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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Question regarding elastic collisions and the conservation of momentum / energy

I've been working on this question for a few hours and I cannot quite convince myself that my answer is correct. I've read the relevant section in my textbook, but I guess the lightbulb just isn't ...
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0answers
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Why can't rotating magnets in space or zero gravity be used to create infinite energy?

I would like to know if a system like the one below will possibly work, I understand the laws of physics forbid the "creation" of energy but despite my efforts I haven't been able to figure out why ...
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1answer
50 views

What kind of energy does gravity convert to?

I know that energy doesnt disappear rather it just changes forms so that got me thinking to what kinds of energy can gravity be converted to and what is its most common convertion? Im not a ...
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1answer
44 views

How do gravitational sling shots work? [duplicate]

How can an object move faster after leaving the gravity of a planet, should a gain in potential energy by moving away from the planet lead to a loss of kinetic energy? Or am I missing something ...
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5answers
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How do we know that energy and momentum are conserved?

How do we know energy and momentum are conserved? Are these two facts taken as axioms or have they been proven by an experiment? This question has been in part addressed here: Conservation of ...
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1answer
52 views

Conservation of Energy - Conceptual [on hold]

Two springs are attached by a piece of cloth. Both masses of the springs and of the cloth are negligible. The sizes of the cloth also are negligible. The initial tension in the springs are $|\vec{T}| =...
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1answer
142 views

Why is the object's maximum speed at $x=0$ for spring? [on hold]

My book derives velocity of the hanging object of a horizontal spring (on frictionless surface) as a function position: $$v=\pm \sqrt{\frac{k}{m}(A^2-x^2)}$$ and shows the maximum speed is at when x (...
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2answers
428 views

first law of thermodynamics and conservation of energy

The first law of thermodynamics is referred to as a reformulation of the law of conservation of energy. I am not sure to fully understand this relationship. My way of picturing it is the following. ...
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2answers
41 views

Bernoulli equations when different fluids and volumetric flow rates are involved

I have doubts on the use of Bernoulli equation when multiple volumetric flow rates are involved. Consider for istance the device in picture. Water flows in the main tube, while in the tank below ...
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2answers
242 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
35 views

How to calculate the mechanical energy of a planet orbiting a Sun in a ellipse orbit? [closed]

I learned how to calculate the energy of the planet orbiting in a circle. then what about ellipse? I mean, why does the planet's energy is same when we model the planet's orbit into a circle which the ...
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2answers
574 views

Why doesn't Beta Decay violate the laws of physics?

In Beta decay, a neutron decays into a proton, and "throws out" an electron at high speed. However, this, to me, suggests that the law of conservation of mass is not being kept here. Neutrons have a ...
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0answers
16 views

Bernoulli equation: energy conservation in moving reference frames

I get a bit confuse with the use of Bernoulli equation in moving (inertial) frames. Consider the following example. The tube in picture is moved with velocity $u$ inside a tube where fluid moves with ...
3
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1answer
52 views

Effective Potential in General Relativity

I would like to clarify a concept about the Effective Potential in General Relativity when the kinetic energy term is not unitary. Suppose (in spherical coordinates) one has a generic line element of ...
0
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1answer
68 views

Source of energy for infinite expansion

I read in several sources that matter, dark matter & dark energy contributes 5%, 26% and 69% of the known universe. Also, I read in a slide deck about Big Bang theory on nobelprize.org that total ...
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2answers
63 views

Could superconducting magnets be used to form a shield around a spacecraft?

If superconducting magnets could be used in space to form a field around a spacecraft of a similar field strength on the earth 25 to 65 microtesla's? Would the temperature in space at -246c be OK ...
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3answers
959 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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2answers
189 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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2answers
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Can a force in an explicitly time dependent classical system be conservative?

If I consider equations of motion derived from the principle of least action for an explicitly time dependent Lagrangian $$\delta S[L[q(\text{t}),q'(\text{t}),{\bf t}]]=0,$$ under what ...
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2answers
253 views

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 ...
4
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3answers
121 views

Does a planet/star itself lose mass when it 'emits' gravitational waves?

Orbiting planets and stars can create gravitational waves, as seen with the LIGO. But are they also losing mass-energy. Beside that, the kinetic energy associated with their orbital angular momentum ...
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3answers
2k views

Why is there conservation of kinetic energy in elastic collision and not in inelastic collision?

Why is there conservation of kinetic energy in elastic collision and not in inelastic collision? What would be the difference that lead to conservation of kinetic energy in elastic collision and not ...
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1answer
110 views

Feynman's explanation of virtual work given in his book Feynman's lectures on Physics

In his book Chapter 4 Conservation of Energy, on Gravitational potential energy the discussion goes... "Take now the somewhat more complicated example shown in Fig. 4-6. A rod or bar, 8 feet long, ...
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2answers
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Energy transfer involved in lowering a weight

Suppose I lift a weight of 1kg through 1metre, say from the floor to my waist height. The Potential Energy or work done against gravity is: PE=mgh= 1kg x 9.81m/s^2 x 1m = 9.81J or approximately 10 ...
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4answers
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What is the energy source if a tall water tank is used to transfer floating objects upwards instead of cables with motors?

