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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Life and Death, and Energy Conservation

Humans are born and they die. When we are born, is energy created? Or is it just some amount of energy that our mother gives us? Doesnt she take this energy from the surroundings? If so, then when we ...
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1answer
255 views

Which direction does the electron move?

If my phone is charging that means it's mass increasing by this Youtube video. Now if an current is flowing from the power station to home, does it mean that electron is flowing from house to the ...
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3answers
459 views

Conservation of Angular Momentum, as related to a flywheel

Trying to work out some pesky flywheel dynamics for a project I'm working on, would love some for your assistance to better understand the underlying concepts. For a given flywheel (thin-walled ...
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0answers
64 views

Do cosmologically redshifted photons violate energy conservation? [duplicate]

I understand that, due to the Doppler effect, different frames of reference moving at different velocities relative to each other will measure different photon frequencies and hence energy. The ...
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1answer
105 views

An electron emits a photon and the core is pushed (recoiled) back!

I have come across a problem which is a homework indeed, but i tried to pack this question up so that it is more theoretical. What I want to know is: If I am allowed to write energy conservation for ...
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2answers
793 views

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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759 views

Compressed Spring Dissolving in Acid

This is just an interesting question a friend's uncle asked me that I was somewhat annoyed I couldn't answer. When a material dissolves in acid there is a chemical process that causes the changes in ...
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2answers
331 views

Conditions for Conservation of energy law

In two-dimensional motion, which conditions are needed to be satisfied so the conservation of energy law holds? (for example, simple pendulum motion)
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Motion on a smooth surface

A particle of mass $m$ is moving on the inner side of smooth circular cylinder of radius $R$ whose $Oz$-axis is vertical and directed downwards. The particle started its motion from the $x$-axis with ...
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1answer
585 views

Dominos vs. Conservation of Energy

In this video a single flick of a finger tips 116000 dominos. Domino video I understand the work that needs to be done to move 116000 pieces (at least 100 kilos) of plastic is greater then that ...
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1answer
103 views

Conservation of energy of a rotating body [duplicate]

The famous example of acrobats shrinking their bodies to increase their rotation speed is well known. Where does the energy to increase the speed of their rotation comes from?
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3answers
188 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?
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2answers
379 views

Energy of electron spinning in a magnetic field

When an electron travels in circles in a uniform magnetic field, it must lose energy because all accelerated charges radiate, and must therefore spiral down to the center. Is this energy compensated ...
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51 views

Conservation of energy constant

A particle $P$ of mass $m$ moves under the repulsive inverse cube field $\vec{F}=\frac{m\gamma}{r^3}\vec{e_r}$ ($\vec{e_r}$ is a unit vector along a position vector $\vec{r}$). Initially $P$ is at a ...
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1answer
320 views

overall energy transformation as a diver moves downwards through water [closed]

What is the answer to the following MCQ? A swimmer dives into a very deep pool at high speed. He slows down as he moves towards the bottom of the pool. What is the overall energy ...
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3answers
909 views

SMBC ball bouncing problem

This comes from a Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC) comic with a joke answer. The problem states: A 5 kilogram ball is shot directly right at 20 meters per second from a height of 10 ...
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1answer
184 views

Theoretical considerations on the conservation of energy and the conservation of linear momentum

I report to you an interesting excerpt from my Physics book. It is an Italian version, so I apologize in advance, as I'm sure I won't give proper justice to its beauty in the translation as the ...
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2answers
2k views

work done by tension

The problem statement, all variables and given/known data Consider the following arrangement: Calculate the work done by tension on 2kg block during its motion on circular track from point $A$ to ...
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169 views

Conservation of energy

I have given one-dimensional motion of the particle directed horizontally. A problem says: "...Show that for this given motion Conservation of Energy Law holds.". Since Energy can intuitively ...
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2answers
246 views

Potential and Kinetic Energy

In engineering school you learn the basic swing problem. Essentially that there is a transfer of kinetic energy (as seen in the velocity at the bottom of as swing) to potential energy at the top of ...
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434 views

Collision of 2 particles - calculating the mass and a speed after the collision

Lets say we have a particle of mass $m_1$ which has a kinetic energy $W_{k1}$. This particle collides with another same particle. How can i calculate mass $m_2$ and the speed $v_2$ of the particle ...
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2answers
5k views

Relation between work, kinetic energy and potential energy

We derived two equations in class. The work done between two points $A$, $B$ is equal to the difference between the kinetic energy at the last point and the one at the first point. The work done ...
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2answers
740 views

Are there any other mechanisms that can make virtual particles 'real' other than Hawking Radiation and Universe Births?

As I understand it, if virtual particles do not recombine within the plank time they become 'real'. This is proposed to happen in Hawking Radiation, where one virtual particle crosses the black ...
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2answers
871 views

Having trouble understanding the work energy principle intuitively

I'm having trouble understanding the work energy principle intuitively. This is what I'm solid on so far: If you have a ball rolling down a hill, it loses potential energy and gains kinetic energy. ...
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1answer
135 views

Is there a difference between, static loading and fast loading of a polymer (non linear elastic material) in terms of elastic potential generated?

Imagine a non-linear elastic material such as a rubber band, nylon webbing or polyester webbing tensioned between two points. Scenario 1: A large mass is statically (no acceleration) loaded onto the ...
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1answer
286 views

Conservation of Energy and Quantum Fluctuations

Regarding conservation of mass-energy Wikipedia says: "this is an exact law, or more precisely, has never been shown to be violated." However, regarding quantum fluctuations, Wikipedia says here: ...
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2answers
182 views

What can be known about the formulas for energy only from the fact that it is conserved?

The question is to figure out how the energy can be derived knowing just one thing: There is a quantity called Energy that is conserved over time. The goal is to get an equation that somehow ...
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3answers
991 views

Intuitive meaning of factor 2 in formula of vertical throw max height $h=v^2/2g$

This is a question about a simple thing. The simplified expression for maximum height in vertical throw is $h=\frac{v^2}{2g}$ , could anyone explain intuitively (analogies are welcome) why there is a ...
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2answers
965 views

force applied not on the center of mass

When applying a force outside of the center of mass of the body, the body will get both linear and angular momentum. Right? Does the linear velocity from this force equal to the linear velocity from ...
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2answers
653 views

Can a hybrid vehicle ever be more efficient than a hydrocarbon-only vehicle built with the same parts?

Based on the laws of thermodynamics, shouldn't it be theoretically impossible for a non plug-in hybrid vehicle to ever be more fuel-efficient than a vehicle that connects the same engine directly to ...
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1answer
133 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.
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4answers
201 views

Short-duration forces

In circular motion, it is said that the centripetal force acts only for a very very short period of time, hence is able to only change the direction but not magnitude of the velocity. Similarly in a ...
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1answer
125 views

Conservation of energy issue with pair creation/annihilation

Question: what is the energy balance in this situation? (Fig A) Two gamma rays collided and produced an electron/positron pair $(e-/e+)$. (Fig B) 1. because all particles are accelerating ...
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73 views

Salisbury Screens and Energy Conservation

From Wikipedia on how a Salisbury Screen works: 1. When the radar wave strikes the front surface of the dielectric, it is split into two waves. 2. One wave is reflected from the glossy ...
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1answer
94 views

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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2answers
430 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
361 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
250 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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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
401 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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229 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
946 views

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
1k views

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
1k views

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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444 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
98 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
240 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
176 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
7k 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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54 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 $$ ...