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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Can Gauss' and Ampere's Laws be written in terms of the divergence of an energy four-vector?

In the first 20 minutes of this video, Susskind derives the continuity equation for charge conservation: $$\dot{\rho}+\nabla\cdot\vec{J}=0$$ (Where $\vec{J}=\frac{\partial\dot{q}^m}{\partial A^m} ...
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1answer
141 views

Heat Equation with In-Depth Radiation Exact Solution [closed]

I am looking to solve the heat conduction equation in a semi-infinite solid with in-depth radiation on the domain $-\infty < x < 0$. The governing equation of this problem is: $$\rho c ...
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2answers
68 views

Inelastic collision theoretical problem - kinetic energy

I was wondering if there is a possibility where in inelastic collision the final kinetic energy is not less than the initial kinetic energy.
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6answers
577 views

Can energy be created and destroyed?

The indroduction of the principle of conservation of mechanical energy has been tremendously useful from the practical point of view. But .. Consider the case in which we shoot an electron up in the ...
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2answers
113 views

Do electrons “check in” at the quantized energy radius before they leap?

Quantum jumps inside atoms always have the same energy, at least in a hydrogen atom when jumping from $n=1$ to $n=2$, like from a 1s1 to a 2s1 state. My question is, if an electron can be anywhere in ...
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1answer
50 views

momentum and energy of the rods

I have two electromagnets and I attach them to two rods(same mass) such that, first one will be attached to centre of first rod and the second one will be to the end of second rod. Now I bring them ...
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2answers
187 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, ...
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2answers
2k views

Does a cooling mass lose mass as it radiates?

Assume we have a red hot cannonball in space. It starts off with mass M at 1000K. Later it has cooled by radiation to 100K. Has the mass decreased?
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5answers
150 views

Mass and Energy

Would the mass of burnt firewood be equal to the mass of firewood before burning? Then where does that heat come from? According to Einstein's equation, $E=mc^2$ Shouldn't there be some mass going ...
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1answer
315 views

Finding the total energy of satellite in orbit with the Earth

I'm given a problem where a satellite with mass $m$ is orbiting the Earth with mass $M$ and radius $R$ ($m<<M$) in a elliptical orbit. The ellipse has semimajor axis $a$ and semiminor axis $b$. ...
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0answers
30 views

Where did the energy of the universe come from? [duplicate]

Last week my Physics teacher asked the class this question: If the internal energy of the universe is constant, then where did all the energy come from originally?
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4answers
225 views

Conservation of potential energy for a wormhole

So you managed to build a stable traversable wormhole. Somehow you managed to acquire the exotic negative-tension materials with sufficient densities to make it all work. Now you place opening A of ...
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1answer
132 views

How does conservation of energy manifest itself quantum mechanically?

We know that classically, if we have some theory $\mathcal{L}$ such that the action $\int d^4 x \mathcal{L}$ is invariant under time translation, then we can use Noether's theorem to find that (the ...
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1answer
66 views

Conservation of energy and inclines

I have question which I'm unsure of whether or not I am thinking about it right. If an object is sliding down frictionless incline and it then comes to the "foot" of the incline where it encounters ...
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1answer
124 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 ...
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3answers
231 views

The Difference Between voltage and current

I know that this question has been asked many times before, and I have read over several of the threads asking this question, but they do not include the gripe I have with my problem of understanding ...
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1answer
65 views

A question on a body moving up a ramp [closed]

Let us consider a ramp of vertical height $h$ and an angle $x$. A body at the bottom of the ramp is given a velocity $v$ such that it moves up the ramp length and continues as a body that is ...
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3answers
87 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 ...
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0answers
199 views

Sum of energy from torques of several disks in double rotation [closed]

Here the study: An external system (not drawn) give energy for rotate disks around themselves and around green axis. All disks have energy at start, at $t=0$ friction is ON and at $t=0$ external ...
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1answer
328 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 ...
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4answers
334 views

Is any energy required to deflect an asteroid, with force always perpendicular to its trajectory?

Let's assume there is an asteroid traveling on a straight line (far from any gravitational source), and we need to deflect it from its actual trajectory, so we build a rocket motor on the surface and ...
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1answer
52 views

Why does gravity enact force? [closed]

Gravity would cause two objects in a vacuum to move toward each other. I understand that gravity is a force that exists as a product of energy's original conversion into mass and the continuing change ...
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1answer
53 views

Which inertial observer should I choose when using $\Delta U = -\Delta K$?

I just read and undertood that For any conservative force $F$ (which is not necessarily constant), we can define a potential energy change $\Delta U$ of an object on which the force exerts as ...
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3answers
85 views

Energy Imparted by a Magnetic Field

As I understand it, when you switch on an electromagnet it generates a magnetic field that pervades all space, imparting potential/kinetic energy to every object with which it interacts. Where does ...
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
114 views

The Law of Conservation of Energy and Time

The Law of Conservation of Energy essentially states that in a given closed system, the total energy at any instance of time should be equal. This includes the kinetic energy, gravitational potential ...
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3answers
318 views

Can Thermal Energy be converted into usable energy?

