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.

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Relatively how much energy do fluorescent light tubes take to turn on?

Fluorescent lights are already efficient when they’re running but I’ve heard that it takes a lot of energy to turn a fluorescent light tube on. So is it more efficient to turn off a fluorescent tube ...
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What matter in the original atom bomb is converted to energy?

When an atom bomb goes off some matter is converted to energy according to $E = m c^2$. I'd like to know exactly what matter in the original atom bomb is converted to energy. Is it protons, neutrons, ...
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Why is an electric motor more efficient at higher loads?

My question is driven by the plot below. We see that acceptable operating range of a motor is between 50-100% of the rated load. Below 40% or so the efficiency of the motor drops off dramatically. ...
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Not working brakes: just another energy conservation problem

A car is driving down a mountain ($v=90 km/h=25 m/s$, when the driver realizes that brakes aren't working. He try to lose velocity going up an inclined ($20°$) plane, with a friction coefficient of ...
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Energy problem: What's wrong here?

A car ($m=540\,\text{kg}$) engine, has a power of $60\,\text{kW}$. The static friction coefficient between wheels and road is $k=0.6$. How long does it take to reach the speed of ...
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What kind of energy gravitates, and why?

When listing energies for the purposes of keeping track of conservation, or when writing down a Laplacian for a given system, we blithely intermix mass-energy, kinetic energy and potential energy; ...
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773 views

Ice skater increase of energy

This may be a very basic question but I am not seeing how it works. Consider the standard example of an ice skate rotating about his/her center of mass and pulling in his/her arms. The torque is zero ...
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Calculating partition function of ultra-relativistic 1D gas

This is a problem (Problem 3.16) from the book Statistical Mechanics 2nd Ed. by Pathria. In the problem I have to calculate the partition function of an ultra-relativistic 1D gas ($E_i=cp_i$) ...
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146 views

What are the optimal conditions to fuel your car?

I was filling my car earlier today, and noticed a sticker posted on the pump. This pump dispenses fuel at a volumetric amount measured in standard gallons (231 cubic inches). It does not adjust ...
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Does closing curtains 'make your home warmer'?

I mean, in the sense that the act of closing curtains would somehow reduce the amount of heat loss of the house to the outside, thus making it warmer for a given supply of heating.
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$E^2 = (mc^2)^2 + (pc)^2$: What units are used to measure $E$, $m$, $c$ and $p$?

\begin{equation} E^2 = (mc^2)^2 + (pc)^2 \end{equation} If I am using this equation to figure out the energy of something, what units would I use? Would it be the metric system? I.e. kilograms ...
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Energy Question

Carl throws 100 g of Bohrium-262 (Half life: 0.10 seconds, undergoes alpha decay) to Sukhdeep with a initial horizontal velocity of 20.0 m/s at an initial height of 2.00 m above the ground. What is ...
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Why are we not using thorium for energy? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What practical issues remain for the adoption of Thorium reactors? I have been reading and watching a bit on thorium TH 90 and cannot understand why this is not being ...
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Elastic Collision Between Two Objects [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Elastic Collision And Momentum I've already asked this question, Elastic Collision And Momentum, but I didn't find the answer particularly helpful--sorry, I don't mean ...
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Photon energy - momentum in matter

$E = h\nu$ and $P = h\nu/c$ in vacuum. If a photon enters water, it's frequency $\nu$ doesn't change. What are its energy and momentum : $h\nu$ ? and $h\nu/c$ ? Since part of it's energy and momentum ...
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Momentum And Energy Problem

The information to the question is, "A $59.0~kg$ boy and his $38.0~kg$ sister, both wearing roller blades, face each other at rest. The girl pushes the boy hard, sending him backward with a velocity ...
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Activation energy and entropy

First assertion If a system is already in a high temperature, adding energy, will increment the entropy in a low amount (compared with a system in a lower temperature). Question (if assertion is ...
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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 ...
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A Lawnmower Problem

For my physics class we were just given an exam that asked the following: A 12Kg lawnmower is pushed with a constant force along the 30* handle with 80N. Break the Forces into its vector ...
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602 views

How to accurately explain evaporative cooling?

I am trying to clearly express in one or two sentences how increased evapotranspiration could cool a region. The audience is educated but non-scientific. Is it accurate to say that the water vapor ...
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Could we use particle colliders as fusion generators?

So I know the basic gist is that fusion power's main issue is sustaining the fusion. I also know that there are two methods. The Torus method and the laser method. The torus magnetically contains ...
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What are the properties and impediments of a liquid air fueled engine?

I recently came across a very interesting article that suggested the possibility of using liquified gases like air, nitrogen, or oxygen as a power source for cars. It appears that this company is ...
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What arrangement of sound waves would be needed to heat air in a typical sized room?

