Tagged Questions

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 water falling down a waterfall gain energy?

I'm kind of a noob in the physics area. But I know that energy cannot be created, it can only be transferred. So how and what "type" of energy does water get when free-falling?
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Energy transfer in elastic collision [duplicate]

In a given reference frame where object 1 (with known mass and velocity) collides elastically with object 2 (with known mass and velocity), can we identify which object loses kinetic energy? Is it ...
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How does a flywheel generate electricity at a constant voltage?

I believe I am missing something simple here. My question concerns flywheel energy storage. Say we have stored some amount of energy in a spinning flywheel. The flywheel is attached to a generator. ...
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Rigid body problem

I have some doubts about the next excercise: A bar of length $2a$ and mass $m$ moves freely with both of its extremes on a ring of radius $\sqrt2a$. The ring can rotate freely in a certain ...
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Derivation of rest energy in Landau & Lifshitz

In Landau & Lifshitz The Classical Theory Of Fields there's a statement: $$\mathscr E=\frac{mc^2}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}\tag{9.4}$$ This very important formula shows, in particular, that ...
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Is it true that a Space Shuttle launch is powerful like an “average” nuclear explosion?

Kind of an odd question here. First let's define what an "average" nuclear explosion is, because that's quite a controversial term - "average". Considering that the peak of nuclear tests was at the ...
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What is the maximum theoretical efficiency of heat to electricity conversion?

I know that heat engines (heat to kinetic) are limited by Carnot cycle and that kinetic energy to electric energy conversion via standard generator reaches over 90%. However I would like to know ...
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How do electrons get the energy to jump from one orbital to the next when in stationary orbits the electron does not radiate energy

My Question is how do electrons get energy/lose energy to jump up or down an orbital as in a stationary orbit they do not gain energy and their energy is finite?
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Why is electric potential 0 in this case?

On a test, we had a question where there are 4 point charges at the vertices of a square. The 2 charges at the upper vertices have charges of +q and the 2 charges ...
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Gauge Invariance of the Hamiltonian of the electromagnetic field

The Hamiltonian for an electron of mass $m$ and charge $e$ in an exterior electromagnetic field is $$H=\frac{1}{2m}(p-(e/c)A)^2+e\varphi.$$ The corresponding (via canonical quantization) quantum ...
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How can one calculate the distance a particular sound will travel?

What do you need and how to calculate a distance traveled by sound? For example if you hit a bell with a specific amount of power how far will it travel?
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Perpetual motion in spaces of different gravity?

Imagine two locations with different amounts of gravity. I carry up a weight in low gravity, move it on this height over to the other place, and let it fall down there with higher gravity. Wouldn't ...
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Conduction– conservation of energy

So I know that conduction is transfer of thermal energy by direct contact via molecular collisions. For conduction, $Q/t$ is the rate of heat flow and is heat current ($I$). My textbook says that ...
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What happens to matter when in a thermodynamic equilibrium?

I am trying to gain a better understanding of thermodynamic equilibrium. Here's what (I think) I know: If a system is in Thermal, Radiative, Chemical, and Mechanical Equilibrium, then it is in ...
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Free Energy of N Spin 3/2 Particles

This question is from the book "Introductory Statistical Mechanics" by Bowley and Sanchez. The question is as follows: Calculate the free energy of a system with N particles, each with spin 3/2 with ...
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What causes different decays?

Nuclei spontaneously decay according to a certain decay rate. There are however different kinds of decay, alpha, beta, gamma... What causes then the nuclei, when they decay, to do so in one way of ...
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What determines the distribution of the energy between the beta-particle and the neutrino in beta decay?

When beta-decay occurs an electron or a positron is emitted along a neutrino or an antineutrino. The energy spectrum of the beta particles is continuous because, as I read, the energy is shared ...
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Does “Crack The Whip” actually speed you up?

"Crack The Whip" is a game played on ice skating rinks where several individuals line up all facing the opposite end of the rink, and skate forward. When the group reaches the opposite end of the rink,...
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Question related to work done and energy

Suppose you lift a box from the ground over your head. You will be using energy as there is work done. But when you keep the box lifted over your head, aren't you using any extra energy?
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Is potential energy and “work done” the same thing?

Is potential energy and "work done" the same thing? If they are not one and the same thing then why is potential energy always associated with "work done"? Could you explain me with some examples?
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Mass Effect on Slingshot Motion?