I'm going to go out on a limb and ask a question that will probably be a bit humiliating: Can Thermal Energy be converted into usable energy? I've been reading about conservation of energy, and I know ...
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5answers
817 views

Why is kinetic energy stored as potential energy in a body during its motion against gravity?

Everyone knows kinetic energy is converted to potential energy in the body when it moves up against the earth's opposing gravitational force. But I am facing some problem with this. What I learnt ...
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1answer
171 views

Why wouldn't a room temperature superconductor violate the laws of physics?

I understand that the laws of physics (as we know them) cannot be violated, but what I would like to know is what I'm missing, because I know there is some explanation that I'm not accounting for. ...
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1answer
190 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 ...
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2answers
289 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 ...
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0answers
20 views

Conservation of energy with the change of observers

While trying to analyze a collision of two bodies, while considering the energy loss, I made this equation: $1/2m_1u_1^2 + 1/2m_2u_2^2 = 1/2m_1v_1^2 + 1/2m_2v_2^2 - W$ where $u_1$ and $u_2$ are the ...
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1answer
118 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, ...
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3answers
3k views

Finding maximum height of projectile motion using potential/kinetic energy

I'm having some difficulty understanding how to find the maximum height using conservation of force. This is the picture I'm looking at: and this is how you find it: $$\begin{align*} ...
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1answer
237 views

making an equation dimensionless

I have a balance of energy equation as following (for a spherical particle that colliding with a spherical fluid droplet) Left hand side is for before collision and RHS for after that: ...
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2answers
245 views

Question relating to energy transfer in between two particles

How would I go about calculating the maximum kinetic energy transferred from one particle when it forms an elastic collision with another particle. For example, if I had two billiards one with mass m ...
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1answer
83 views

How to convert translational energy to rotational energy [closed]

Suppose that I have a body moving at certain velocity in straight line. So it has translational energy. I want to convert this energy to rotational energy of another body, by making the velocity of ...
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0answers
121 views

Conservation of kinetic energy on a moving inertial frame

The velocity of an object differs from the point of views of two different inertial observers standing at two different frame of reference. Assuming no gravity and acceleration = 0 for the object and ...
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2answers
415 views

If conservation of energy was wrong, how would we know about it?

Suppose you just started learning physics and you've been introduced to conservation of energy and kinetic energy. Apart from those concepts you know next to nothing. Then you observe an inelastic ...
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1answer
144 views

Help with equations for deflecting an asteroid

This is a homework assignment, but not the physics part. I have to write a python script to simulate the size of a warhead required to deflect an asteroid (parameters inputted by user) that is on a ...
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1answer
184 views

Spherical wave amplitude near to source

Let us assume, I generate spherical waves from a point source, of the form $f(t)=\sin(t)$. At $r$ distance, it will be $\sin(t)/r$. Let us take $r = 0.1$ for example. Then, at this distance, the ...
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0answers
45 views

What is “W external” and “W internal” in Energy conservation law?

When I solve the energy conservation problem, I am confused when I have to make the term positive or negative. For example, someone throws a ball right up to the ground with velocity, $v$. The ball ...
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5answers
529 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 ...
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0answers
79 views

Momentum of capacitor in a uniform magnetic field

We are observing ideal, charged, parallel plate capacitor placed in uniform magnetic field parallel to plates. Whole system is at rest and isolated (we have forces that hold plates separated, but net ...
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1answer
73 views

Energy loss in the photoelectric effect

If a photon hits an electron with an energy that is less than the energy required to change the energy level of an electron, what happens to the energy of the photon (is it not absorbed and just pass ...
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2answers
288 views

Picturing Feynman's argument about perpetual motion

So, there is a certain paragraph in Fenyman's book that I'm struggling with for quite some time. It says: We imagine that there are two classes of machines, those that are not reversible, which ...
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1answer
118 views

A universe from nothing [duplicate]

The more time you spending in measuring your experiment (thus standard deviation will become smaller) the more precisely you will measure energy of this system.... energy time uncertainly principle ...
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4answers
137 views

Can conservation of momentum and conservation of energy explain every possible event in the Universe?

I heard my friend, a researcher, say that we can, in theory, explain every event happening in the universe using the Conservation of momentum and energy. He added that we may not be able to do that ...
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1answer
91 views

Perpetual Mobile and Gravitation

I have fundamental question about what is called the “law of conservation of energy”. We all hear about the tidal power stations which using the tidal power. The source of the tidal power came from ...
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1answer
96 views

Where does elastic energy come from?

I vaguely remember reading that the elastic potential energy of a spring, $\frac{1}{2} k x^2$ comes from mass which is turned into energy according to the law $E=mc^2$. I also remember hearing that ...