From what I understand, sound is simply the jostling of the molecules that make up the air in a specific pattern, widely known as waves. I also know that these are longitudinal waves. If we were to ...
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Kinetic Energy of Stone

If a stone is launched upward, of which is subject to gravity and air resistance, which of the following will have a greater kinetic energy? The stone at a point on its way up, or the stone at the ...
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Maximum Kinetic energy of a spring

The block in the figure below lies on a horizontal frictionless surface and is attached to the free end of the spring, with a spring constant of 35 N/m. Initially, the spring is at its relaxed ...
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Dirac action and conventions

I have a (possibly) fundamental question, which is driving me crazy. Notation When considering the Dirac action (say reading Peskin's book), one have $\int ...
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what to use for mass in a 2D FEM simulation

I am trying to find the energy of a wave travelling through a solid material in a 2D Finite Element Method (FEM) - Simulation. As a general approach I would try to use $E_{kin}=\frac{1}{2}mv^2$ at ...
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Energy can't be created or destoryed? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Conservation law of energy and Big Bang? If energy can't be created or destroyed then how did the big bang create energy? and if energy can't be created then does that ...
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The particle mesh ewald method in two dimensions

I am attempting to implement the particle mesh ewald method (http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.470117) in two dimensions. I am wondering what needs to be changed in the method from three dimensions to two ...
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Is the potential energy in a compressed spring a Lorentz invariant?

The total energy of an object comes from the time part of the four-momentum, and so isn't a Lorentz invariant. On the other hand, is the potential energy of a compressed spring a Lorentz invariant?
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Carnot cycle: What happens to the rest of the energy?

In a Carnot cycle, the work potential is $W =Q_{in}( 1-\frac{T_0}{T_R})$ where $T_0$ is the temperature of the sink, $T_{R}$ is the temperature of the source heat reservoir, and $Q_{in}$ is the heat ...
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How is there a connection between energy and information?

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2010/nov/19/information-converted-to-energy In the last part of the third paragraph of the above article it says: "In fact, Szilárd formulated an equivalence ...
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Can a neutron be created from pure energy

Is it possible to create a neutron out of pure energy, i.e. not by bringing a bunch of already-existing quarks together? (A quick calculation using E = mc2 shows the energy required would be about 1.5 ...
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How many grams of explosive are equivalent to the energy in a battery?

In the movie Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Arnie's fuel cells were twice shown to be extremely devastating when their stored energy was released. In real life, how many grams of, say, gunpowder ...
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Energy used to stop / slow an object

I'm trying to workout how much energy (if any), I use (imagining me as an efficient machine rather than a complex bio-mechanical human) when I lower or catch a weight. I understand that when I push it ...
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Conservation of Energy in a magnet

When a permanent magnet attracts some object, lets say a steel ball, energy is converted into for instance kinetic energy and heat when attraction happens, and they eventually collide. Does this imply ...
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Why would a particle in an extra dimension appear not as one particle, but a set of particles?

I was reading an article in this months issue of Physics World magazine on the three main theories of extra dimensions and stumbled across something I didn't quite understand when the author began ...
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263 views

Why does an ice rink use a primary and secondary coolant?

A normal refrigeration cycle uses one coolant, so why does vapor compression cycle of an ice rink you a primary coolant and a secondary coolant?
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What is the difference between infrared heat and “regular” heat?

In Feynman's terms temperature is the speed at which atoms are 'jiggling'. Now, let's suppose I've just eaten a sizable dinner, and my body temperature just got a tad up. Am I emitting more photons in ...
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Work on ideal gas by piston

Imagine a thermally insulated cylinder containing a ideal gas closed at one end by a piston. If the piston is moved rapidly, so the gas expands from $V_i$ to $V_f$. The expanding gas will do work ...
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Why there is a 1/2 in kinetic energy formula? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is there a $\frac 1 2$ in $\frac 1 2 mv^2$? Hèllo, I have a question about kinetic energy formula. As you know, in kinetic energy formula, we have: ...
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Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution and total energy per unit volume

We know that $$n(E) ~=~ \frac {2 \pi (N/V)}{(\pi k_B T)^{3/2}} E^{1/2} e^{-E/(k_B T)} dE,$$ where $V$ is total volume. If then, how do we derive total energy per unit volume from this equation?
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Calculating kinetic energy?

Would this be a valid equation to calculate kinetic energy created from a drop from a height: $$E_{kinetic} ~=~ v_{vertical}tmg$$ Velocity multiplied by time gives distance. Distance multiplied by ...
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Heat Equation Equalities

While studying the heat equation, I ran into a few equalities that I cannot understand. For example, Fourier's law of heat conduction claims that $$\varphi(x,t)=-K_0\frac{\partial u}{\partial x},$$ ...
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170 views

How does the curiosity rover get it's power? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Mars Curiosity Power System I found a web page that said it uses Plutonium. I am sure it's not based on fusion or fission. What is the basic idea on which the power ...
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Energy is actually the momentum in the direction of time?

By comparatively examining the operators a student concludes that `Energy is actually the momentum in the direction of time.' Is this student right? Could he be wrong?
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Lifetime of battery

If I directly connect two terminals of 3V battery (negative to positive) using copper wire, would it lose all its charge faster compared to another 3V battery that is used to lighten a 1.5V bulb?
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Noise is a form of dissipation?

(Mechanical) noise is a form of dissipation? For example, when the computer fan turns it produces noise. This noise is a form of dissipation in addition to heat produced by the machine (computer)? If ...
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What is “A” in AGeV?

AGeV means GeV per nucleon. But why A letter is used for such a short cut? Why not NGeV, for example?