"Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
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13-09-2013, 08:03 AM
"Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
Help me out with "the law of conservation of energy". . . . that "energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can change from one form to another".

How does this work in our universe . . . in reality?

For example. When a star uses up all of its "fuel", . . . it seems [perhaps to the layperson] that the energy has been "used up". Obviously an active nuclear fusion has an obvious energy level. When the star dies, where did it's energy go? If it "just released it into space", . . . wouldn't even that energy dissipate eventually?

Thanks for the discussion.
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13-09-2013, 08:12 AM
RE: "Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
(13-09-2013 08:03 AM)DeavonReye Wrote:  Help me out with "the law of conservation of energy". . . . that "energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can change from one form to another".

How does this work in our universe . . . in reality?

For example. When a star uses up all of its "fuel", . . . it seems [perhaps to the layperson] that the energy has been "used up". Obviously an active nuclear fusion has an obvious energy level. When the star dies, where did it's energy go? If it "just released it into space", . . . wouldn't even that energy dissipate eventually?

Thanks for the discussion.

You seem to be confusing several terms.

Remember, E=mc². The star has converted H to HE and possibly He to heavier elements - it still has mass, so it still has energy.

Stars can "die" in several ways. A small star may just slowly cool, radiating energy into space - that energy dissipates, but it still exists.

A larger star may explode, scattering matter and energy outward - but the energy persists as it radiates out.

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13-09-2013, 08:48 AM
RE: "Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
I never had a physics class when I was in high school or university. I feel bad about that!

Okay, . . . so if I am understanding you, . . . as the energy dissipates, it still has the same energy, but scattering it all out lowers the perceived "per square mile" amount. And if all of it were drawn back to the star? You still had the initial H to HE. That wouldn't change, I would guess. Bare with me as I post what's rattling around in my brain. So, where did the initial H come from? Does a star draw it in, or does each star have a specified amount of H that is converted?
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13-09-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: "Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
(13-09-2013 08:48 AM)DeavonReye Wrote:  I never had a physics class when I was in high school or university. I feel bad about that!

Okay, . . . so if I am understanding you, . . . as the energy dissipates, it still has the same energy, but scattering it all out lowers the perceived "per square mile" amount. And if all of it were drawn back to the star? You still had the initial H to HE. That wouldn't change, I would guess. Bare with me as I post what's rattling around in my brain. So, where did the initial H come from? Does a star draw it in, or does each star have a specified amount of H that is converted?

The Big Bang created Hydrogen, Helium, and Lithium. Then ...
Star formation

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13-09-2013, 02:11 PM
RE: "Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
Big bang (still we don't know perfectly how) --> Energy --> Hydrogen and a few other light elements --> things clump toghether and form stars --> Stars lose some energy by radiation (sun light), some of its energy remains -->>> all the energy is dissipated, still there, but "there" is too big for energy to don anything...

Energy never got destroyed, it just goes away, far far away... into the vast coldness of space, to be there alone... forever

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13-09-2013, 02:38 PM
RE: "Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
My thoughts on this. Feel free to correct me. Please do:

You have a 10lb log. You burn it. You only have 1lb of ash. Did the other 9lb disappear? Well, no. If the smoke, variouses gases, photons, radiation, etc released from it were recaptured, you'd have the original 10lb.

So, stars create new elements from their original handful of elements that composed the star. So, where did the stars original "stuff" come from? All the original matter originated from the Big Bang. That matter condensed into stars, exploded, and condescended into new stars again. And so on...

SO, do those photons, and radiation eventually condense back into matter again? Can someone answer this? If not, then there's only so long the Universe can last before it's "pure energy". Stars and planets have nothing to be formed from.

Also note, that apparently, elements break down and "die". Which means they just end up as wayward energy (single and loose electrons, protons?)
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13-09-2013, 02:39 PM
RE: "Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
(13-09-2013 08:03 AM)DeavonReye Wrote:  Help me out with "the law of conservation of energy". . . . that "energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can change from one form to another".

How does this work in our universe . . . in reality?

For example. When a star uses up all of its "fuel", . . . it seems [perhaps to the layperson] that the energy has been "used up". Obviously an active nuclear fusion has an obvious energy level. When the star dies, where did it's energy go? If it "just released it into space", . . . wouldn't even that energy dissipate eventually?

Thanks for the discussion.

The energy from our star goes out into space. Some of it lands on planets and is used to drive things like wind or create complex molecules like carbohydrates(photosynthesis in plants). The energy contained in carbohydrates or in the wind can then be captured to do other work....like move a sail boat or power an animal. The sail boat will emit noise(sound energy) as it moves throw water, an animal will radiate away body heat. The energy never disappears...but it does become more "dilute" and less useable as it dissipates into the universe .

Vosur, Anjele, Hanoff.....have you learned nothing in my absence?
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13-09-2013, 02:43 PM
RE: "Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
Thanks guys. I will have to do some more research into this. It is rather interesting.
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13-09-2013, 02:45 PM
RE: "Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
(13-09-2013 02:38 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  Also note, that apparently, elements break down and "die". Which means they just end up as wayward energy (single and loose electrons, protons?)

It is not clear what you mean by this. Consider

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15-09-2013, 01:21 AM
RE: "Conservation of Energy" in our reality?
(13-09-2013 08:03 AM)DeavonReye Wrote:  Help me out with "the law of conservation of energy". . . . that "energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can change from one form to another".

How does this work in our universe . . . in reality?

For example. When a star uses up all of its "fuel", . . . it seems [perhaps to the layperson] that the energy has been "used up". Obviously an active nuclear fusion has an obvious energy level. When the star dies, where did it's energy go? If it "just released it into space", . . . wouldn't even that energy dissipate eventually?

Thanks for the discussion.

A star's fuel is the nuclear fusion reactions that occur inside it. Hydrogen under high temperatures and pressures of the interior of a star can fuse into helium. Einstein's theory of special relativity led directly to the conclusion that energy can be conserved by converting into mass and vice-versa (that's the E=mc^2 equation Chas points out). Hydrogen fusion reactions result in a Helium atom which has slightly less mass than the original hydrogen atoms that fused to form the Helium. As the hydrogen is exhausted, helium fusion reactions which create carbon and oxygen start taking place. Depending on the star, it may stop there and lead to an eventual cooling death of the star.

If the star is large enough, fusion reactions continue to occur for higher mass elements up to the point where it stops at Iron. The iron is no longer fusing or adding to the star's energy production. Iron needs additional input of energy to fuse that only becomes available in the supernova explosion stage of the death of a large star. All the elements in the universe that are heavier than iron are formed in these star explosions. This is what is meant by the saying "we are all made of star stuff":



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