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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
1answer
442 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
275 views

Conservation Laws in Photon Parametric Down-Conversion

As Wikipedia explains, one photon passing through a crystal sometimes down-converts to two photons. Wikipedia says total energy and momentum are conserved by just considering the three photon states; ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Capillary action and conservation of energy [duplicate]

When I dip a paper towel in a cup of water the water gets drawn up due to capillary action. How is this reconciled with conservation of energy, as it would seem on the surface that the potential ...
5
votes
3answers
102 views

Conservation of kinetic energy in collision

Why is kinetic energy conserved in collision between glass balls while it is not conserved in collision between a ball and floor?
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Kinetic energy vs. momentum?

As simple as this question might seem, I failed to intuitively answer it. Let's assume there is a $10,000$ $kg$ truck moving at $1$ $m/s$, so its momentum and KE are: $p=10,000$ $kg.m/s$ and ...
5
votes
2answers
156 views

I need help figuring out what is wrong in this aspiring perpetuum mobile

Credits: My question is motivated from a question from another user (One disk/ring in double rotation and sum of energy), I just reformulated what I think he tried to ask into, what seem to me, ...
5
votes
2answers
154 views

How to model energy loss in a rotating body?

I recently asked a question about modeling instability in a rotating rigid body. I now realize that I was mentally confounding two different effects: The "Dzhanibekov effect" in which a rigid ...
5
votes
1answer
110 views

Do particles keep on emitting energy?

Accelerated electrons emit electromagnetic waves, but those at rest do not. So accelerated electrons emit energy and those at rest do not. (At rest hypothetically, I know it is not permissible ...
5
votes
3answers
701 views

Conservation of energy in quantum teleportation

Consider the quantum state teleportation protocol of Bennett et. al. How does one prove that this protocol would never violate the conservation of energy? At the face of it, it doesn't seem to be ...
4
votes
6answers
945 views

A paradox to Lenz's law

I have read that in simple words, Lenz's law states that: The direction of current induced in a conductor is in such a fashion, that it opposes its cause. This validates law of conservation of ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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: ...
4
votes
4answers
142 views

Does car have more kinetic energy when turning?

I asked this Phys.SE question Does car lose kinetic energy when turning? Assume a car turning without losing its speed by holding to a point by a rope. IMO, while the car is turning, its kinetic ...
4
votes
4answers
10k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
12k views

How efficient is the human body?

This question sort of comes to mind when hearing how efficient an internal combustion engine is turning chemical energy in mechanical energy (something like 20-40%) with lots of excess heat. As an ...
4
votes
2answers
228 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

Does matter with negative mass exist?

Or does it exist mathematically? Is it really inconsistent with a common-sense, mathematics or known physical laws? As far as I understand, if it exists, it must be far away from the "positive" ...
4
votes
2answers
267 views

What's wrong with my derivation for the spring constant? [duplicate]

An $8.00\ \mathrm{kg}$ stone at rest on a spring. The spring is compressed $10.0\ \mathrm{cm}$ by the stone. What is the spring constant? I used conservation of energy to solve this problem. The ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Conservation of Energy and Momentum Regarding Forces - clarification needed

The other day, my teacher stated something along the lines of, "Conservation of momentum is not violated by the actions of internal forces, but the conservation of energy is violated. Energy is ...
4
votes
3answers
813 views

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, ...
4
votes
1answer
206 views

Energy conservation of Virtual Particles - Quantum Fluctuation?

I (as a middle-school student) was wondering how virtual particles even conserve energy of the entire system? I don't mean just the particle's energy, but conservation with respect to the ...
4
votes
2answers
214 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
161 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
600 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Is it, and if so, why, impossible to build perpetual motion machines (PMMs) in GR?

I am wondering about this. I have heard that in General Relativity (GR), the energy in a space-time may not be well-defined. If that is the case, then it would seem "conservation of energy" would not ...
4
votes
1answer
765 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

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. ...
4
votes
2answers
105 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
110 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
269 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
447 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
274 views

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?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
245 views

(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 ...
4
votes
1answer
336 views

Sufficient conditions for the energy to be not conserved?

I'm almost embarrased to ask this question because I thought I was by now very confident with classical mechanics. Someone has stated that given a mechanical system with a Lagrangian $L$ s.t. ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

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.
4
votes
0answers
261 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
318 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
679 views
3
votes
3answers
469 views

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, ...
3
votes
5answers
385 views

Why doesn't this perpetual motion machine work?

Imagine a non-magnetic tube bent into the shape of a triangle, with two sides forming downhill ramps, and the third side connecting the two ramps. Through this tube travels a metal ball, which is ...
3
votes
4answers
359 views

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 ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Is the law of conservation of energy still valid?

Is the law of conservation of energy still valid or have there been experiments showing that energy could be created or lost?
3
votes
3answers
333 views

Neutron decay and electron anti neutrino $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$

Why do we need neutrino to explain neutron decay? Is there any evidence regarding existence neutrinos in the context of $n\to p + e + \bar{\nu}_e$?
3
votes
4answers
233 views

What is the energy of a superposition of energy eigenstates?

$\newcommand{\ket}[1]{\lvert #1 \rangle}$Suppose I have a system say SHO in a superposition of energy eigen states $\ket{n_1}$ and $\ket{n_2} $ given by $\ket{\psi} = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\ket{n_1} + ...
3
votes
4answers
401 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
199 views

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?
3
votes
2answers
509 views

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). ...