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 did the inflaton field “add” energy to the universe?

How did inflation add energy to the universe? What mechanism did this occur by? In other words, where did that energy come from? Was it due to the quantum fluctuation (or that scalar field rolling ...
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3answers
846 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 ...
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1answer
996 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 ...
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1answer
75 views

wind versus compressed air

What would the calculation look like when computing the wind pressure of a moving vehilce versus compressed air pressure pushing against the the moving vehicle, how much compressed air pressure would ...
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How is information related to energy in physics?

I recently attended a talk by Dr. Ravi Gomatam on 'quantum reality', where the speaker suggested, that conservation of energy is not a fundamental law, and is conditional, but the conservation of ...
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2answers
1k views

Are information conservation and energy conservation related?

as evident from the title, are both, conservation of energy and conservation of information two sides of the same coin?? Is there something more to the hypothesis of hawking's radiation other than ...
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On what basis do we trust Conservation of Energy?

I'm happy to accept and use conservation of energy when I'm solving problems at Uni, but I'm curious about it to. For all of my adult life, and most of my childhood I've been told this law must hold ...
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2answers
846 views

Have red shifted photons lost energy and where did it go?

I think the title says it. Did expansion of the universe steal the energy somehow?
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722 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, ...
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Long-Life High Altitude Balloon

Normally high-altitude balloon experiments end with the balloon popping and the payload falling back down to be reclaimed. But if a second balloon was attached to the payload, one which was only ...
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2answers
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Conservation of Energy and the Poynting Theorem

Conservation of energy in an electrical circuit can be expressed by Ampere's law $$\nabla \times \textbf{B} = \mu_o \textbf{J} + \epsilon_o \mu_o \frac {\partial \textbf{E}} {\partial t}$$ when ...
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2answers
111 views

Is the mass to energy physical process an exact mirror of the energy to mass process?

For my level of understanding the only explanation of mass to energy, ie nuclear weaponry, is limited to a simple summing game where a mass deficit is expressed as energy. For the 'reverse' process, ...
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1answer
844 views

Why is it wrong when I try to use Newton's Law?

A 25 kg block is connected to a 30 kg block by a light string that passes over a frictionless pulley. The 30 kg block is connected to a light spring of force constant 195 N/m, as in Figure P13.59. ...
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583 views

Canonical transformations and conservation of energy

I have an important doubt about the nature of canonical transformations in hamiltonian mechanics. Suppose I have a one-degree-of-freedom lagrangian system, whose hamiltonian depends explicitly on ...
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2answers
2k views

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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6answers
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Does the Banach-Tarski paradox contradict our understanding of nature?

Since the Banach-Tarski paradox makes a statement about domains defined in terms of real numbers, it would appear to invalidate statements about nature that we derived by applying real analysis. My ...
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3answers
174 views

Equation $H(q,p)=E$ is the equation of motion or energy-conservation law?

I do not completely understand, why do we consider Hamilton–Jacobi equation $H(q,p)=E$ as equation of motion, whereas it is looks like energy-conservation law?
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3answers
908 views

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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3answers
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Is there a valid Lagrangian formulation for all classical systems?

Can one use the Lagrangian formalism for all classical systems, i.e. systems with a set of trajectories $\vec{x}_i(t)$ describing paths? On the wikipedia page of Lagrangian mechanics, there is an ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
194 views

What is the mass of individual components in a gravitationally bound system?

When material of rest mass M falls from infinity onto a black hole accretion disk, it gets heated and then emits so much light that the energy radiated away can measure up to about 30% or so of M c^2. ...
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5answers
771 views

Does the stress-energy tensor contain the equations of motion?

Derivatives $\nabla_i T^{ik}=0$ of a stress-energy tensor of physical system express conservation laws. Whether contains a stress-energy tensor also the information on the equations of motion of ...
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2answers
7k views

Work done by spring over distance

I'm working through a problem involving energy conservation. Unfortunately, I cannot calculate the work done by a spring. ...
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1answer
145 views

Will a photon emitted from something moving quickly have a shorter wavelength?

If a photon is emitted from a light source moving at any speed, the photon will nonetheless always move at c (assuming it is emitted in a vacuum.) If the speed of a photon's emitter cannot influence ...
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1answer
158 views

Kinetic energy transfer in matter annihilation?

What happens to the kinetic energy of matter when it is annihilated? Is it released in the resultant explosion? In that case shouldn't it be $E=(mc^2 + \frac{1}{2} mv^2)$ ?
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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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3answers
95 views

Certain material heating water in a recipient

I don't know how to resolve a problem, but I don't want the answer since I'm almost going to have it resolved. What the problem says is we have 85 liters of water at 7ºC in an iron pot of 29kg. We ...
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4answers
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Why can't energy be created or destroyed?

