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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Changing momentum of moving trolley

Consider a trolley of mass $m$ moving at a velocity $v$ along a smooth horizontal plane. It is full of water, and water is leaking at a constant rate out of the bottom of the trolley, i.e ...
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0answers
32 views

Velocity of (un)rolling toilet paper

Consider a roll of toilet paper. It consists of an inner cardboard core of radius $r_1 = 2cm$ wrapped in 5m of paper so the external radius is $r_2 = 3cm$. The paper is unrolled by holding on to the ...
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2answers
653 views

In wave motion of a string both kinetic energy and potential energy are minimum at $y=y_\text{max}$ then why does the string comes down again?

In wave motion of a string both kinetic energy and potential energy are minimum at $y=y_\text{max}$ then why does the string comes down again? As everything in tries to attain lowest energy possible ...
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2answers
161 views

Do all forms of energy fall under kinetic and potential energy?

I know that energy is recognized through motion. Even in the mass-energy equivalence a velocity is present even though it is a rest-energy (Not really sure if this would count as a potential energy ...
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0answers
35 views

What are the conditions for the string of a pendulum to become slack? [on hold]

Suppose the bob of a stationary pendulum is given a sharp hit to impart it some horizontal speed. Now what are the conditions for the string to become slack after rotating a particular angle? ...
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2answers
30 views

Why do people say that 'power flows' into or out of a component in an electric circuit?

Currently, I am learning about electric circuits, and how to apply the basic concepts of physics, like work and energy. But I keep running into the same phrase--on Wikipedia, my textbooks, ...
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1answer
33 views

Are all heaters exactly as energy efficient as each other?

I many applications, efficiency is measured in terms of how much of the input energy is wasted generating heat instead of the actual type of energy you want. For example, lightbulbs generating heat ...
1
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1answer
43 views

Free fall in non-uniform field

Imagine I'm a space-diver, with mass $m_1 $, 500 miles above the Earth's surface at $x_i$. I want to calculate my position, velocity, and acceleration as a function of time, accounting for the Earth's ...
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1answer
40 views

Energy conservation around a black hole

In the Schwarzschild black hole, the Killing vector "time translation" $k^a$, so that the following quantity is conserved along a geodesic: $$E = -g_{ab}k^au^b = (1 - ...
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1answer
93 views

Is Phone-Charging Plant Product Even Possible?

Bioo, a new company making the rounds in the press, claims to produce "electricity from plants' photosynthesis." Specifically, their website claims that a single potted plant with their integrated ...
5
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1answer
231 views

Lorentz invariance, energy-momentum conservation & the locality of interactions

I have been reading these notes ("Minkowski Spacetime: A Hundred Years Later", by Vesselin Petkov) 1, in which the author states (in the middle of the text on page 137) that "The only Lorentz ...
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0answers
12 views

Derivation of Poynting theorem in matter

In most textbooks I have read they derive the Poynting theorem using the Maxwell's Equation in vacuum and the fact that the force density $f=\pmb{E} \cdot \pmb{J}$. Then they just generalize it ...
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1answer
40 views

What are the assumptions behind the Lagrangian derivation of energy?

What are the assumptions behind the Lagrangian derivation of energy? I understand that we're searching for a function $L$ that describes a set of physics so that solving the energy minimization ...
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0answers
34 views

Is expectation value of the Hamiltonian always the energy? [duplicate]

There are time dependent & space dependent systems (magnetic fields) and time independent (particle in a box or harmonic oscillator). In the latter the expectation value is the 'average' energy ...
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1answer
67 views

Do you know the principle which says that connecting two sources of similar kind produces a waste and destruction? [closed]

There is a great article, called commutation cells, which states that you cannot transfer kinetic energy from one container to another immediately, bypassing the potential energy storage. Otherwise, ...
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2answers
178 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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1answer
39 views

Conservation of energy and realm of possibility

The law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Based on this principle, you can safely conclude that any effect resulting from a cause must somehow keep all ...
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3answers
484 views

Poynting's theorem - energy conservation

Poynting's theorem: $$\int_V\left(\vec{E}\cdot\vec{J}\right)\,\mathrm dV = -\dfrac{\partial}{\partial t}\int_V\dfrac{1}{2}\left(\epsilon_0 E^2 + \dfrac{1}{\mu_0}B^2\right)\,\mathrm dV - ...
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1answer
36 views

Expansion of the Universe and Conservation of Energy [duplicate]

How the expansion of the universe doesn't violate the principle of the conservation of energy? If we would put a spring between two objects, the distance would get bigger between them, so would the ...
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0answers
18 views

Collision time of two particles [duplicate]

The question I am trying to answer is the following. Consider two particles of mass $m_1,m_2$, initially at rest at a distance $2a$ apart. They are attracted to each other via Newton's law with ...
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1answer
76 views

How does the uncertainty principle relate to quantum fluctuations?

I found a webpage that just kind of mentions the uncertainty principle lightly but doesn't really go into detail as to why we need it in the first place when considering quantum fluctuations and ...
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3answers
127 views

Where does the energy go when engine braking?

If you're in gear in a car and not accelerating, the car slows down faster than it would from just air resistance and tire deformation. In normal braking, the energy is turned into heat from the brake ...
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3answers
71 views

Where does the energy of a photon trying to escape a black hole go?

I've heard "light cannot escape a black hole" explained several ways. One is that if a photon inside the event horizon tries to escape a black hole it loses energy to gravity. As it loses energy its ...
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6answers
82 views

Why does positive work done by internal conservative forces $\implies$ decrease of potential energy?

