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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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 ...
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Zero energy universe

Regarding this thread: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=506985 Why is the idea that the total energy in the universe "zero" so popular (re: Laurence Krauss) and why is the flatness of ...
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Fuel usage at the same constant rpm at different gears

I've had a discussion with my father today, about the fuel usage of a vehicle at the same rpm, but a different gear. He claims that the following situations have the same fuel usage: ...
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Conservation of energy and Doppler effect?

From what I understand, the frequency of light coming from the source moving towards an observer increases. From $ E=hv $ , this implies increase in energy of photon. What really is confusing, is ...
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What is the relationship between kinetic energy and momentum?

I can't seem to figure out the relationship between $E_k$ and $p$ or $F$. I understand that the units are pretty different. But for example: A bullet with a mass of 10.0g is moving at the speed of ...
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Classical vs. quantum energy of the hydrogen atom

If I have an electron and a proton and calculate the classical energy which I get by bringing the electron from infinity to the distance of a Bohr radius to the proton, I get 27.2 eV, but the electron ...
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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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Do virtual photons have a frequency?

Real photons do have frequencies, which is directly related to its energy. So, can virtual photons that take part in EM interactions have frequencies too? When my hand is pressed up against a glass ...
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Where does the energy from a parachute go?

When a parachute slows the velocity of an object where does the energy go? If it's a falling object the acceleration from gravity is roughly constant. How does air drag "dissipate" the extra energy?
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The relationship between the energy and amplitude of a wave? Derivation?

From multiple online sources I read that $$E \propto A^2$$ but when I mentioned this in class, my teacher told me I was wrong and that it was directly proportional to amplitude instead. As far as I ...
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Do human bodies give off a consistent but unique radiation/electromagnetic/energy signature?

Is there any facet of the energy emitted by a human body that is consistent and unique - like a fingerprint, but a signal that could be detected by a remote device?
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Calculating engine starter’s energy use

During a discussion on start-and-stop vehicle technology some bloke began pushing the point that re-starting the car uses stored energy from the battery, which needs to be replenished by increased ...
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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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In nuclear fusion reaction, what is the percentage of mass converted to energy?

I read somewhere that it is about one percent of the mass, but I find this too high. Also I have done some calculations, for example, the Tsar Bomba was 50 MT bomb and weighed about 27 tons. Although ...
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Is it possible that windmills can consume the wind?

Can windmills allow us to consume (and, eventually, over-consume) the wind as a natural resource somewhat in the same manner that we are over-consuming many other natural resources?
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Is the coefficient of restitution frame independent and energy conservation?

In this question I am ignoring relativistic effects. The following statements I think are true: change in Kinetic energy is not invariant under change of frame Force is invariant under change in ...
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Hamiltonians and Lagrangians, Euclidean and Hyperbolic: Are they related?

The Lagrangian of a system is the difference between its kinetic energy $T$ and potential energy $V$, and is relativistically invariant: $L = T - V$ The Hamiltonian of the same system is the sum ...
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How are the CPU power and temperature caculated/estimated?

From Wikipedia The power consumed by a CPU, is approximately proportional to CPU frequency, and to the square of the CPU voltage: $$ P = C V^2 f $$ (where C is capacitance, f is ...
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Connection between entropy and energy

An isolated system $A$ has entropy $S_a>0$. Next, the isolation of $A$ is temporarily violated, and it has entropy reduced $$S_b ~=~ S_a - S,\space\space\space S\leq S_a.$$ Is it true to say: the ...
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Energy in an EM wave should depend on frequency

I just finished reading Feynman's Lectures on Physics vol.I, §34-9: "The momentum of light". The author explains that there is a relation between the wave 4-vector $k^{\mu}$ and the energy-momentum ...
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Can we harvest energy from constant gripping?

Gripping things hard needs energy even though nothing really moves. So I think we could harvest energy from this action, but I know that any type of energy harvesting requires moving parts. So can ...
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Can antimatter be used as fuel for nuclear reactors?

I completely understand the difficulties of making and storing antimatter, so I am not talking about the mechanism or the way of doing it here, I am just talking about the concept. As far as I know, ...
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Human power on treadmill

On an elliptical treadmill a regular person can easily burn 1000 calories in one hour (treadmill reports calories burnt). This translates into: $$(1\times 10^3\mathrm{cal/hr}\times ...
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How can I explicit the energy dependence of the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution?

I'm having a bit of a problem figuring out the energy dependent Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. According to my book (Ashcroft & Mermin) they write the velocity dependent distribution as: ...
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Elastic collision and spring

Bodies $A$ and $B$ are moving in the same direction in a straight line with a constant velocities on a frictionless surface. The mass and the velocity of $A$ are $2 \text{kg}$ and $10 \text{m/s}$. ...
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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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Marvin the Martian vs. the Death Star: how much energy will they actually need to disintegrate the Earth?

