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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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
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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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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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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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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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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
383 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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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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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
248 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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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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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
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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
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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
699 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
845 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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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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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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1answer
509 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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407 views

Kinetic energy puzzle

System S1 moves at constant speed V with respect to S0 in one dimension: ...
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1answer
336 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
376 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
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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
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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
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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 ...
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Would Portal-style portals transmit gravity? [closed]

In the video game Portal, there are often puzzles which must be solved by gaining a large amount of momentum. Typically, this is accomplished by putting one portal on the ground and another directly ...
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photons in expanding space: how is energy conserved?

If a photon (wave package) redshifts (streches) traveling in our expanding universe, is it's energy reduced? If so, where does it go?
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1answer
270 views

Energy storage and battery banks [closed]

Why is it not possible to store windfarm energy in battery banks? A lot of energy isn't being used when wind farms are at peak and we have no way of storing it. This is wasteful. So why don't we use ...
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The “binding energy” of bonded particles adds mass?

This is a follow-up my previous question. Several of the answers indicated that the mass of a particle (atom, proton, etc.) increase with the "binding energy" of it's component particles - the energy ...
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0answers
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What is the energy conversion efficiency of a computation device like a modern CPU? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How efficient is a desktop computer? I believe the energy conversion efficiency of a modern CPU is extremely low, because it dissipates pretty much all of it as heat, ...
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1answer
273 views

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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4answers
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What is the relationship between kinetic energy and momentum?

I can't seem to figure out the relationship between $E_k$ and $p$ or $F$. I understand that the units are pretty different. But for example: A bullet with a mass of 10.0g is moving at the speed of ...
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Why is global conservation of energy not considered a tautology?

This question is in reference to my downvoted answer to this active physics.SE question. More than one user has indicated that it is simply wrong and I am having trouble understanding why. My point ...
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Conservation law of energy and Big Bang?

Did the law of conservation of energy apply to the earliest moments of the Big Bang? If so, what theoretical physics supports this? I hear that Einstein's theory of relativity disputes the law of ...
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1answer
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potential energy of an object due to other two objects

consider object A with mass $m_{A}$ and positional vector $\overrightarrow{r_{A}}$ object B with mass $m_{B}$ and positional vector $\overrightarrow{r_{B}}$ object C with mass $m_{C}$ and positional ...
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2answers
362 views

Mechanical energy problem - please help [closed]

Quite new to all this - simple question. "A ball starting from rest rolls down a hill and reaches 10m/s at the bottom. If the same ball starts rolling down the hill from an initial velocity of 5m/s, ...
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1answer
582 views

Lawrence Krauss' Theory of Origin

I don't understand how a vacuum, the absence of matter, can hold energy. How can it hold energy when Einstein proved that matter is energy? And a second related question; how does the energy in a ...
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1answer
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Kinetic energy loss when a rigid body falls into water

Assume you have a rigid body falling into the ocean at terminal velocity. Also assume that the rigid body does not break on impact. How could you figure out how much kinetic energy would be lost in ...
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1answer
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Where does the energy go, when light is blocked by polarisation

I've been looking around about LCD monitors, and how they polarise light. When a pixel needs to be black, the light is "twisted" so that it can't go through the polarising sheet in front. What happens ...
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If energy is only defined up to a constant, can we really claim that ground state energy has an absolute value?

Sorry if this is really naive, but we learned in Newtonian physics that the total energy of a system is only defined up to an additive constant, since you can always add a constant to the potential ...
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How to explain independence of momentum and energy conservation in elementary terms?

I'm trying to explain to someone learning elementary physics (16 year old) that linear momentum and energy are conserved independently. I'm not a professional physicist and haven't tried to explain ...
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Energy conservation and interference

I have a problem with energy conservation in case of interfering waves. Imagine two harmonic waves with amplitudes $A$. They both carry energy that is proportional to $A^2$, so the total energy is ...
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2answers
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When matter and anti-matter collide

Do they create energy? Or do they just disappear with zero energy? If they create energy when disappearing, that means it takes energy to create them, right? If they disappear into zero energy, ...
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8answers
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If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?

If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into? When the big bang happened where did it occur? When the big bang happened how did it occur? Where did the energy come from? Energy can not ...
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Redshifting of Light and the expansion of the universe

So I have learned in class that light can get red-shifted as it travels through space. As I understand it, space itself expands and stretches out the wavelength of the light. This results in the light ...
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4answers
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Recovering energy from a modern, magnetic-levitated flywheel

A modern flywheel rotor is suspended in a vacuum by magnetic bearings. This means that nothing touches the rotor as it spins. When time comes that we need to recover that stored kinetic energy, how do ...
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1answer
450 views

How much energy can be extracted from hydrogen?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-L says that the difference between baryon number and lepton number is conserved. Ordinary hydrogen has one of each, but turning it into helium releases only the binding ...
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Can a car get better mileage driving over hills?

Two towns are at the same elevation and are connected by two roads of the same length. One road is flat, the other road goes up and down some hills. Will an automobile always get the best mileage ...
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Will a CFL light bulb and an incandescent light bulb produce exactly the same amount of overall temperature increase over time?

Will a CFL light bulb and an incandescent light bulb, in separate respective closed systems, produce exactly the same amount of overall temperature increase over time? Assume you have two identical ...
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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 ...