Energy is a quantity which gives an overview of the amount of work doable by the system.

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How does my air-cooling unit work?

During the winter, my office gets a little cold. I have a unit (essentially a space heater) that heats the area around it to help keep me warm. Now that it's summer, I realize the unit also has a ...
2
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1answer
704 views

Wien's fifth power Law and Stephan Boltzmann's fourth power laws of emissive power

Wien's fifth power law says that emissive power is proportional to the temperature raised to the fifth power. On the other hand, the Stefan–Boltzmann law says emissive power is proportional to the ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Why is the steam from cooling towers not used?

If I see the steam coming out of cooling towers at an altitude of 200 meters, I cannot help but think that this energy is wasted. My question is: Why isn't this steam cooled enough to become water and ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Degeneracy of states in mixed infinite square well, harmonic oscillator

I'm trying to determine the degeneracy of states given by $g(\epsilon)=g_{0} \epsilon$ for a system that is trapped in a quite specific potential. In two dimensions, the particle has a potential as ...
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2answers
452 views

Particle Accelerator Energy and Luminosity

Both beam energy and luminosity are important for succesful particle accelerator experiments. The LHC's nominal design is for 7 TeV beams and 1E34 cm^-2 sec^-1 luminosity, while the SSC's nominal ...
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4answers
6k views

What is the pure energy in matter antimatter annihilation made of?

I used to read the term "pure energy" in the context of matter antimatter annihilation. Is the "pure energy" spoken of photons? Is it some form of heat? Some kind of particles with mass ? ...
2
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1answer
135 views

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 ...
4
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6answers
10k views

Is fire matter or energy?

I wanted to know that if FIRE is Matter or Energy. I know that both are inter-convertible. but that doesn't mean there is interconversion taking place just like nuclear fusion or fission. If it is ...
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3answers
891 views

Does opening or closing the window in a non-AC car in the summer affect how much heat is felt inside?

This will perhaps look like a very basic and trivial question. But I find it confusing. As an experience, when you are travelling in non-AC car in summer, have people felt if putting on or putting off ...
0
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2answers
3k views

How to calculate fuel consumption of car (mpg) from speed and accleration knowing mass, drag coeff and rolling resistance?

How can I calculate the current (instantaneous) mpg of my car if I know the speed and acceleration of the car? From reading various answers for the "car going level or up/down hill" question asked ...
2
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2answers
2k views

How do electron configuration microstates map to term symbols?

I am trying to understand energy levels of electron configurations. I visited the NIST web site and discovered that the notation used here are called term symbols. After reading corresponding ...
0
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1answer
601 views

Derivation of relativistic energy

The concept of relativistic energy comes from it's conservation in relativistic mechanics for an elastic collision. It seems to me that another possible derivation could equate the energy of a single ...
16
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2answers
817 views

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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5answers
7k views

How does ATP transfer energy to a reaction?

This is a question for which I've found it surprisingly hard to find a good answer. Biology texts talk mystically about the ATP->ADP reaction providing energy to power other reactions. I'd like to ...
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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 ...
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3answers
325 views

How can you tell if a critical energy density is actually a black hole?

Here's a question inspired by Edward's answer to this question. It's my understanding that the average energy density of a black hole in its rest frame is $\rho_\text{BH}(A)$, a function of surface ...
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2answers
741 views

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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0answers
150 views

Will earth rotation be slowed down? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are tidal power plants slowing down Earth's rotation? Since we have various energy acquiring facilities that harvest energy from earth rotation. (e.g. wind, tidal ...
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8answers
8k views

Is Gravity Energy?

This might be stupid, but is gravity a form of energy? And, if so, couldn't we use it for power?
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4answers
710 views

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 ...
5
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3answers
688 views

Kinetic Energy vs. Potential energy with regards to creating particles

So I know that when you collide particles with high enough kinetic energy, (kinetic energy = at least the rest mass of the particles you are making), you get particles. How come potential energy ...
2
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0answers
308 views

Maxwell's Demon - laser cooling

There’s an interesting article on Scientific American that tells how to cool individual atoms to within a very tiny fraction of Absolute Zero. It uses two laser beams acting on a very cold rarified ...
5
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3answers
481 views

Cosmic ray hazards

The Pierre Auger Observatory site mentions the detection of a 3E20 eV (48 J) cosmic ray whose energy, well above the GZK cutoff, was based on an analysis of its atmospheric shower. This was equivalent ...
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2answers
1k views

Extracting heat energy from a material

Does it violate any physical laws to take a portion of the energy out of a system and use it? Specifically I'm referring to heat. (Kinetic energy). For example, if you have a material which has a lot ...
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2answers
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Does $E = mc^2$ apply to photons?

Photons are massless, but if $m = 0$ and $E = mc^2$ then $E = 0c^2 = 0$. This would say that photons have no energy, which is not true. However, given the formula $E = ℎf$, a photon does have energy ...
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3answers
308 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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3answers
872 views

Anti-laser: How sure we are that energy is transported?

