# Questions tagged [energy]

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.

4,047 questions
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### What happens to the absorbed light energy?

When light comes across with a solid material, some of it is reflected, some of it passes through and some of it is absorbed. I understand the reflection and passing through, but I don't understand ...
1answer
465 views

### calculating of g force in fun ride

we vistited yesterday a fun park and saw a ride which was a big centrifuge only in vertical. this one had a speed meter but it was broken and i also wanted to know how much g-force is on there... so ...
2answers
816 views

### a priori validity of $W=\int Fdx$ in relativity?

There are lots of different ways of arriving at the relativistic relations involving mass, energy, and momentum such as $E=mc^2$ and $m^2=E^2-p^2$ (the latter with $c=1$). One that I've seen in some ...
2answers
531 views

### Does rotational energy have effect on gravity/metric?

Intuitively, if energy can be stored in rotational motion, it has to obey $E=mc^2$. Does rotation of typical stellar-sized objects - BHs, pulsars, binaries - have measurable effect on their overall ...
3answers
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### Can temperature be defined as propensity to transmit thermal energy?

I was recently surprised to learn that defining temperature isn't easy. For a long time, it was defined operationally: how much does a thermometer expand. Also surprising, temperature isn't a ...
2answers
1k views

### What is the highest energy position for a double pendulum? And for which energy positions is it chaotic?

Math/physics teachers love to break out the double pendulum as an example of chaotic motion that is very sensitive to initial conditions. I have some questions about specific properties: For a ...
1answer
532 views

### Using mass of the observable Universe to estimate an energy equivalent

For quite some time now, physicists have been able to estimate the mass of the observable universe. Reportedly it's around $10^{50} \:\mathrm{kg}$. There is also general relativity, which states ...
1answer
801 views

### Does the Big Bang need a cause? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: on causality and The Big Bang Theory Asking here in layman's terms.. When theoretical physicsists discuss the origin of our Universe, the wider consensus appears to be that ...
4answers
1k views

### fraction of magnetic energy stored outside a solenoid

If I have a long solenoid, e.g. length $l$ and radius $r$ with $l = kr$, where k >> 1, with a nonpermeable (e.g. air) core, how much of the magnetic energy is stored outside as compared to inside? If ...
3answers
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### Finding the max height of a ball launched as a projectile using work-energy

A ball is launched as a projectile with initial speed $v$ at an angle $\theta$ above the horizontal. Using conservation of energy, find the maximum height $h_\text{max}$ of the ball's flight. Express ...
5answers
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### Charging 12V 150Ah battery [closed]

I want to charge a 12V battery of 150Ah with a solar panel. The solar panel specs is 12V, 25 Watt. Can anyone please provide me how to calculate that how much time it will take to charge the battery? ...
1answer
1k views

### Why is E85 less efficient than straight gasoline?

Why is straight gasoline (or whetever the mixture was before the introduction of ethanol) more efficient (ie, more miles/gallon) than E85? I've known since it's introduction that E85 was less ...
1answer
518 views

### whats the rate of energy increase required for constant acceleration between 0.0c and 0.99c?

I was wondering how much energy would be required to accelerate 1000kg to 0.99c at 1G. What I don't understand is what the rate of increase of energy is required as velocity increases. I was looking ...
1answer
131 views

### People eating and gaining energy

Let's say we have 100 grams of chocolate which has 571 kilocalories (so it's about 2.4 megajoules) and we have barbell which weights 100 kilograms and need to lift it to 0.5 meters height. So how ...
3answers
6k views

### 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: ...
1answer
396 views

### Energy storage and battery banks [closed]

Why is it not possible to store windfarm energy in battery banks? A lot of energy isn't being used when wind farms are at peak and we have no way of storing it. This is wasteful. So why don't we use ...
2answers
630 views

### Small scale water power, how does water volume and hight convert into electric energy?

I was playing a little bit with the basic physics behind water power production but I can't get the numbers right. Let's say that I put a windmill that pumps water into a watertank on the top of my ...
2answers
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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?
4answers
24k views

### When is the Hamiltonian of a system not equal to its total energy?

I thought the Hamiltonian was always equal to the total energy of a system but have read that this isn't always true. Is there an example of this and does the Hamiltonian have a physical ...
7answers
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### Can energy be taken out of the QFT vacuum?

There have been recent questions about the vacuum. In my simplified knowledge the vacuum is like a ground state energy level, and also that there might even exist other lower energy levels than the ...
1answer
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### What type of solar energy technology has the most future potential?

In terms of dollars per watt, using theoretical efficiency limits, what technology holds the most promise to become the primary solar energy capture technology? My hunch is carbon-based modules, ...
2answers
2k views

### how does human brain compare to a modern CPU in energy per bit?

Can someone compare the energy efficiency of human brain as a computer ? What is the energy in joules / flop ? may be some reasonable assumptions on the computational load of common tasks such as ...
2answers
15k views

### In summer are the upper storey flats more hot or the lower storey flats?

I have often heard neighbours talking things like in a multi storied apartment, the upper flats are more hot in summer then lower flats (or vice versa?) and similarly for some comparison in winter? ...
1answer
16k views

### calculating thermal energy [exam prep]

I'm preparing for a grade 11 physics exam but having trouble with a question: a 19.9kg mass slides in a straight 28.8m line experiencing friction with a coefficient of 0.105, how much thermal energy ...
2answers
1k views

### Limit on geothermal energy that could be extracted before the earth's magnetic field collapsed?

This is more of a theoretical thought-experiment question. Basically, how much geothermal energy can we extract before the loss of the magnetic field makes it a terribly bad idea? Will the ...
1answer
1k views

### Energy produced by a swing?

Please can someone help me with a equation for how much energy a person generates when swinging on a swing?
0answers
119 views

### What is the energy conversion efficiency of a computation device like a modern CPU? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How efficient is a desktop computer? I believe the energy conversion efficiency of a modern CPU is extremely low, because it dissipates pretty much all of it as heat, which is ...
3answers
491 views

### Mass in terms of energy

Given the relationships between mass and energy in relativity, and given that particles with mass can be created given energy over the threshold energy, and vice-versa, can we say that mass is simply ...
1answer
348 views

### If 100% of the energy from the sun is reflected back into space

100% of the energy from the sun is reflected back into space, it's just shifted from a low-entropy state to a high-entropy state, and from a high frequency (ultraviolet) to a low frequency (infrared). ...
4answers
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### Can heat be transfered via magnetic field in a vacuum?