Suppose I want to transport some logs from the ground to the roof of a tower. Originally I can use a lift, or some cables, or even move the logs upwards manually; then the energy is converted to the ...
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1answer
739 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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1answer
267 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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1answer
28 views

What happens to the energy of fermions when a degenerate gas forms?

For example, when an electron degenerate gas forms, two electrons (of opposite spins) occupy each of the lowest possible energy states up to the Fermi energy. This is because of the Pauli exclusion ...
3
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3answers
86 views

Thermal energy of a system

If I had a hot cup of tea and I added to it cold milk, what would happen is that tea will lose some of its thermal energy to the milk. But why do we notice that our liquid is no longer as hot as ...
4
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1answer
69 views

What is rotational potential energy?

I don't understand the concept of rotational potential energy. During linear motion, when a force is applied, the work it does gets converted to kinetic energy and there is no change in the ...
8
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1answer
699 views

Many-worlds: Where does the energy come from?

With regard to the theory that each time a wave function collapses the universe splits so that each possible outcome really exists - where does all the energy required to create all the new universes ...
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6answers
130 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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1answer
34 views

Oscillation of a simple pendulum [closed]

What is maximum possible time period of oscillation of a simple pendulum on earth? Please elaborate your answers.
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2answers
98 views

Can energy conservation be derived from Newton's Laws?

Can the idea of energy conservation be derived from Newtons's laws? From inspection of his laws you can vaguely discern a relationship but I want to know of you can manipulate his laws to prove it. ...
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1answer
60 views

Conservation of energy in interference of light

In interference of light, I know that energy is conserved globally but how the energy disappeared at minima appears at maxima? Is there any path by which energy flowed or is it just energy couldn't ...
0
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1answer
38 views

Acceleration in full-swing pendulum

Consider a $360^{0}$ swing pendulum with a massless rod. If I start it from the position of unstable balance, at the very top of the circumference, according to the conservation of energy, its ...
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2answers
55 views

Simple Conservation of Energy Question

Deduce that the speed $V$ with which the bullet strikes the plasticine is about $160 \ m/s$ Using the conservation of energy, I equated the kinetic energy of the bullet to the potential energy of ...
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1answer
418 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 and/...
2
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2answers
505 views

Escape velocity at an angle

Comparing the work required for a mass to escape the Earth's gravity to the necessary initial kinetic energy gives us the escape velocity from the surface of the Earth of around $11\;\mathrm{km\cdot s^...
0
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1answer
79 views

Why isn't mass still being created in the universe? [closed]

I was watching a lecture by Alan Guth and wished I was in the classroom to be able to ask a question. He explained that the total energy in the universe could be very close to zero since mass and ...
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5answers
3k views

Hubble's law and conservation of energy

If all distances are constantly increasing, as Hubble's law say, then lots of potential energies of form ~$\frac{1}{r}$ changes, so how is the total energy of the Universe conserved with Hubble's ...
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1answer
73 views

Conservation of energy in the form of y=kx +b?

I am doing an experiment on method of mixtures and specific heat capacities. During my experiment I have to use the graph as a means of finding the SHC of the subject. So I did the experiment with ...
20
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4answers
3k views

LED conversion efficiency exceed 100%

I have read this article, Which says that conversion efficiency of the LED have exceeded 100%. The results are published in Physical Review Letters In their experiments, the researchers reduced ...
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4answers
294 views

How to solve this problem without using energy conservation

I believe most of you probably solved the following problem using energy conservation as shown here. It states a block of mass $m$ sliding on a sphere of radius $R$. I've be trying to solve this ...
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0answers
32 views

Joule's “Work-Heat Equivalent” Experiment

I have been reading about the Joule's experiment that is supposed to have shown that work is the equivalent of heat. I can't really find the original paper and I am finding trouble understanding how ...
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0answers
39 views

Energy Conservation in Changing Potential Well

If you prepare a particle in a basis state, $|n\rangle$ of an infinite potential well of length $L$, the energy of that state will be $\langle E\rangle = E_n$, with zero variance. If you then ...
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2answers
58 views

Lagrangian of an effective potential

If there is a system, described by an Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}$ of the form $$\mathcal{L} = T-V = \frac{m}{2}\left(\dot{r}^2+r^2\dot{\phi}^2\right) + \frac{k}{r},\tag{1}$$ where $T$ is the kinetic ...
1
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1answer
63 views

Why do particles moving in circular motion emit em radiation? [duplicate]

For example particles moving in a synchrotron . Which energy of the particle is converted to the energy of the radiation ? What is the relation between this energy and the change in direction of the ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Where does gravity get it's energy to cause tides? [duplicate]

The moon's orbital radius is fixed as a function of its velocity (I know it is actually drifting..). Since there is nothing in space to resist this velocity, it will continue orbiting "forever". Now ...
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1answer
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Calculating the work done by friction on a rigid body due to the piston

I have a uniform rod of length 0.5m and mass 0.1kg, and on this rod are two balls of mass 0.03kg both at a distance of 9.997cm away from the center of the rod. There is a pin about the center of the ...