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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Sufficient conditions for the energy to be not conserved?

I'm almost embarrased to ask this question because I thought I was by now very confident with classical mechanics. Someone has stated that given a mechanical system with a Lagrangian $L$ s.t. ...
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77 views

Does expanding space cost energy?

Does the cosmic inflation reduce the energy density (inversely) proportional to the volume, or does the inflation "cost" energy? Is space itself "something" created at the expense of energy?
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Determinate the right force intensity given a certain amount of energy to spend

I am using Chipmunk's physics engine to simulate 2D classical mechanics of solid polygons (excellent by the way!). The only way you can alter the spontaneous behaviour of the the simulated objects is ...
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303 views

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 ...
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1answer
55 views

Classical mechanics; gravitation question [on hold]

There is a crater of depth $R/100$ on the surface of the moon (radius $R$). A projectile is fired vertically upward from the crater with a velocity, which is equal to the escape velocity from the ...
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2answers
1k views

Finding max height of a mass launched by a spring?

I have the following problem on my homework. The actual problem has numbers, but I figure using symbolic notation will help me understand the concept in the long run. A block of mass $M$ is launched ...
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2answers
100 views

How can I apply Conservation of Energy in electromagnetism?

How can I apply C.O.E to a system that applies magnetic & electric fields at the same time to do work, and convert energy from one form to another? Let assume we have a conductor that moves ...
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2answers
69 views

Where does energy go when performing a useless effort?

I went to school one day, so I thought I was able to get this simple one.. but it looks like I'm not anymore. :( One lonely little spaceship is resting into space. It has a small fuel capacity that ...
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41 views

Defining axes for conservation of energy [closed]

Problem: A bungee-cord jumper is on a bridge that is $y_1$ above water level $y_2$. The bungee cord obeys Hooke's law with spring constant $k$ and has a relaxed length $L$ The jumper stops before ...
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1answer
19 views

Understanding the energy transffered/used from a power source?

A source of power(from a generator,battery,etc...) is used to power a system of any kind. We can calculate the energy used via this formula $E$ = $IV$ x $t$ ? For example, a battery that is connected ...
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1answer
91 views

Poynting's Theorem simplified?

How can I apply Poynting's theorem to any system that has a magnetic field & electric field, to state conservation of energy? How does Poynting's theorem state conservation of energy in EM? I ...
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4answers
176 views

Do magnets redshift light?

Do magnets redshift light? Suppose we have an extremely powerful magnet (say the size of the Sun) and we have a smaller paramagnetic material above it (say. Titanium Brick which is ...
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2answers
83 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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1answer
68 views

The Energy involved in the work done here?

When a wire that has current $I$ flowing within it and its in a magnetic field, the wire experience the Lorentz force, and that force moved the wire over a certain distance $x$(no matter how small), ...
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0answers
45 views

Avoiding Pseudo-tensors when addressing global conservation of energy in GR

Discussions about global conservation of energy in GR often invoke the use of the stress-energy-momentum pseudo-tensor to offer up a sort of generalization of the concept of energy defined in a way ...
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1answer
37 views

Please explain the flaw in this picture [duplicate]

So I saw this picture on my google+ feed and I immediately know why it wont work. But I'm having trouble explaining to myself and others exactly why. Without using anything overly complex, can anyone ...
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2answers
60 views

Perspective and changes in kinetic energy

Say you have two planes flying next to each other at the same speed and one decides to pick up speed by burning a tank of rocket fuel. If someone on the ground wanted to know that plane's new speed ...
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62 views

Hamiltonian mechanics and conservation of energy?

Can anyone explain to me Hamiltonian mechanics relation to conservation of energy? I'm not very good at mathematics, and I know it's important into understanding Hamiltonian mechanics. However, can ...
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3answers
120 views

When you measure position of an electron in a energy pure state, what happens to the energy?

When you measure the position of an electron that is in a pure energy state, what happens the energy becomes non-deterministic. That is future measurements of energy can only be predicted with respect ...
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2answers
119 views

Do Quantum Energy Generators really produce more energy than they consume?

I'm not a science expert, just someone whose interested. I was taught that you cannot produce more energy than the amount put in. I received a thing on facebook asserting that a Quantum Engery ...
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2answers
62 views

Curious about this perpetuum concept

I know it's not possible to build a perpetual motion machine, but I still got this concept running in my mind. If you take a (longer)copper coil, and insert an axis through it(right-angled) with a ...
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3answers
247 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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4answers
1k views

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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431 views

When they say that the universe cooled after the big bang, where did the heat go?

