Energy is the conserved quantity associated to time-translation invariance and represents the work a system is capable of doing. Use this tag for questions about energy, and consider adding [tag:energy-conservation] if it is specifically about its conservation.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

22
votes
6answers
3k views

Do photons gain mass when they travel through glass?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that photons slow down when travelling through glass. Does this mean they gain mass? Otherwise, what happens to extra kinetic energy? I understand now ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Work and chemical energy “paradox”

This is a mistake I've seen many people make, a few physicists included, but I haven't ever seen a satisfactory explanation for what's going on. Apologies for the lengthy setup. Setup Suppose I ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Elements of particle mass

From what I can tell, it seems that particles have two kinds of mass, the mass inherent in a fundamental particle itself, or for composite particles, additional mass associated with the Higgs field. ...
0
votes
2answers
28 views

Which materials absorb heat?

Which are the materials that absorb heat? and can i somehow convert that absorbed heat into a different form of energy? I am looking into trying to absorb the wasted heat dissipated by laptops,severs ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Does the electron confinement energy vary with temperature?

I was introduced the electron confinement energy. At room temperature thermal energy of a particle is about $k_B T$, where $T=298K$, giving about $25meV$. I was told that $E_\text{confinement}=50emV$, ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Kinetic energy vs. momentum?

As simple as this question might seem, I failed to intuitively answer it. Let's assume there is a $10,000$ $kg$ truck moving at $1$ $m/s$, so its momentum and KE are: $p=10,000$ $kg.m/s$ and ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Solar sail, estimate force

I'm trying to get an estimative for how much force is applied on a solar sail by solar radiation. So the first question is elastic or inelastic collision? Elastic colision provides a change in ...
0
votes
2answers
26 views

Complete removal of potential energy [on hold]

If there were a way to remove/transfer the potential energy of a person or object, what would be left? Antimatter? A singularity? Could this be a way of creating a wormhole? How could it be closed?
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Physical interpretation of distances

Suppose we have a universe with only two distinguishable particles, neglecting gravitation. These particles start off next to each-other, ostensibly "touching" each-other and at rest. If it takes ...
0
votes
0answers
9 views

What is the heated added and changes in internal energy? thermodynamics

A piston + cylinder initially contains 2 x 10-3 m3 of helium gas at the pressure of 1.01 x 105 Pa and with a temperature of 60'C. The gas is heated allowed to expand at a constant pressure until its ...
-1
votes
0answers
14 views

Heat energy question [on hold]

An aluminium block of mass 1 kg is heated by an electric heater for 3 minutes and a temperature rise of 15 °C is recorded. If the electric heater is connected to a voltmeter which gives a reading of ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

In general terms, what key elements are necessary for resonance to exist in a physical system?

I found a related question An Analogy for Resonance, and John Rennie gives a good explanation using description of the harmonic oscillator. But I'm really looking for an accurate and complete list of ...
-2
votes
1answer
57 views

Why does this not make infinite energy?

Here's an idea I had for infinite energy: Get into a spaceship, and fly to a star or other large body and get into orbit. Then just harvest your kinetic energy somehow and keep going indefinitely. My ...
0
votes
1answer
146 views

What factors affect the velocity of an object moving down an inclined plane?

If you have a small toy car rolling down an wooden plank, what factors would increase or decrease the velocity of said car. In the experiment my team originally stated that adding mass to the car ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Why did the electric potential energy fall in this situation?

Suppose you have two capacitors configured as shown in the image below. One of them has charge $q$ and the other one is uncharged. Then, you close the switch, allowing charges to flow. After ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Isolation of a Physical System and Energy

I'm trying to grasp basic concepts of energy and i have a little doubt regarding conservation of energy. According to Feynman book and Wikipedia, the Law of Conservation of Energy states that ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Maximum angle for highway lane change

I am preparing to fight a traffic ticket from a speed camera. There is a lot more to that story, but the info I need right now involves the angle at which a car can change lanes, in terms of vehicle ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Coefficient of friction on a loop-the-loop!

Here is a question that I thought of while doing a physics lab in class. We dropped a marble from a certain height down a ramp and around loop-the-loop and let it fly off of a table and then we were ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Angular momentum & Energy using Yukawa's potential [on hold]

I was doing my Gravitation problems and I found this one that I'm unable to solve. Yukawa's theory for nuclear forces states that the potential energy corresponding to the attraction force ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Do rainbow shows spectral lines?

A spectral line is the electromagnetic radiation emitted when the electron jumps from higher orbital to a lower orbital of an atom. Water mainly consists of two elements namely hydrogen and oxygen, ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
42 views

Can KE and PE of a small element of a transverse progressive wave be maximum simultaneously?

Maybe a string can be taken as an example to produce the transverse progressive wave.
0
votes
1answer
301 views

Integers, Energy levels, and wavenumbers for a particle in a 2D box

(This question is not about coding) I have built a little code in Python that allows the user to plot the energy vs the wave number of particle in a 2D box, depending on what values for the integers ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Is it possible to formulate a Hamiltonian for a damped system?

I recently found out that it is possible to formulate a Hamiltonian for a system with time-dependent coordinates such that the Hamiltonian is not the same as the energy When is the Hamiltonian of a ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Two expressions for expectation value of energy

I was looking up expectation value of energy for a free particle on the following webpage: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/quantum/expect.html It says that $E=\frac{p^2}{2m}$ and ...
13
votes
1answer
271 views

How hot would tritium water be?

