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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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
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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
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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
768 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
152 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
10k 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
791 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
711 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
349 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
507 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
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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
2k views

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
320 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
945 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
1k 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
881 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 ...
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1answer
406 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
215 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
839 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, ...
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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
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Is kinetic energy a scalar? [closed]

Is it correct to say that kinetic energy is a scalar?
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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
768 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 ...
6
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2answers
396 views

Using energy from sun magnetic field

Knowing ...
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2answers
412 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
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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
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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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3answers
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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
310 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
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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?
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3answers
4k 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 ...
46
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7answers
16k 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. ...
7
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2answers
192 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
votes
2answers
631 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 ...
48
votes
8answers
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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 ...
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3answers
952 views

Does the energy of a magnetic field decrease when it moves a conductor carrying a current?

When a charged particle moves in an electric field, the field performs work on the particle. Thus, the energy of the field decreases, turning into kinetic energy of the particle. Does the magnetic ...
12
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7answers
14k views

How efficient is an electric heater?

How efficient is an electric heater? My guess: greater than 95%. Possibly even 99%. I say this because most energy is converted into heat; some is converted into light and kinetic energy, and ...
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1answer
268 views

Is there a theory about kinetic energy “particles”? [closed]

We have a model of electricity which says electrons flow from one place to another. We have a model of optics which says that photons go from one place to another. As I understand, there is currently ...
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3answers
2k views

Maxwell's Demon Constant (Information-Energy equivalence)

New Scientist article: Summon a 'demon' to turn information into energy The speed of light c converts between space and time and also appears in e=mc^2. Maxwell's Demon can turn information supplied ...
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2answers
692 views

What is an “Idea” in terms of time space and matter? [closed]

If the physical world we know is made of matter stretched in time and space and some forces affecting it, what would be an Idea, pure Information or something similar. Does those things don't exist ...
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1answer
252 views

2 Electricity generator connected

I'd like to know (my knowledge at physics are realy poor) what would happen if I've got a generator connected to another generator and both of them generating electricity for a house or whatever. ...
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16answers
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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 ...