Layman here, Stumbling through some physics stack posts and started reading the Wikipedia for the chronology of the big bang. In it, it states The very earliest universe was so hot, or energetic, ...
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3answers
663 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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6k 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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445 views

Conservation of Mathematical Constraints when deriving Energy and Momentum from $F=ma$

Background: Starting from $F = ma$, integrating with respect to time, and using basic calc, one can derive $\int Fdt = m (v_f - v_i)$ Starting from $F = ma$, integrating with respect to distance, ...
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1answer
32 views

Calculate electricity generation

A friend of mine stays near a water stream and wanted help to use its water. The height up to which the water could be raised using the water flow is 12ft. How much electricity can it produce? Is it ...
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4answers
279 views

Is the principle of Conservation of Energy empirically verifiable?

Before I am inundated by myriad and vociferous claims that conservation of energy is the single most well-attested and experimentally verified principle in all of science, let me say that I am well ...
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3answers
62 views

If empty space has energy, and space is expanding, is this energy equally distributed as space expands?

The cosmological constant (dark energy) is often described in terms of empty space having a non 0 energy value and this energy being the source of the accelerated expansion of the universe. If space ...
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3answers
61 views

Placing two similarly charged particles in space

Now, I will make a hypothetical situation. Assume that we place two similarly charged particles (lets take electrons) in space. Imagine that there is no other force acting on the particles except the ...
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1answer
64 views

Proof of the conservation of the energy functional for the Gross-Pitaevskii equation?

From the Gross-Pitaevskii equation \begin{equation}i\hbar\frac{\partial\psi}{\partial t}=\left(-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\nabla^2+V+g|\psi|^2\right)\psi\end{equation} using the variational relation ...
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3answers
315 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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1answer
39 views

What factors indicates inelastic collision?

I am watching this example from Wikipedia: I am wondering what factors would indicate that the collision of 2 objects will be inelastic (I know macroscopic scale impacts are never perfectly ...
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53 views

Energy carried by photon not conserved?

In an imaginary frame of reference traveling with a photon, the length of the path traveled is 0. If the length of the path is 0, isn't it similar to say that the photon is either at the source or at ...
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1answer
39 views

Why is the change in height for mass be $2h$ in this question? [closed]

Could anyone tell me why the height is $2h$?, and is the total gpe in a system where the masses are balanced 0?
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4answers
356 views

How to tell if the collision is elastic or inelastic?

I'm a programmer and a game developer, not a mathematician or a physicist. So please go easy on the math :) I know two things: How to find the new velocities of two objects after an elastic ...
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3answers
59 views

Why don't we consider electrostatic energy of the pair in the case of pair production?

I have seen this Wikipedia article and many others, but in none of them I find any mention of the electro-static energy of the generated pair. Why? I mean, the energy conservation should be written ...
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7answers
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Why can't we store light in the form of light?

We can store cold (ice), heat (i.e. hot water bag) and electrical charge (batteries). We can even "store" a magnetic field in a magnet. We can convert light into energy and then, if we want, back to ...
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2answers
55 views

Who of these cyclist travel takes less time? [closed]

There are two cyclist. They start off with equal velocity $v_0$. The first one bikes a straight path, while the other bikes through a valley, something like this: We assume friction doesn't affect ...
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1answer
55 views

Conservation of energy and the 'crazy ball' product

Well I'm not sure how many people remember the crazy ball - a small ball made of rubber which bounced like crazy. What I noticed is that the ball seemed to bounce higher than the point from which it ...
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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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1answer
32 views

Explanation of binding energy in decays

Everyone knows that the mass of a system is less than the mass of its components, with the equation: $M = \sum_i m_i - BE(M) $ Now, if we consider a general decay, lets say $A \rightarrow \sum_i ...
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110 views

Do particles keep on emitting energy?

Accelerated electrons emit electromagnetic waves, but those at rest do not. So accelerated electrons emit energy and those at rest do not. (At rest hypothetically, I know it is not permissible ...
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89 views

Conservative Forces & Conservation of Energy?

I'm trying to relate them, I'm trying to find the key relation that would show how the conservative forces serve conservation of energy. How would they relate? Also, how are non-conservative forces ...
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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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1answer
91 views

Aside from Noether's theorem, what other concepts would explain energy conservation?

Energy is defined more in the mathematical sense, and tends to show true with observations in the physical world. But why is energy conserved aside from "Noether's theorem"? In a closed system that ...
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1answer
50 views

negative energy cancelling energy

In what circumstances can negative energy cancel out energy? If a positron and electron are created they cancel out as one of them has negative energy. Are there any other ways that negative energy ...
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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?