...
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Maximum permissible speed while going down a ramp

So, I was playing hill climb racing and I noticed that if we move with high speeds towards a ramp going down we just jump it off. While lower speeds, help us to stay in contact with the ramp. ...
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How to understand Feynman's reasoning about perpetual motion?

I'm studying Feynman's Lectures on Physics, and I'm not really understanding his reasoning here: Consider weight-lifting machines $\overline{}$ machines which have the property that they lift one ...
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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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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 ...
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What causes destruction in car crash?

Suppose a car crashes at a speed $v$ against a wall and comes to a stop. Now if the car crashes at $2v$, does that mean it suffers twice as much destruction, if that can be objectively measured? If ...
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Kinetic energy puzzle

System S1 moves at constant speed V with respect to S0 in one dimension: ...
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103 views

How is angular momentum conserved if a bullet hits a wheel?

Suppose my system involves: 1) A mounted wheel with some outward flap 2) A bullet already in motion Initially the net angular momentum is 0 and the net kinetic energy is just that of the speeding ...
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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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349 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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Conservation of Energy in Different Frames of Reference

Say I have a bucket of fuel that can produce 150J of energy by combustion. No matter what frame of reference an observer or the bucket of fuel is in, since the configuration of molecules stay the ...
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Conservation of Momentum/Energy collision Problem

I'm working on a physics problem in preparation for the MCAT and there's this particular problem that's troubling me. I don't know if it's a bad question or if I'm not understanding some sort of ...
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Does the potential energy for a given photon increase or decrease in quanta?

As a photon leaves a strong gravitational field, it loses energy and redshifts. Is the exchange in potential energy of a photon characterized by energy quanta?
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If empty space has energy, and space is expanding, is this energy equally distributed as space expands?

The cosmological constant (dark energy) is often described in terms of empty space having a non 0 energy value and this energy being the source of the accelerated expansion of the universe. If space ...
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Conservation of energy (or lack thereof) in Doppler cooling [duplicate]

I did not find my question answered elsewhere, so here it is. I'm doing a project in my first optics course, and we are reading a bit about Doppler cooling. I understand that a laser is tuned to a ...
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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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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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Would a thinner atmosphere (such as high altitude) yield better solar panel energy generation?

I am curious. If you were to put a solar panel up in high altitude or on the surface of the moon, both of which have much less atmosphere to reflect/refract light, would that solar panel produce more ...
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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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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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Would the Moon drift away from the Earth due to extraction of tidal energy? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does the moon drift away from earth? It seems to me that, due to conservation of energy, the moon would drift away from the Earth if humans began extracting large ...
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How can a Higgs decay to heavier products than its mass?

How is it possible that a higgs at ~125 GeV can decay into 2 W bosons @ ~ 80 GeV a piece (for example)? Shouldn't a particle only be allowed to decay to lighter particles + energy? Diagram copied ...
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If 100% of the energy from the sun is reflected back into space

100% of the energy from the sun is reflected back into space, it's just shifted from a low-entropy state to a high-entropy state, and from a high frequency (ultraviolet) to a low frequency (infrared). ...
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Visualization of electromagnetic field [duplicate]

In the Wikipedia article about electromagnetic radiation one can find the following picture: But shouldn't the E and B field be 90$^\circ$ out of phase? In the depicted way the energy isn't ...
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The Energy involved in the work done here?

When a wire that has current $I$ flowing within it and its in a magnetic field, the wire experience the Lorentz force, and that force moved the wire over a certain distance $x$(no matter how small), ...
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(Why) would unmaintained water heater use more electrical energy?

I'm specifically thinking about lime/sedimentation at the bottom of water heater, and calcification of heating elements (and not possible thermal insulation deterioration). It is very often claimed ...