0
$\begingroup$

Based on the idea that mass is an emergent property of fundamental particles with potential energy bound in a restricted space, I want to make a macroscopic analogy. I want to put compressed springs in a very light box and see if the mass of the entire system is greater than the components. I know mattresses exist, so I would be making a small, cubic "mattress".

My question is: do the angles between the compressed springs matter (no pun intended)? If I place them haphazardly, would the springs still diffuse their potential energy to the entire box system? Of course I would need to use something to keep the springs compressed, such as the walls of the box, more springs, or tape.

$\endgroup$

closed as off-topic by G. Smith, GiorgioP, Yashas, Jon Custer, ZeroTheHero Apr 30 at 21:40

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "We deal with mainstream physics here. Questions about the general correctness of unpublished personal theories are off topic, although specific questions evaluating new theories in the context of established science are usually allowed. For more information, see Is non mainstream physics appropriate for this site?." – G. Smith, GiorgioP, Yashas, Jon Custer, ZeroTheHero
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ have you tried performing the calculation of mass increase with energy yourself? $\endgroup$ – niels nielsen Apr 28 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ What restricted space? The space we live in does not seem to be restricted. Even if there are compact “hidden” dimensions, the three obvious spatial dimensions are either infinite or huge. $\endgroup$ – G. Smith Apr 28 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @nielsnielsen I have done a lot of conservation of energy but I am a bit new with using Einstein's equations so I have only seen it being calculated and not done the calculation by myself. I suppose it does require the speed of light, which means this whole experiment I'm thinking of wouldn't really work on my macro scale. $\endgroup$ – Shadowfax Apr 30 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ @G.Smith sorry, I meant that the quarks are confined to the Higgs field. $\endgroup$ – Shadowfax Apr 30 at 0:06
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you think that quarks are confined to the Higgs field? Confined where? The Higgs field is everywhere. Physicists think that quarks are confined inside protons and neutrons by the gluon field, but I have never heard anyone suggest that the Higgs field confines them to a region of space. $\endgroup$ – G. Smith Apr 30 at 0:50
0
$\begingroup$

A remarkable achievement of special relativity is the famous equation $E = m c^2$, to be intended in the rest frame of an object, stating the equivalence between mass and energy. That means the rest mass of an object is given by the rest masses of its constituents plus their kinetic energy plus the interaction energy.

In your example, compressed springs have elastic energy, which increases the mass of the object. The order or disorder with which the springs are placed in the box is not relevant.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ So basically, the compressed springs ARE the experiment I'm trying to design and I'm overthinking it. Does that mean I can't design a macroscopic experiment to analogize relativity because I would require massless particles that move at the speed of light? I'm trying to think of ways to visualize this material. $\endgroup$ – Shadowfax Apr 30 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Shadowfax Try solving for $m$ in $E=mc^2$ with the potential energy $E$ you plan on storing in the springs; and then compare this to any scale you might have, and how sensitive the scale is. $\endgroup$ – JMac Apr 30 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ So if I lay down on a mattress made of springs, the bed is heavier, not just because of my weight, or is the energy just moved from my total mass to the mattress' one? $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 12 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Exocytosis. The elastic energy cumulated in the compressed springs is due to the force applied by your body, that is your weight given by the earth gravitational field in which the configuration is immersed. However if you compress a spring with your hands the outcome is the same. $\endgroup$ – Michele Grosso May 13 at 11:54
0
$\begingroup$

As pointed out by others here, special relativity tells us that energy has mass, and if the energy content of a system is increased, we will detect an increase in its mass. This means a compressed spring will weigh more than an uncompressed spring, but since the amount of energy stored in it is very small, the mass increase of your spring with compression will be unmeasurably small.

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.