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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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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Can I take heat from the air and convert it to electricity?

Its a summer day and the air in my house has been heated up. I could switch on my air conditioning, but then I'd be using energy from the grid in order to reduce the amount of energy in my house. ...
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Positivity of Total Gravitational Energy in GR

I read the following statement in the introduction to an article: Over the last 30 years, one of the greatest achievements in classical general relativity has certainly been the proof of the ...
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Dark Energy saving the world

Ok, my understanding of physics is still limited, hoping to change that in the following years, but I have a question. Dark energy is what provokes the expansion of the universe, so, in theory, it ...
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Mass-Energy relation

Einstein mass- energy relation states $E=mc^2$. It means if energy of a paricle increases then mass also increases or vice-versa. My question is that what is the actual meaning of the statement ...
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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 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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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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When Hamiltonian and the total energy are the same

In which condition, the Hamiltonian is the same as the total energy of the system, or say $H=T+V$?
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What would jumping into a pool and feeling cold be called? Conduction, or convection?

This was another question from my son's workbook. It said: ...
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What are the challenges to achieving cold fusion?

I am an absolute neophyte regarding physics. What are the challenges to achieving cold fusion? I'm not sure this is a duplicate of Why is cold fusion considered bogus?, because that question is ...
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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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Is the Schwarzschild black hole unphysical?

To obtain the Schwarzschild metric from Einstein equations of general relativity, we suppose that the energy density is a distribution : $$ \rho (\vec{r}) = M \delta(\vec{r})$$ The Schwarzschild ...
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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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125 views

Dark light filters letting through less light

I'm looking for an explanation on why darker light filters let through less light than lighter filters (secondary/high school level). Although this seems to the layman like the obvious outcome, our ...
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Find total energy and momentum of an moving electron in a rest frame

I have an electron moving with speed $u'$ in a frame $S'$ moving with speed $v'$ relative to a rest frame $S$. How do I find the total energy and momentum of the electron in the rest frame $S$? I ...
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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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Calculating work done on an ideal gas

I am trying to calculate the work done on an ideal gas in a piston set up where temperature is kept constant. I am given the volume, pressure and temperature. I know from Boyle's law that volume is ...
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Jumping on earth versus jumping on the moon

Given the following problem: On the moon the acceleration due to gravity is $g_m = 1.62 m/s^2$. On earth, a person of mass $m = 80 kg$ manages to jump $1.4 m$. Find the height this person will ...
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What is an energy eigenstate exactly?

Say you have energy eigenstates \begin{align} \begin{split} |+\rangle= \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}|1{\rangle}+\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}|2 \rangle \end{split} \end{align} \begin{align} \begin{split} |-\rangle= ...
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Is the total energy of the universe constant?

If total energy is conserved just transformed and never newly created, is there a sum of all energies that is constant? Why is it probably not that easy?
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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 Dyson Sphere a stable construction?

Suppose that a star is encompassed by a Dyson Sphere. Do we need a position control system for the Dyson Sphere to keep its origin always aligned with the center of the star? Will it stay aligned ...
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484 views

Why can't collisions be elastic?

I understand that in inelastic collisions thermal energy is given out, but why does that happen? Why can't they simply rebound without giving off energy? Also, why in some collisions more heat is ...
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Needed Energy For Lifting 200 kg weight

I'd like to learn how much energy I need to lift a 200 kilograms weight on normal earth conditions? For example how much electric power do we need? I'm not a physicist and not a student and this ...
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480 views

Calculating laser wavelength/power to cause emission of light in a gas?

I've become interested in volumetric displays. In particular I'm looking at a pair of lasers scanning a volume of gas such that the intersection of the lasers would supply enough energy to cause the ...
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272 views

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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809 views

Why is there a factor of 1/2 in the interaction energy of an induced dipole with the field that induces it?

In this paper, there's the following sentence: ...and the factor 1/2 takes into account that the dipole moment is an induced, not a permanent one. Without any further explanation. I looked ...
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189 views

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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Why is torque not measured in Joules?

Recently, I was doing my homework and I found out that Torque can be calculated using $\tau = rF$. This means the units of torque are Newton meters. Energy is also measured in Newton meters which are ...
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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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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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Is there a finite amount of mass in the universe? [duplicate]

So, I'm not too physics savvy but I am curious to ask. Is there a finite amount of mass in the universe? or is there more and more being created from somewhere or something? If the universe is ...
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Hamiltonian is conserved, but is not the total mechanical energy

I wondering about the interpretation for the energy difference between the Hamiltonian and the total mechanical energy for systems where the Hamiltonian is conserved, but it is not equal to the total ...
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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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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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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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Why can't I evaporate water without wind, just heat? (not boiling,evaporating!) Or can I?

So here is the thing, I searched all over the internet for this but all the sources say that I need wind because the process of evaporation goes as follow: Water particles at the top layer with ...
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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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Where does the lost energy go in a rubber band powering a rotating shaft?

Okay, I'm no physics whiz, and this has me stumped. You know those toy airplanes you can get with the rubber-band driven propellers? You twist the propeller a bunch of times, and this stores ...
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Simple work and energy problem [closed]

I have the following problem: A man that weights 50kg goes up running the stairs of a tower in Chicago that is 443m tall. What is the power measured in watts if he arrives at the top of the tower ...
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How much time can I power my laptop by eating one dessert?

Random question that popped into my mind after a 4-hours power outage. Let us assume that I am eating an extra dessert (250 kcal) and that I am using a bike and a generator to power my laptop (it ...
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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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How can I determine density of a gas only given temperature?

I have a homework problem where exhaust is traveling through an exhaust system (assumed to be air for simplicity) from and engine and then released into the atmosphere. The exhaust is at a temperature ...
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Could we make a trebuchet that could launch objects to a stable orbit?

Inspired by this xkcd, which calculated the energy requirements for accelerating individual humans to escape velocity (regardless of consideration for what that would do to your organs), I am ...