Reading this PE question can-we-transport-energy-over-infinite-distances-through-vacuum-using-light, a related question arises naturally: Is energy transported (by light)? -- (I did believed in this ...
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3answers
905 views

Can we transport energy over infinite distances through vacuum using light?

I know that light (or electromagnetic radiation in general) attenuates in intensity as the square of the distance it travels. Why does it attenuate? Are the photons being scattered by the medium ...
6
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1answer
721 views

The Coriolis force bending a railway

Suppose a very long railway line goes from South Africa to Sweden, and then it's decided to move the entire railway line, sliding it 1 km to the north (leaving aside the difficulty of moving and ...
0
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1answer
383 views

what does 'same energy as a ton of TNT' mean?

Very often the energy released in large-scale events (e.g., earthquakes, meteor impacts, etc) is described in terms of some number of 'tons of TNT'. This may be all well and good for those with an ...
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2answers
210 views

Internal Energy Terminology

I am interested in finding out whether the term 'Internal Energy' can be used in both of the following cases: In the case of a macroscopic body upon which light is incident, the internal energy ...
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3answers
703 views

Why isn't pressure a measure of energy?

Hey guys, I'm having a problem in understanding the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. If i would increase the pressure of a closed system by compressing a gas in a cylinder isothermal, the 1.Law states, ...
0
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1answer
184 views

Mass into energy

The mass of a nucleus if less than the mass of the protons and nucleus. The difference is knows as binding energy of the nucleus. This nuclear binding energy is derived from the strong nuclear force. ...
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3answers
2k views

Is kinetic energy a scalar? [closed]

Is it correct to say that kinetic energy is a scalar?
3
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2answers
3k views

How does electron excitation relate to atomic orbitals?

Taking off from the Rutherford-Bohr model, Figure 1. Rutherford-Bohr model. when an electron absorbs energy (from light, heat, or otherwise) it jumps to a higher energy level, or shell. Then when ...
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5answers
667 views

Energy transfer to a driven oscillator

Why is the amount of energy transferred to a driven mechanical oscillator largest when the drive frequency is the same as the natural frequency of the oscillator? Why are they exactly out of phase by ...
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2answers
395 views

Using energy from sun magnetic field

Knowing ...
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2answers
397 views

Shaking a jar of balls

A jar is filled with two types of balls, red and green. Red balls have radius $r_1$ and mass $m_1$, green balls have radius $r_2$ and mass $m_2$. If initially the balls are randomly placed throughout ...
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3answers
2k views

Is the giant Newton's cradle in the Kit-Kat ad feasible?

Apologies in advance if this is too basic a question for Phys.SE. I don't want to dumb down this venerable institution. :) My wife and I just watched this TV ad for Kit-Kat where a crew of crane ...
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6answers
959 views

Can gravitational potential energy be released in a fire?

If one takes a bundle of wood up high to the mountains so its potential energy increases, would there be obtained more heat by burning it?
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2answers
1k views

How are the calories in food calculated?

This is intended to be a fun question. Calorimetry used for calculating the heat generated from chemical changes has been around for centuries, however, I suspect the process for calculating food ...
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1answer
299 views

Energy, power and action

Through unit analysis, one can identify the following relationship linking energy, action and power: $energy^2 = action \times power$ Alternatively, we rewrite this expression as: $power = ...
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6answers
1k views

What's the problem with solar energy?

What "breakthrough" from a theoretical point of view is needed for solar energy to become feasible energy alternative?
7
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3answers
3k views

Why does frozen water burst a pipe?

When water freezes in a pipe it can crack the pipe open. I assume this takes quite a lot of energy as when I try to crack a pipe it can be hard work! I think water freezing is a result of energy ...
42
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7answers
13k views

What Is Energy? Where did it come from?

The simplistic undergrad explanation aside. I've never really understood what energy really is. I've been told that it's something when converted from one kind of something to another kind does some ...
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6answers
2k views

What is the symmetry which is responsible for conservation of mass?

According to Noether's theorem, all conservation laws originate from invariance of a system to shifts in a certain space. For example conservation of energy stems from invariance to time translation. ...
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2answers
190 views

Why did this glass start popping?

I remember a while ago my father dropped a glass lid and it smashed. It looked something like this. When that happened, for about 5 minutes afterwards, the glass parts were splitting, kind of like ...
3
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2answers
548 views

How much does it cost every time your car stops for a traffic light?

Every time we have to stop the car, it is costing us extra money, because we have to then accelerate to full speed again. I would like to know how much. In order to simplify the situation, we can ...
40
votes
8answers
8k views

Why does holding something up cost energy while no work is being done?

I read the definition of work as $$W ~=~ \vec{F} \cdot \vec{d}$$ $$\text{ Work = (Force) $\cdot$ (Distance)}.$$ If a book is there on the table, no work is done as no distance is covered. If I ...
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5answers
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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 ...