My physics instructor told the class, when lecturing about energy, that it can't be created or destroyed. Why is that? Is there a theory or scientific evidence that proves his statement true or ...
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1answer
181 views

I think I disprove this with kinematics, but energy says it is right

! Here is my kinematics argument. For now I am only going to look at ball 2 and ball 3. Make note of the following data. $|v_0| = 10m/s$, $y_0 = 10m$, $\theta_2^0 = 30^0$, $\theta_3^0 = -45^0, g = ...
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2answers
210 views

Can conservation of energy be applied if trajectory is not smooth?

In this video http://www.khanacademy.org/video/conservation-of-energy?playlist=Physics Khan academy explains conservation of energy for a falling object. He looks at an object falling ...
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1answer
423 views

What happened to the work done by friction here?

Problem/Solution ! Question What happened to the work done by friction BEFORE it touched the spring? Why was that neglected? Also they say there is no physical meaning behind the negative root, so ...
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1answer
393 views

Thermal energy generated due to loss in kinetic energy when observed from two different frames of reference

A body is moving with a velocity $v$ with respect to a frame of reference $S_1$. It bumps into a very heavy object and comes to rest instantaneously, its kinetic energy $$\frac{1}{2}mv^2$$ as ...
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4answers
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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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3answers
315 views

Is energy conserved in decay of hydrogen atom in superposed state?

This looks like a paradox. Let's say we have an hydrogen atom. Superposition of states could be possible for electrons. But if an electron is in a superposition, I guess it could decay into a lower ...
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1answer
249 views

What “I” should use in Rotational Energy formula $(I \omega^2)/2$

$\text{Rotational Energy} = \frac{1}{2} I \omega^2$. What $I$ should be used? $I$ as a inertia tensor matrix = stepRotation * inverse moment of inertia * inverse stepRotation; Or I as moment of ...
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2answers
210 views

curvature tensor component capable of doing work on $T_{\mu \nu}$

I'm wondering what part of the curvature tensor is able to do work (and hence transfer energy) in matter. I'm wondering if this tensor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress-energy-momentum_pseudotensor ...
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2answers
596 views

Does the global financial system violate laws of thermodynamics and energy conservation? [closed]

For the past years I am thinking about relating concepts from physics to concepts from economics. Especially since the financial crisis made obvious the instability of the financial system I ask ...
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3answers
351 views

Is there a measure of internal energy flow?

A system might have internal energy and/or kinetic energy. Kinetic energy in classical mechanics is a form of energy the object has, only because of its relative movement to other objects. If you ...
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0answers
575 views

Bungee jump physics

Question: A bungee jumper jumps from a bridge. The length of the loose rope is 30 m. When the jumper reach the lowest point possible, the rope stretches 10 m. What is the final stretch of the rope, ...
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3answers
730 views

Is mass-energy conversion in chemical reactions experimentally observable

This is a common point of argument on internet forums. I think it is fairly well established theoretically that there is a very small amount of mass converted to energy in an exothermic chemical ...
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1answer
877 views

Mass converted to energy in a common fire?

In a common wood fire such as a campfire, is matter converted to energy or is it simply an exothermic chemical reaction and all the mass can be accounted for in the ash and soot?
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3answers
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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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4answers
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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 ...
2
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1answer
518 views

Why does salt on snow create Ice?

I think I kind of understand this process but I would like someone to explain it more completely. For those who aren't aware here is the scenario I'm talking about: As terrain maintenance at my ...
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2answers
409 views

Kinetic energy puzzle

System S1 moves at constant speed V with respect to S0 in one dimension: ...
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1answer
355 views

Finding Speed with the Energy Principle - Nuclear Fission

The question goes along the lines: Uranium-$236$ fissions when it absorbs a slow-moving neutron. The two fission fragments can be almost any two nuclei whose charges $Q_1$ and $Q_2$ add up to ...
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2answers
381 views

What is changing in latest light bulb technologies?

I'm confused with the latest home lightning bulbs. Understanding filament bulbs was easy. For example take 220V, 100W filament bulb: Power = $V^2/R$ Filament gets heated and emits energy in the form ...
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1answer
2k views

How to calculate calorie expidenture from lifting a weight?

Am I correct to say that when a human lifts a dumbbell from, say, 2 feet off the ground to 6 feet off the ground, he will have increased the potential energy of the weight and thus will have burned ...
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2answers
349 views

Conservation of energy in a non-linear oscillator

I have a homework question about a "non-linear oscillator". I actually have an answer to this question, but the answer I get is stronger than what is needed according to the question. The question ...
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1answer
66 views

stress work of uniformly deforming continuum

I have a volume which is deforming (using explicit time-integration scheme) uniformly with velocity gradient $L$ and stress tensor $\sigma$. I would like to determine work done by the volume ...