I realize this is kind of a silly question, but if you have tritium water, with the tritium half life of 12.5 years, I expect it would be quite hot. (note, this is not a homework question, I'm just ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Fan Speed Formula

Is there any formula for computing fan speed by using air mass,air flux, air density or specific heat? I have computed air mass and air flux, and found the values for air density and specific heat, ...
7
votes
3answers
267 views

Is there a giant cloud of antimatter at centre of the Milky Way

Among others, this page says there is a giant cloud of antimatter at centre of the Milky Way, which was discovered in the 1970s. My brother doesn't believe there is any such cloud. I'm prepared to ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Can the vacuum energy be made finite with quantized space

From what I know the reason we have infinite vacuum energy is because according to Quantum Field Theory at every point in space we have something analogous to a harmonic oscillator but since the Zero ...
0
votes
2answers
743 views

How do I express the interaction energy between two charged spheres?

Consider two identical insulating spheres each with radius $R$ and uniform charge $Q$ through their volume. They are separated from their centers by a distance of $d>2R$. Here is my general ...
3
votes
3answers
575 views

Why are solar panels blue, rather than black, when black absorbs more light?

This is an image of a solar panel array, courtesy of Wikipedia. Some of these look rather black, but most of them are blue. As far as I know, solar panels work by absorbing "light energy", and ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

A captious work problem: same paths but same forces?

A man jumps onto a chair. A man climbs onto a chair by putting a leg first and then the other. In both cases, the work has been the same. TRUE or FALSE...? Spoiler!: The path is the same, so the ...
2
votes
0answers
89 views

Minimum energy required to roll a cuboid through $90^\circ$ [closed]

I'm stuck on this textbook question about the minimum energy required to roll a cuboid through $90^\circ$ from an upright position to a horizontal position (see image). I believe the correct answer is ...
2
votes
3answers
299 views

Is there a quick way of finding the kinetic energy on spherical coordinates?

Assume a particle in 3D euclidean space. Its kinetic energy: $$ T = \frac{1}{2}m\left(\dot x^2 + \dot y^2 + \dot z^2\right) $$ I need to change to spherical coordinates and find its kinetic energy: ...
2
votes
3answers
274 views

Power to suspend a mass in air

How much power is needed to suspend a mass in the air? The four parts below deal with the same problem. I post them all here, should there be some subtle things I didn't see. The textbook problem A ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Gravitational force in a building

Suppose that a person is standing on the top of a multi storey building and at an instant earth's gravitational pull becomes zero.What will happen in the next instant? (Consider only earth's gravity ...
1
vote
3answers
249 views

Example of law of conservation of energy

Law of conservation of energy states that "Energy of the universe remains constant. Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed, but it can be transformed from one form to another". So I ...
19
votes
7answers
6k views

Why do solar panels not have focusing mirrors?

Most of the solar panels that I have seen do not have any mirrors, etc., but usually solar cookers have mirrors. What is the reason for solar panels not having focusing mirrors?
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Difficulty understanding electricity concepts

In circuit diagrams what does it mean for energy to be used in going through a component? I usually see this when emf is being described: total energy supplied per coulomb by battery = total energy ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Is shaking a phone enough energy to charge a smartphone?

Is shaking a phone enough energy to charge a smartphone? For example I'd like to use some kind of power generator to charge smartphone's battery but I'm wondering if shaking (by hand, or motion when ...
6
votes
9answers
18k views

How can momentum but not energy be conserved in an inelastic collision?

In inelastic collisions, kinetic energy changes, so the velocities of the objects also change. So how is momentum conserved in inelastic collisions?
-1
votes
5answers
49 views

Convert kinetic energy of a bullet into electricity and store it in a super-capacitor [closed]

I was thinking about bulletproof materials, they have to be so thick and heavy because they try to hold all of the kinetic energy of a bullet and then dissipate it (right?) So what if you made a thin ...
6
votes
2answers
219 views

Do virtual photons have a frequency?

Real photons do have frequencies, which is directly related to its energy. So, can virtual photons that take part in EM interactions have frequencies too? When my hand is pressed up against a glass ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

What does it mean to perturb the electromagnetic energy with respect to a change in a Lorentz frame?

I am perturbing the energy of an electromagnetic field using \begin{align} \dfrac{\partial U}{\partial \zeta} = \dfrac{1}{\mu} \boldsymbol{H}\cdot \dfrac{\partial \boldsymbol{H}}{\partial \zeta} + ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

How to calculate the amout of time for oil to get out from a pneumatic cylinder?

I have a system. You can assume it is just a 1" diameter steel pneumatic cylinder (1 foot long). Assume we ignore the bore size issue at this point. One chamber is filled up by oil (6" of volume), ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

What happens when an electron collides with an atom?

I was solving this question: Here is part of the energy level diagram of hydrogen: n=4 --> -0.85eV n=3 --> -1.50eV n=2 --> -3.40eV n=1 --> -13.6eV When an electron of ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Energy transitions of 12.1eV electron?

Here is part of the energy level diagram of hydrogen: n=4 --> -0.85eV n=3 --> -1.50eV n=2 --> -3.40eV n=1 --> -13.6eV When an electron of energy 12.1eV collides with this ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

What does it mean for a quantum particle to have energy $E_n$? And what is its general normalised state?

In this particular case, I have found the energy to be quantised with energy levels $\frac{h^2n^2}{2m} >0 $ where $n$ is an integer. Suppose a particle has energy $E=\frac{4h^2}{2m}$, then this ...
80
votes
16answers
22k views

Why does kinetic energy increase quadratically, not linearly, with speed?

As Wikipedia says: [...] the kinetic energy of a non-rotating object of mass $m$ traveling at a speed $v$ is $mv^2/2$. Why does this not increase linearly with speed? Why does it take so much ...
2
votes
2answers
175 views

When do we see particles to be in a superposition of energy states?

I have two doubts: Exactly when does this happen? and If we are in a superposition of states (lets say E1 and E2) and the particle absorbs a photon, what will happen? If E3-E1 = hf, will it go to E3? ...