According to a detailed analysis by Dave Typinski, Marvin the Martian’s Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator will require $1.711 \cdot 10^{32}~\text{J}$ to shatter the Earth into a gravitationally ...
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Energy of a signal

"The energy" of a signal $x(t)$ is defined as : $$E_s = \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}|x(t)|^2$$ Why is it called energy if it's not homogeneous to energy ? What does it actually represent ? Parseval's ...
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Bouncing ball time problem

I'm studying a problem and I encountered a strange problem: When a ball bounces how much time does the ball spend while touching the floor? To be more clear I suppose that when a ball bounces ...
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118 views

Gravitational interactions by energy or by mass?

The mass-energy equivalence, first established by Einstein is an important and highly discussed phenomenon in physics. Without claiming much knowledge about high-end discussions on this topic, I would ...
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122 views

A terminological question about work and energy

Work is force applied over distance. Is it also reasonable to say that work is (the same thing as) the transfer of energy? When work is done, the equivalent energy is transferred. But if energy is ...
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What is matter made of in the light of Quantum Mechanics? [closed]

I've always wondered what matter (particles, force particles, etc.) was actually made of considering the fact that quantum mechanics has shown us that particles can actually act as a probabilistic ...
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Work, Energy & Power - Body slides down a hemisphere

A small body of mass $m$ slides down from the top of a hemisphere of radius $r$. There is no friction between the surface of the block and the hemisphere. The height at which the body loses contact ...
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Kinetic energy of an object at rest

Why don't we consider that an object on Earth has kinetic energy as it is also moving at the rotating speed of Earth?
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Of all the electrical energy used in a home, is there any portion that won't eventually become thermal energy in the home?

Considering all of the appliances that the average home uses--microwaves, light bulbs, dishwashers, refrigerators--is it safe to say that all of the electrical energy in a home will be converted to ...
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Why isn't water running faster hotter?

I was running the washing up water this morning, and started to think about why the cold tap isn't hot, and why the water doesn't get hotter the faster it is flowing (if anything, the cold tap gets ...
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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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What is changing in latest light bulb technologies?

I'm confused with the latest home lightning bulbs. Understanding filament bulbs was easy. For example take 220V, 100W filament bulb: Power = $V^2/R$ Filament gets heated and emits energy in the form ...
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Why is $L^2$ norm of the gradient called kinetic energy?

I'm reading Lieb-Loss's book 'Analysis', chapter 7. The authors refer to the following integral: $$\tag{1} \lVert \nabla f\rVert_2^2=\int_{\Omega}\lvert \nabla f(x)\rvert^2\, d^nx $$ as the kinetic ...
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Do asymptotically similar potentials yield similar energy levels asymptotically?

Let there be given two Hamiltonians $$H_1~=~ p^{2}+f(x) \qquad \mathrm{and} \qquad H_2~=~ p^{2}+g(x). $$ Let's suppose that for big big $x$, the potentials are asymptotically similar in the sense ...
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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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Why a system should be at its lowest energy state for its stability?

Every possible reaction in chemistry is to attain stability. In physics, the alignment of an electric dipole in an external electric field and in all other physical systems (at least those I study in ...
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What is a single word that describes the idea of the second time derivative of energy?

I think about position, its time derivative speed, and its second time derivative, acceleration. I would like to identify a single word that can be used as a handle for the second time derivative of ...
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Making a plastic scintillator glow?

I have a plastic scintillator I had purchased off eBay, which is believed to be BC408 http://www.phys.ufl.edu/courses/phy4803L/group_I/muon/bicron_bc400-416.pdf Upon shining a small UV LED (10-40mA, ...
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Thermal emission cathode electron velocity distribution

I can't find any experimental data (or theoretical expression) on what is the velocity (or energy) distribution of thermal emission cathode electrons emmited from the cathode at approximately 2000 K ...
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1answer
256 views

Estimating minimum energy with uncertainty principle

I'm currently trying to solve a problem that involves estimating the minimum energy of a particle in the potential: $$ V(x) = \frac{-V_0a}{|{x}|} $$ I'm quite confused about how to handle the ...
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Why does a stationary force affect the conservation of momentum, but not the conservation of energy?

Let's say I have two positive charges approaching one another at the same speed with only their mutual forces acting on one another. Total momentum (= 0) and energy is conserved and the charges ...
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How much faster is the fusion we make on earth compared to the fusion that happens in the sun?

I have come across many websites that states that the proton-proton fusion which is the dominant type of fusion that powers the suns, is extremely slow and that is why the sun is still burning to that ...
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Why is potential energy negative when orbiting in a gravitational field?

I had to do a problem, and part of it was to find the mechanical energy of satellite orbiting around mars, and I had all of the information I needed. I thought the total mechanical energy would be the ...
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How does the energy in a standing wave travel beyond a node?

In a standing wave, how does energy travel past a node? It should just get reflected. Assume the case of first overtone and you strike the string at a place. How will energy distribute itself? If it ...