Potential energy can be thought as the amount of work that the force can potentially do on the point because of its position. $$W=-\Delta U=U_{initial}-U_{final}$$ A positive work done by a force ...
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0answers
18 views

Conservation of energy in a sound wave

I have two ultrasonic transducers, an emitter and a receiver, and I'd like to know how the energy of the spherical wave is conserved. I guess the energy is proportional to its amplitude and it ...
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1answer
32 views

Why can't an ocean liner be powered by an engine that takes heat from the ocean water and eject ice cubes?

The following excerpt comes from the physics textbook Understanding Physics, by David Cassidy, Gerald Holton, and James Rutherford: A ball lying on the floor will not somehow gather energy from ...
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2answers
74 views

If I spinned a fan in a vacuum it will keep spinning forever. Why can we not make energy out of it? [duplicate]

Suppose we created a vacuum and spinned a turbine inside it with some amount of force. According to newton's second law it will keep spinning as there is no air resistance, so why can we not make ...
3
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1answer
94 views

Can $E=mc^2$ be derived from the Minkowski spacetime metric? $s^2=x^2+y^2+z^2-(ct)^2$?

Can $E=mc^2$ be derived from the Minkowski spacetime metric? $s^2=x^2+y^2+z^2-(ct)^2$? If so, how? Can the equivalence of mass and energy be derived from the Minkowski spacetime metric? Has someone ...
6
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2answers
816 views

Half wave plate and angular momentum

Given: A half wave plate freely floating in space. Circularly polarized light, falling perpendicularly to it. The plate changes polarisation of the beam to the opposite one. Therefore it ...
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2answers
36 views

Why is Kinetic Energy = (-) Total Energy and Potential Energy = 2 $\times$ Total Energy?

I came across this relation while reading on the Bohr atomic model. Are there any other forces for which these relations hold good?
0
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1answer
18 views

Spheres collide with merry-go-round [closed]

Four spheres, with uniform densities $\rho_1, \rho_2, \rho_3, \rho_4$ and radii $r_1, r_2, r_3, r_4$, respectively, roll without slipping with constant velocities $v_1, v_2, v_3, v_4$ along tracks ...
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1answer
79 views

Energy Conservation in Kinetic Power Plants [duplicate]

Quite recently the company Rosch has developed a new kind of power plant that supposedly utilizes the buoyancy effect to generate electricity. The apparatus consists of a vertical conveyor belt with ...
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0answers
46 views

Nuclear Fission and Fusion [duplicate]

I've read several other answers on here, but I still don't understand. Why do both fission and fusion release energy? I know the masses drop, but then why do the masses drop on both? Fusion is taking ...
7
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4answers
656 views

Optimal speed for the water wheel

The hydroelectricity plants extract the potential energy of highly deployed massive object (water) as it falls down. Without turbine, all that energy would be converted into speed (kinetic energy) at ...
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0answers
32 views

When should gravitational potential energy be included in the law of conservation of energy

I have a problem that says: A block of mass 0.249 kg is placed on top of a light, vertical spring of force constant 4 975 N/m and pushed downward so that the spring is compressed by 0.090 m. ...
0
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1answer
121 views

Work done by friction on a body?

I know that when a body slides over a surface, the work done by friction is not stored as potential energy in the body. It is dissipated in the form of heat. But why is it not stored as potential ...
0
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1answer
46 views

Interference of light waves question

We were recently asked to solve a question in class which goes as follows: In a modified Young's double slit experiment, a monochromatic uniform and parallel light beam of wavelength $6000$ ...
0
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1answer
557 views

How do I derive the formula of coefficient of restitution?

I have learnt in collision mechanics about the term Coefficient of restitution, $\mathrm{e=\frac{v_{2f}-v_{1f}}{v_{1i}-v_{2i}}}$. But the sad part is that, in my book only the formula is there. My ...
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2answers
55 views

How does conservation of energy work?

I understand that the law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change from one form to another. This means that the total energy before a certain ...
0
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1answer
18 views

Max theoretical efficiency of a weight powering a car [closed]

Say we had a 700 gram car. There is a 2 kg weight on a launcher that is supposed to power it. What is the maximum theoretical speed it takes to travel 8 meters? Its a little hard to describe so ...
0
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2answers
218 views

Current on both sides of a capacitor

When a capacitor is connected to a DC circuit, what ensures that the current on both sides of the capacitor is the same? When charges arrive at one end of the capacitor they stop moving; presumably ...
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0answers
30 views

Find the Energy release in this Nuclear Reaction (Fission)

Plutonium undergoes nuclear fission according to the equation below: The value of $x=3$. The question is to estimate the energy released in this reaction. I know the Binding Energy per nucleon ...
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0answers
21 views

Intensity of interfering light waves

I had a conceptual question above light wave interference. Suppose that two light beams, each of an irradiance $I$ interfering on an area $A$ of a screen, such that all of the light from each beam ...
5
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1answer
387 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
263 views

Why does mechanical energy have to equal zero to find escape velocity?

A object orbiting the earth has total mechanical energy equal to \begin{align*} E^{mech} = \frac{1}{2} m v^2 - \frac{GMm}{r} \end{align*} with $M$ the mass of the earth and $r$ the distance. My course ...
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1answer
27 views

why laser beams don't get reflected (or knocked away) when they intersect with each other?

laser beams are photons with the same frequency and the same direction, but according to the wave-particle duality, photons have mass. but if we shoot two masses and they intersect at some point ...
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0answers
22 views

How is energy conserved in a Crookes tube?

In a Crookes tube electrons are accelerated by an electric field and gain kinetic energy. If the electric field is provided by a capacitor the capacitor would be discharged by the anode current when ...
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4answers
230 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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4answers
155 views

Why current loses its energy?

Can someone explain or give a link to explanation why current looses its energy? For example in simple circuit with lamp. I understand that the energy is spent for heating and lighting. But how ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...