For my physics class (I'm a high school student), we created slingshots. Our task is to predict the distance a projectile, launched from a slingshot using surgical tubing, would land. We aren't given ...
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Is kinetic energy in QM a state-property or is it distributed?

Suppose we have a quantum mechanical system, which is well described by its wave function in r-representation $\Psi$. We are interested in the properties of an observable, say the kinetic energy $T$. ...
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Where does a spinning figure skater's energy go when she slows down?

Today in physics class we were talking about angular momentum and rotational kinetic energy. My teacher used the classic example of a figure skater spinning on ice - when she pulls her arms in, her ...
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Why do we calculate energy by integrate the Signal squared?

What's the interesting thing in the square of a signal? I know integrating gave us the sum of the differentiated energies, but why the Energy is the square of the signal?
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Troubles with the Nucleon Bound Energies

I was reading my quantum mechanics text and I have a doubt. I have the energy levels well defined for the finite square well and the author suddenly compares (I believe) those levels with the levels ...
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Virial theorem and variational method: an exercise (re-edited)

I have a hydrogen atom, knowing that its Hamiltonian has been modified turning the standard potential $$V_{0}(r) = -\frac{Z}{r}$$ into $$V(r) = -\frac{g}{r^{\frac{3}{2}}}$$ with $g$ a positive ...
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Can the technology behind Particle accelerators can be used for energy storage?

As I understand, the kinetic energy of the proton beam in a hadron collider is quite large. Can you build a energy storage system that is based on accelerating a proton beam to relativistic speeds to ...
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Is it wasteful to use a heating element, instead of doing useful work?

Consider a computer CPU consuming electrical energy to perform calculations and consequently emitting heat. Assumption: That a CPU consuming x Watts of power, emits the same amount of heat as an ...
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What is the amount of EM energy from the sun reaching the earth as a function of wavelength?

The question stems from a desire to know if more light from the sun in the infrared wavelengths has more energy than light at say yellow or violet wavelengths - at the Earth's surface. I'm guessing a ...
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What is the appropriate device for measuring energy loss from collision with surface?

The surface of a running track (i.e. cinder or rubber) has an effect on a runner's performance. I would like to get some device for measuring how much energy a runner loses on each surfaces. I've ...
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How much up will an object of mass $m$ will be vertically lifted if a constant acceleration $a$ is given so that resulting force is more than weight?

Yesterday My friend asked me a question which put me into a confused state. If a body of mass m is given a vertical thrust of $F$ such that $F > mg$, and the $F$ is allowed to remain applied on ...
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Is Information a potential or kinetic kind of energy?

It is said that the law of least action is that nature tries to convert potential energy into kinetic one as fast as possible. Information can't be thought without a physical realisation, see here. ...
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Is any work done if I walk in a circle?

My friend and I were arguing about this and I was wondering if someone out there could settle this for us. Basically, he and I were walking to buy some stamps. When we were on our return trip he ...
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Does relativistic mass exhibit gravitiational effects?

Groundhog Day Update, 2014 The simple and dumb way to ask my main question is this: If something like a neutron start goes sailing by at very close to the speed of light, say fast enough to double ...
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How does the internal energy and entropy depend on mass?

I've found this thermodynamics question: Given a fluid described by the following equations: $$PV^{1/3}=aT^3 ,\quad U=3aT^3V^{2/3}, \quad S=\frac{9}{2}aT^2V^{2/3}$$ The parameter $a(n)$ ...
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Explain internal energy and enthalpy

Internal energy and enthalpy. I am finding it hard to distinguish between the two. Confused. Can someone explain me the two terms and difference between them? I tried learning from wikipedia but it ...
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Energy dispersion in graphene

Given that graphene has linear energy dispersion near the Fermi level and the dispersion is given by $E=\hbar \nu_F|\vec{K}|$, I would like to determine the density of states. I think it is equal to ...
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does a rocking kettle cause the water to boil more slowly?

When I boil water in the kettle on my electric stove, sometimes it rocks back and forth making an annoying sound at a frequency of about 6Hz. When that happens, I move the kettle slightly to make it ...
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Infinite mass in a coupled oscillator

Can someone help me with this? Imagine we have a system composed of three spheres 1, 2 and 3. 1 is connected to a wall on its left side with a spring and to sphere 2 with another spring, the sphere ...
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Gravity from energy [duplicate]

Both energy and mass gives has gravity. If an object receives energy, it will appear heavier and space will curve slightly more around that object. That energy could be potential energy, or static ...