Say you want to store hot coffee in a container surrounded by a vacuum. To remove all sources of conductive energy loss the container is suspended in the vacuum by a magnetic field and does not have a ...
4answers
92k views

### 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 ...
4answers
10k views

### How do laser rangefinders work when the object surface is not perpendicular to the laser beam?

I find the functioning of a laser rangefinder confusing. The explanation usually goes like this: "you shine a laser beam onto the object, the laser beam gets reflected and gets back to the device and ...
3answers
4k views

### Explain how (or if) a box full of photons would weigh more due to massless photons

I understand that mass-energy equivalence is often misinterpreted as saying that mass can be converted into energy and vice versa. The reality is that energy is always manifested as mass in some form,...
1answer
471 views

### Historical and philosophical reflexions about the concept of energy? [closed]

Perhaps you know the books: Concepts of Mass in Contemporary Physics and Philosophy Concepts of Force: A Study in the Foundations of Dynamics by Max Jammer, which discusses mass and force from a ...
1answer
218 views

### My computer turns on when it “sees” me [closed]

Before asking, I swear that, for how it may seem strange, this is all true. Very briefly, when my pc is off and I am near it, it turns on. I do not touch anything. Nobody else have the same effect. I ...
2answers
39k views

### What energy is transformed to heat when a candle is burned?

What energy is being transformed to heat when you burn a candle?
1answer
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### Uses and interpretation of the 'Bowen Ratio' ($B_o=SH/LE$)

The Bowen Ratio is the ratio of sensible heat flux to latent heat flux, so presumably it gives some information about the relative importance of these processes. But it is not clear how this ...
2answers
450 views

### How does my air-cooling unit work?

During the winter, my office gets a little cold. I have a unit (essentially a space heater) that heats the area around it to help keep me warm. Now that it's summer, I realize the unit also has a ...
1answer
2k views

### Wien's fifth power Law and Stephan Boltzmann's fourth power laws of emissive power

Wien's fifth power law says that emissive power is proportional to the temperature raised to the fifth power. On the other hand, the Stefan–Boltzmann law says emissive power is proportional to the ...
2answers
4k views

### Why is the steam from cooling towers not used?

If I see the steam coming out of cooling towers at an altitude of 200 meters, I cannot help but think that this energy is wasted. My question is: Why isn't this steam cooled enough to become water and ...
2answers
1k views

### Degeneracy of states in mixed infinite square well, harmonic oscillator

I'm trying to determine the degeneracy of states given by $g(\epsilon)=g_{0} \epsilon$ for a system that is trapped in a quite specific potential. In two dimensions, the particle has a potential as ...
2answers
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### Particle Accelerator Energy and Luminosity

Both beam energy and luminosity are important for succesful particle accelerator experiments. The LHC's nominal design is for 7 TeV beams and 1E34 cm^-2 sec^-1 luminosity, while the SSC's nominal ...
4answers
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### What is “pure energy” in matter-antimatter annihilation made of?

I used to read the term "pure energy" in the context of matter-antimatter annihilation. Is the "pure energy" spoken of photons? Is it some form of heat? Some kind of particles with mass? Basically,...
1answer
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### potential energy of an object due to other two objects

consider object A with mass $m_{A}$ and positional vector $\overrightarrow{r_{A}}$ object B with mass $m_{B}$ and positional vector $\overrightarrow{r_{B}}$ object C with mass $m_{C}$ and positional ...
6answers
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### Is fire matter or energy?

I wanted to know that if FIRE is Matter or Energy. I know that both are inter-convertible. but that doesn't mean there is interconversion taking place just like nuclear fusion or fission. If it is ...
2answers
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### Why is there a minus sign in this wave equation derivation?

My book on quantum mechanics suggests a derivation of the wave equation $$\left(\Delta - \frac{1}{c^2} \frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2} \right) \psi(\bar{r},t) = 0$$ from the photon energy-impulse ...
3answers
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### Does opening or closing the window in a non-AC car in the summer affect how much heat is felt inside?

This will perhaps look like a very basic and trivial question. But I find it confusing. As an experience, when you are travelling in non-AC car in summer, have people felt if putting on or putting off ...
2answers
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### How to calculate fuel consumption of car (mpg) from speed and accleration knowing mass, drag coeff and rolling resistance?

How can I calculate the current (instantaneous) mpg of my car if I know the speed and acceleration of the car? From reading various answers for the "car going level or up/down hill" question asked ...
3answers
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### What is meant by positive and negative gravity/energy/spacetime-curvature?

I have recently come across some cosmological assertions (based on empirical data) about the universe being self contained in the sense that it is entirely capable of coming into existence from a zero-...
2answers
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### How do electron configuration microstates map to term symbols?

I am trying to understand energy levels of electron configurations. I visited the NIST web site and discovered that the notation used here are called term symbols. After reading corresponding ...